By Nick Gilbert
The Baltic Sea has to be saved. The geo-engineering efforts that aim to mix oxygen in deep areas of the Baltic Sea need to be abandoned as they can have potentially dangerous and unforeseen effects.
A large area, spanning about 60,000 km2, at the bottom of the Baltic Sea is suffering from hypoxia over the last 10 years. It does not have sufficient oxygen necessary for the normal ecosystem. To address this issue, different types of geo-engineering interventions are being proposed and are presently being discussed by various organizations.
Daniel Conley and Stadmark, researchers at the Lund University, are raising a call for abandoning geo-engineering initiatives to address lack of oxygen in the area. These measures may be able to improve the water quality for a short period, but they could be dangerous. The geo-engineering initiatives seem to be quite popular and attractive from the political point of view.
The current policy aims to reduce input of nutrients into the Baltic Sea. The Lund University researchers are conducting a research on the impact of human activities in input of nutrients into the Baltic Sea. They are studying how the change in the climate and impact of humans are affecting the marine ecosystems.
Though geo-engineering schemes may be dangerous, several schemes are being implemented. A demonstration wind-turbine-driven pump will be built in the southern Baltic by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management.
Daniel Conley stated that the process to reduce nutrients in the Baltic Sea has to be allowed to work. Political organizations, monitoring and assessment programs and scientific knowledge are available, and countries have committed to targets in reducing nutrients. These countries must take steps to implement the reductions for nutrients that they have committed in the Baltic Sea Action Plan. These actions have to be taken immediately to prevent worsening of the condition in the Baltic Sea.
The Lund University researchers have reported this study in the Nature journal.