On 16 and 17 December, the International Baltic Earth Secretariat hosted an international online conference on “Marginal Seas – Past and Future”. Marginal seas, like the Baltic Sea, are small seas that are connected to the ocean but have a strong influence from land. They are heavily used and impacted by human activities and especially susceptible to climate change.
The conference brought together about 120 scientists from 21 countries and marginal seas all around the world to discuss issues related to geological, ecosystem and climatic changes in the past and in the projected future, including socio-economic aspects. 26 speakers from different scientific disciplines presented their research, and discussed the following questions:
- How did marginal seas of different climatic zones and tectonic settings change over their geological history, during the natural climate and environmental variations of the Last Glacial Cycle (last 130 kyr)?
- How will marginal seas and their coastal zones respond to climate change and increasing human impacts in the future?
- What strategies for sustainable development of the marine and coastal realm can help to keep a balance between the protection of the environment and the economic use of marginal sea resources?
There was a vivid discussion on these topics. An abstract booklet is available at the conference website, and a dedicated Special Issue will be published in Oceanologica in 2021.
The conference was co-organized by University of Szczecin, Poland, the Polish Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, the International Baltic Earth Secretariat at Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG), Germany, and Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey / China Geological Survey, China.