The Earth System Science programme called Baltic Earth is now entering a permanent phase after an initial year of development. Baltic Earth enables researchers to co-ordinate transnational research around the Baltic Sea. The programme is led by Markus Meier of the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) and Anna Rutgersson of Uppsala University, as chair and vice-chair respectively of the new steering group.
“The fact that Baltic Earth is now set to continue is really important for research. After 20 years of research carried out within the framework of the former research programme BALTEX, a generational shift has now occurred in the research team,” says Markus Meier, the newly elected Chair of Baltic Earth and oceanography researcher at SMHI.
“It’s therefore extra important that we’ve been able to administer the inheritance of BALTEX and build on what has been achieved with new research groups around the Baltic Sea within Baltic Earth,” he explains.
During Baltic Earth’s first year of activity, several conferences and workshops have brought researchers together from the different countries around the Baltic Sea.
“I’m particularly proud that together we’ve managed to build up the infrastructure and co-operation in Baltic Earth with new researchers, working groups and initiatives during such a short period,” Markus Meier points out.
Transmission of knowledge
One important dimension of the programme is to transmit the research results to those living in the countries bordering the Baltic Sea. The researchers will, within Baltic Earth, lay special emphasis on activities that communicate the knowledge acquired from the research to a wider public. One example is the preparation of short summaries of the present state of knowledge in the different local languages used around the Baltic Sea. This will make the research more accessible to ordinary people.
Baltic Earth introduces an Earth System perspective into the research around the Baltic Sea. The research group collaborate on multidisciplinary projects in order to describe, and find solutions to, the challenges and problems that exist in the Baltic Sea and adjoining regions. The project takes up issues concerning, for example, the impact of climate change, changes in the marine ecology or the impact of human activities on the marine environment.