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Sweden Considers Oxygen Injection For Baltic Sea

The Swedish National Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) and the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) are contributing about 20 million SEK (US$2.6 million) toward a pilot project to inject oxygen into the seabed of the Baltic Sea. 

The study will be conducted by researchers from the University of Gothenburg. The experiment, called “Box”, was inspired by a temporary increase in oxygen levels as deep as 120 meters below the surface of the sea when phosphorous levels dropped in the 1990s.

Seven of the world’s ten largest marine dead zones—areas of oceans or seas with markedly diminished oxygen levels—are in the Baltic Sea, which was declared a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2005. Baltic Sea states adopted the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) in 2007, intended to “drastically reduce pollution to the Baltic Sea and restore its good ecological status by 2021.” Governments are expected to present national action plans to carry out the objectives of the BSAP by 2010.

WWF Baltic Scorecard. Click to enlarge.

In August, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Sweden issued a statement warning of a “total collapse of the entire ecosystem” within the sea if eutrophication were allowed to spread. The WWF’s 2008 Baltic Sea Scorecard gave overall failing marks to virtually all Baltic Sea countries after reviewing environmental indicators such as biodiversity, eutrophication, and hazardous substances. In May, Naturvårdsverket warned that “drastic measures” would be needed to save the Baltic, which is semi-enclosed, with areas now hypoxic year- round (earlier post).

—Jack Rosebro



I am not in favor of this type of engineering that can have uncontrolled edge effects, they should rather focus on reducing the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen that pollutes the sea

Andrey Levin

Birdshot into elephant ass..

John Taylor

If they also reduce pollution going into the Baltic sea, then the water might recover.
But putting in some oxygen (presumably by using an air bubble system) will provide some quick help.

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