Climate change impacts the ecosystem and the use of the Baltic Sea. In the next few decades, if climate change will proceed according to present estimates, the sea surface temperature is expected to rise and the salinity and the sea ice cover to decrease. The aim of the MARISPLAN research project is to investigate what long-term impacts climate change will have on the Baltic Sea and how the use of the sea will change in the new circumstances.
Besides in the temperature and salinity of the Baltic Sea, climate change is also seen as a change in the water level, atmospheric pressure and wind conditions. With increasing rains, the amounts of organic substances and nutrients from catchments into the sea will change. The number of non-native species is expected to increase and the distribution of native species to change. This will also affect the preconditions for agriculture and forestry, fishery, fish breeding, marine traffic, construction, energy production and recreational use.
The project applies the models of climate, sea, catchment and ecosystem. The project brings together researchers studying climate change, catchment areas, the physics, chemistry and biology of seas as well researchers of economics, social sciences and environmental policy. Researchers are working to find out regional and temporal changes in environmental circumstances and the Baltic Sea species and human.
The project investigates how society can adapt to climate change by developing marine spatial planning and studies the planning practices and policy alternatives of sea basins and catchment areas in different parts of Finland and the Baltic Sea. Studies on marine spatial planning are carried out by using the Helsinki metropolitan region and the coastal are of the Bothnian Sea as one of the model areas.
The project is carried out as a collaboration of the Finnish Environment Institute, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, MTT Agrifood Research Finland, and the Environment Centre of the City of Helsinki.