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Research project Baltic Sea Observatory for coastal ecosystems and climate change

This research project is conducted within the CoastClim research group and brings together cutting-edge expertise in marine ecology, biogeochemistry and atmospheric physics to quantify the full spectrum of habitat-specific greenhouse gas fluxes and aerosol production in the Baltic coastal zone.

The Baltic Sea Observatory for coastal ecosystems and climate change complements the existing infrastructure at the Stockholm University Askö Laboratory, with geophysical and atmospheric science equipment necessary to measure the feedbacks between the Baltic Sea, coastal ecosystems, and the atmosphere. We lack detailed information about key habitats especially in shallow areas of the sea, that are both significant carbon sinks, but also sources of greenhouse gas (GHG). This research project aims to fill this knowledge gap. The key objective is to quantify the feedbacks between healthy or degraded coastal habitats and their role in the life cycles of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and aerosols.

Project description

The climate mitigation potential is assessed through integrative measuring platforms utilizing one of the best-known coastal ecosystems globally. The research project builds novel research infrastructure, making geophysical habitat mapping and atmospheric measurements of GHGs and aerosols possible, as the final component for a full-fledged observatory.

Air–sea exchange research laboratory facilities will be built at Askö with portable components that can be mounted on the research vessel R/V Electra, allowing unique observations on the links between marine biogeochemistry and sea spray. A new mass spectrometer will be operated to characterize the chemical composition of aerosols and their precursors, a Potential Aerosol Mass chamber will be used to investigate the oxidation and aerosol formation potential, and particle counters and spectrometers will be used to quantify aerosol size distributions.

The research project will both build the infrastructure and also provide the intellectual foundation for new science that the society urgently need.

Project members

Project managers

Christoph Humborg


Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre