Mar Baltico: fosforo nel mare più giovane del mondo

Phosphorous in the world’s youngest sea

Posted by Daryl Worthington in Nature, Pollution,

The Baltic is the world’s youngest sea. Formed just 10-15,000 years ago from melting glaciers, it is the planet’s second largest body of brackish water and a unique ecosystem. Unfortunately, for a comparatively small sea it suffers a great deal from human activity.

• 50% of its fish populations are being overfished.
• 70% of all recorded habitats are being affected by eutrophication (algal blooms, etc.)
• 15% of the world’s maritime transport passes through it.

The catchment area of the sea covers 85 million people, but it is only recently that comprehensive research has been carried out into the state of the Baltic.

This winter the Finnish Environmental Institute SYKE, in collaboration with the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, deployed its ship the R/V Aranda to survey the entire Baltic. The scope and detail of the ship’s journey made it one of the most thorough projects of its kind. Unfortunately, the recently released results make for sombre reading. It has been known for a long time that the Baltic is victim to high phosphate and nitrate levels, inevitably causing eutrophication. However the research vessel’s findings have revealed the scale of the issue.

The Baltic Sea 7952181046 1024x745 Phosphorous in the worlds youngest sea

Pic: Guillaume Speurt from Vilnius, Lithuania (Wikimedia Commons)

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