Baltic Sea present climate
Has global warming affected the Baltic Sea? And if so, how? Some
people say that the climate has deviated from the natural variation
in the past 30 years. A recent study carried out within our research
group (Omstedt and Nohr, 2004) recounts how various meteorological
factors varied in the air above the Baltic Sea during this period.
Air temperature and wind have increased; cloudiness and relative
humidity have declined. Nevertheless, analysis of the sea’s
heat balance shows that the Baltic Sea has not been appreciably affected – the
trends cancel each other out. Locally, we can track trends in different
parts of the Baltic Sea and at various depths, but the net effect
does not yield a trend. The mean water temperature of the Baltic
Sea is stable despite regional warming. The reason was explained
by the heat balance that indicated no trend in the Baltic Sea net
(Click image to enlarge)
Figure 1. Observed (dashed line) and modelled (fully drawn line) annual variation of Baltic Sea mean water temperature. The BALTEX/BRIDGE period is marked. From Omstedt and Nohr (2004).
- Omstedt, A. and C., Nohr (2004). Calculating the water and heat
balances of the Baltic Sea using ocean modelling and available meteorological,
hydrological and ocean data. Tellus 56A, 400-414.
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