Huge amount of oxygen-rich water flows into Baltic

Clouds above the Baltic Sea.  (Bernd Wuestneck / dpa / AP)
Clouds above the Baltic Sea. (Bernd Wuestneck / dpa / AP)
The past few weeks have seen the largest amount of salt water for decades flow into the Baltic Sea from the North Sea.

A combination of weather systems, which first pushed water out of the Baltic, then pushed new water from the North Sea into the Baltic Sea led to 198 km³ of salty water making its way eastwards.

Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde, Germany, are now following the progress of the oxygen-rich water, which may reach areas of the sea currently suffering from oxygen deprivation.

The Baltic Sea is known for its brackish water and for having areas on the sea floor with so little oxygen that living organisms have had a hard time surviving.

So what does this inflow of oxygen-rich salt water mean for the Baltic Sea’s ecosystem?

Radio Sweden spoke with Dr. Michael Naumann from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde, who explains more and tells us what this will mean for the eco-system in the sea off of Sweden’s east coast.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Melting Arctic ice called ‘economic time bomb,’ CBC News

Greenland:  Greenland’s northeastern ice sheet starting to melt, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland:  Acid Arctic Ocean and Russell Brand?, by Deutsche Welle’s Iceblogger

Norway: Emissions speeding up Arctic Ocean acidification, Alaska Dispatch

Russia: Melting permafrost eroding Siberian coasts, Deutsche Welle Ice-Blog

Sweden: Sweden could lead way on climate: environment minister, Radio Sweden

United States: Expert predicts ice-free Arctic by 2020 as UN releases climate report, Alaska Dispatch

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