Monday, 8 October 2012

BACC II Conference podium discussion summarized

The podium discussion on the second day of the Tallinn conference was moderated by Grit Martinez of Ecologic. Read here her short summary of the event.

Monday, 24 September 2012

BACC II Conference Summary updated, photos and participant list

An updated summary of the BACC II conference in Tallinn is available here. Please read and comment.
Also, a list of conference participants and a selection of conference photos is now available on the BACC II website here.

Monday, 10 September 2012

BACC II results presented and discussed in Tallinn

About 110 participants were at the BACC II Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, on 6 and 7 September. The scope of this short conference was to provide the scientific and stakeholder communities with summaries of the draft chapters for the BACC II book, which is expected to be published in late 2013.

The organizing team would like to thank the presenters for summarizing the chapters in such a good and comprehensive way. Thanks also to everybody who contributed to the vivid discussions and contributed with valuable comments to the chapter contents. They shall be taken up by authors to improve the chapters.

To give a short synopsis of the first day, it seems that BACC I results are confirmed and substantiated by the new information. Additional material allows to go into more detail in some issues, and some contested issues can be reconciled (e.g. sea surface temperature trends). For regional climate models (RCMs) it was evident that the ability to run multi-model ensembles seems a major addition, but clearly RCMs need further development. Homogeneity of data is till a problem and not taken seriously enough in some scientific quarters.

The question of attribution of the regional climate change signal to different drivers is a major new aspect of the BACC II book. Current knowledge reveals that attribution on the regional scale is still weak. The issue of multiple drivers on ecosystem and socio-economy changes is recognized, but more research efforts are clearly needed. Climate change is seen as a serious issue, but in many cases it remains questionable if it is a dominant issue.

On the second day, BACC chairman Hans von Storch summarized the presentations of the first day. The presentation can be downloaded here, and we would like to invite you to comment and discuss to here on this blog. A comprehensive summary can be viewed here. Maria Laamanen of the HELCOM Secretariat gave an overview over the work of HELCOM and the Baltic Sea Action Plan. HELCOM will use part of the BACC II material for a HELCOM Thematic Assessment in 2013. This collaboration between the scientific initiative of BACC and the scientific-political stakeholder HELCOM had been successful already for BACC I (2007-2008), from which also a HELCOM Thematic Assessment was published.

Last but not least, we would like to thank the moderator and discussion panelists (see programme) on the second day. The panel discussion demonstrated that there is still room for improving the interface between the science on the one hand, and decision makers, other stakeholders and the public on the other hand. The establishment of regional climate services could be a way to do this, a place where professionals from both sides work closely together to identify specific information needs, so that the best available scientific information can effectively be used. The role of the scientists themselves in propagating climate change messages was discussed controversely. While some panel speakers argued in favour of a stronger role of scientists in propagating climate change issues in public, this was clearly rejected by BACC Chairman Hans von Storch. He is convinced that it is crucial to keep a clear division between the science on the one hand, which is solely responsible for the scientific truth (with no compromises towards propagating a “good cause”), and other groups (like HELCOM, NGO´s etc), which have a different task in soceity, e.g. working towards an improved awareness for climate change issues in society. “Good” and “bad” are no categories in science. Society must decide whether e.g. a higer temperature and more rain is “good” or “bad”, this is not a scientific task.

For more information BACC II, see

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Outreach booklet based on the BACC book

A new outreach booklet on "Ostseeküste im Klimawandel" by Insa Meinke and Marcus Reckermann, based on the Northern German Climate Atlas produced by the Northern German Climate Office, and the BACC book, was recently published. The booklet, which is written in German and emphasizes on climate change and its impacts on the german Baltic Sea coast, may serve as a prototype of outreach products which could be summarized from the BACC II material in the different Baltic Sea languages for the educated layperson. The booklet is free and can be ordered here...

Climate Impacts on the Baltic Sea: From Science to Policy

A new BALTEX book on Climate Impacts on the Baltic Sea: From Science to Policy by Reckermann, M., K. Brander, B.R. MacKenzie, A. Omstedt (Eds.) was published with Springer (Series: Springer Earth System Sciences. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2012. 216 p.).

The book, which is based on lectures given at a summer school on the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm in the summer of 2009, provides an interdisciplinary view on climate change impacts on the Baltic Sea and attempts to bridges the gap between science and policy making as well as sustainable environmental management.
The Baltic Sea area is an old cultural landscape with a well developed international framework for monitoring, assessing and managing its marine ecosystems. It provides a good case study for other regions where such management is being set up. The chapters in this book cover a range of topics, spanning from detailed descriptions of political agreements that protect the marine environment, to basic modelling instructions, to an assessment of the possible impacts of climate change on the marine ecosystem, to a reflection on the role of climate scientists and their responsibility in society. This interdisciplinary book is primarily directed at students and lecturers of the environmental disciplines to provide an overview of the possible impacts of climate change on the Baltic Sea. It is also intended to serve as a background reference for scientists and policy makers, both for the Baltic Sea area and more generally. The book is a contribution to the BALTEX programme and to the BONUS+ projects ECOSUPPORT and Baltic-C.
Link to Springer book page...

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

BACC II Conference in Tallinn, 6-7 September 2012

A very good opportunity to get updated on recent research findings on regional climate change in the Baltic Sea region will be the BACC II Conference, to be held in Tallinn, Estonia, on 6 and 7 September. After the example of the sucessful BACC Conference in Göteborg in May 2006, lead authors will present grand chapters in oral presentations, and posters will give the opportunity to dive a bit deeper into the subject and present specific chapters. All authors (lead and contributing) will be expected to attend the conference to present and discuss their findings among fellow BACCers, but also with the scientific community not directly participating in the BACC process. Thus, a vivid, maybe also controversial discussion is expected to evolve. This scientific discussion will be on the first day.

The second day will be dedicated to the stakeholder discussion. What does the research findings mean for coastal communities? Which are the management options? HELCOM will be a co-organiser and major stakeholder of the conference. A panel discussion will give the word to scientists, representatives of national agencies, intergovernmental organisations, politicians and media people. We hope to foster the discussion between these groups.

The conference is free. Registration is mandatory until 10 August 2012.

Futher information through these links:
BACC II website:
BACC II Conference website:
BACC Conference 2006 website: