Methane emission in the Baltic Sea: Gas storage and effects of climate change and eutrophication

BALTIC GAS final report
BALTIC GAS briefing on key results
Year 2 progress report
Year 1 progress report
For more relevant publications, visit (category BONUS+ reports)

Begin date 1.11.2008
End date 31.10.2011
Grant: 1 598 137€

Predicted climate change and long-term eutrophication can accelerate methane generation and potentially exceed the natural gas storage capacity of the seabed. Hot-spots of shallow gas enhance the emission of green-house active methane and of toxic hydrogen sulfide and pose hazards to off-shore seabed structures and technologies.

BALTIC GAS aims to understand how climate change and long-term eutrophication affect the accumulation of shallow gas and the emission of methane and hydrogen sulfide from the seabed to the water column and atmosphere. The outcome of the project will be a new understanding and quantitative synthesis of the dynamics and budget of methane in the seabed, an important but poorly understood component of the Baltic ecosystem response to natural and human- induced impacts.

The project aims to develop a predictive model of gas accumulation and emission under realistic scenarios of climate change and eutrophication, which will improve the knowledge base for necessary future policy actions. The multidisciplinary project will involve 12 partner institutions from 5 nations and will apply modern advanced technology and novel combinations of approaches. Seismo-acoustic mapping and strategic coring for geochemical analyses will be combined in key areas. New and existing data will be combined in a database, functionalized for end users through GIS mapping and through retrospective and predictive modeling of methane in the Baltic Sea.


Methane, shallow gas, green-house gas emission, eutrophication, climate change

List of Participants and Principal Scientists

Center for Geomicrobiology, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark

Bo Barker Joergensen (Coordinator)

National Environmental Research Institute, Aarhus University, Denmark

Henrik Fossing

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Denmark

Bo Jensen Jørn

Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany

Timothy Ferdelman

Department of Geology, Lund University, Sweden

Daniel Conley

Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Science, Poland

Klusek Zygmunt

Baltic Sea Research Institute Warnemünde, Germany

Gregor Rehder

Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

Nikolay Pimenov

Alfred-Wegener-Institute of Polar and Marine Research, Germany

Michael Schlüter

Stockholm University, Sweden

Volker Brüchert

Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Philippe Van Cappellen

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany

Volkhard Spiess

Please visit the BALTIC GAS webpage for more information!