The Baltic Earth programme recently held its second advanced course on climate issues in the Baltic Sea. 20 students from seven countries had many expert lectures to teach them all about past and future changes in climate in the Baltic Sea region.  

Short film - students and teachers about the course:


- With the help of teachers from several disciplines, a holistic Earth System approach was presented although the main focus of the course is on the physical aspects of changing climate, says Markus Meier at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde. In addition to lectures, tutorials, exercises and literature studies the course gave the students the opportunity to discuss the learned topics further during group exercises.

- Summer schools are a great way to bring together young scientists, says Marcus Reckermann at the Baltic Earth Secretariat. Since Baltic Earth is by definition interdisciplinary, this course gathers students with different disciplinary backgrounds and is indeed international. This mix enables new contacts and friendships that can last for their whole carriers and even lives!  

Students from all the Baltic Sea countries had been admitted to the course 2016.
Students from almost all the Baltic Sea countries had been admitted to the course 2016.

Course description

Basic methods of the analysis and modeling of the regional climate system were introduced, including the statistical analysis of time series to identify changes in regional climate. Atmospheric pressure patterns of the large-scale circulation like the North Atlantic circulation with influence on the Baltic Sea and the corresponding catchment area were explained. The students were also introduced to the functioning of the wind-driven and thermohaline circulations of the Baltic Sea.

Furthermore, the course dealt with coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models, climate change, the greenhouse gas effect and other drivers of regional climate, dynamical downscaling, and the variability of circulation and regional climate. The possible impact of climate change on the marine ecosystem including biogeochemical cycles was studied as well.