Marine Environment

The marine environment is a vital resource for life on Earth, it includes the waters of seas and estuaries, the seabed and its subsoils, and all marine wildlife and its sea and coastal habitats. The seas and oceans are our greatest source of biodiversity. They cover 71 % of the Earth’s surface and they contain 90 % of the biosphere. The marine environment is also a great contributor to economic prosperity, social well-being and quality of life. Acidification as well as eutrophication pose severe threats to marine environments, here climate change, increased carbon uptake and pollutant emission into the air and water potentially acts as multiple stressors on sensitive systems. The shipping sector is a significant contributor to emissions of air and water pollutants in marine and coastal regions. In order to achieve sustainable shipping, primarily through new regulations and techniques, greater knowledge of dispersion and deposition of air pollutants is required. Impact on the environment includes emissions from fuel combustion into the air and in the sea. These emissions influence coastal regions and the open ocean. Likewise, means to filter substances from ship exhaust, e.g. the use of scrubbers to reduce sulfur emissions, can have implications upon the marine environment. Emission control areas (ECAs) have been established (e.g. Baltic Sea), where regulation of emissions into the atmosphere are implemented, this Emission control results in use of alternative fuel, as well as the increasing use of scrubbers. Scrubber use is considered to be cheaper than using cleaner fuel, but the effects of scrubbers on seawater could potentially cause problems for marine ecosystems. Figure 1 shows a simulation concerning the Baltic Sea, with change in pH and alkalinity due to all deposition, and separated only from shipping (using open loop scrubbers).

Figure. 1 Modelled future changes in pH and alkalinity, plotted as differences from the relevant control runs, in surface waters of the Arkona Basin, East Gotland Basin and the Bothnian Bay. Simulation use deposition from all sources (dark green) and only shipping (light blue), assuming all traffic use open loop scrubber as a cleaning technology. assuming that all ships use open-loop scrubbers. Total deposition includes both terrestrial and shipping sources. The grey vertical lines in the left panels show the annual range of pH changes. From Turner et al. (2018).

The research addresses particularly the marine environment of the Baltic Sea as well as global aspects.

Turner, D. R, M. Edman, J. A. Gallego-Urrea, B. Claremar, I.-M. Hassellöv, A. Omstedt and A. Rutgersson (2018). The potential future contribution of shipping to acidification of the Baltic Sea. Ambio, DOI 10.1007/s13280-017-0950-6

Persons: Anna Rutgersson, Lichuan Wu

Ongoing projects