Science & environment Ecology and Sustainable Development

Global warming: Holidays on Lake Baltic?

25 May 2010
Presseurop
Newsweek Polska

Newsweek Polska, 24 May 2010

Over the coming decades the Baltic Sea could well become one warm freshwater lake and a tourist attraction for Europeans, writes Newsweek Polska. Why? Because it has become shallower and less salty due to global warming and insufficient water flows from the North Sea. According to a scientific forecast, the Baltic Sea’s salinity, currently averaging seven percent, will drop to five percent in the next few years. And while rising water temperatures and lower salinity could well make the Baltic more attractive from a tourist’s perspective, a consequent reduction in oxygen levels could lead to the extinction of much marine life, including the Baltic cod. There is also an even less optimistic scenario, warns the Polish weekly – that the Baltic will become a toxic swamp full of blue-green algae thriving on vast amounts of agricultural fertiliser washed out to the sea every year. If nothing is done, the Baltic “will become shallow and boggy and then disappear altogether”.