Head of Research Programme: Research Professor Aarno Kotilainen
The research programme provides reliable research data on the seabed geology of the Baltic Sea to support decision-making and business needs, and on the natural and man-made long-term climate and environmental changes in its catchment area, and on the factors impacting them – to ensure sustainable use of areas, and the care and well-being of the environment.
Pressure for using land and sea areas has increased rapidly. Climate change also has an influence on dry land and the marine environment, both over the short and long term. For sustainable planning and execution of using land and sea areas, this work requires comprehensive information concerning the soil and the marine environment, and the natural and man-made processes taking place in them (e.g. problems of acidic sulphate soil).
Currently, knowledge concerning the seabed and its geology is insufficient. A lack of information causes problems, particularly when planning extensive projects that go beyond regional limits. Our knowledge of factors affecting long-term (Holocene) environmental changes is also insufficient. For example, there is no specific information available about factors that impact the long-term changes (e.g. anoxic conditions, changes in nutrient amounts) of the Baltic Sea. Also, there is not yet enough information on how climate change affects lake environments, or how global change affects and has affected soil temperature, hydrological rotation and the growth of different tree species.
This deeper knowledge of global change and its causes is required so that we can better predict and prepare for the impact of climate change.
The following benefit from the results:
o regional (e.g. regional Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, regional councils)
o national (e.g. the Ministry of the Environment, Metsähallitus)
o international regulations and treaties (e.g. the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the EU's sea strategy directive)
• the academic community (sector research institutes, universities)
• those utilising the seabed
• citizens (yachting, fishing, etc.)
• deeper understanding of the factors that have affected the long-term changes (e.g. anoxic conditions in the seabed and nutrient flow) in the Baltic Sea
• to create a Baltic Sea development model which is further specified
• model the geological processes of the seabed to meet the needs of seabed utilisation and environmental research
• to produce knowledge of the environmental impact of climate change and its side-effects
• obtain deeper understanding of tree species' different growth location requirements and the zones of the soil chemistry of mountain areas