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Highlight Ten things everyone should know about Europe's productive seas
A recent assessment by the European Environment Agency (EEA) showed that European seas are in a worrying state. As policy makers meet to discuss the marine environment that sustains maritime development, the EEA summarises ten important facts about the ecosystems beneath the waves.
Located in News
Press Release Europe's seas: A valuable asset that must be used sustainably
Many of Europe's marine species, habitats and ecosystems have been threatened for decades. As maritime economic activities are predicted to increase in coming years, a new briefing from the European Environment Agency (EEA) argues that the cumulative impact of human activity should be better managed to avoid irreversible damage to ecosystems.
Located in Media News
Press Release The squeeze on Europe's coastline continues
Europe's coastal regions are increasingly vital for its economy, yet their natural assets on which it depends continue to degrade. This is according to a new report from the European Environment Agency, which calls for better information, planning and management decisions to balance multiple demands on the coastal environment.
Located in Media News
Highlight Marine litter – a growing threat worldwide
Increasing amounts of litter are ending up in the world’s oceans and harming the health of ecosystems, killing animals when they become trapped or swallow the litter. Human health is also at risk, as plastics may break down into smaller pieces that may subsequently end up in our food. These are just a few of the problems emerging from the waste collecting in our seas.
Located in News
Indicator Assessment chemical/x-pdb Ocean acidification (CLIM 043) - Assessment published Nov 2012
Surface-ocean pH has declined from 8.2 to 8.1 over the industrial era due to the growth of atmospheric CO 2 concentrations. This decline corresponds to a 30 % change in oceanic acidity. Observed reductions in surface-water pH are nearly identical across the global ocean and throughout Europe’s seas. Ocean acidification in recent decades is occurring a hundred times faster than during past natural events over the last 55 million years. Ocean acidification already reaches into the deep ocean, particularly in the high latitudes. Average surface-water pH is projected to decline further to 7.7 or 7.8 by the year 2100, depending on future CO 2 emissions. This decline represents a 100 to 150 % increase in acidity. Ocean acidification may affect many marine organisms within the next 20 years and could alter marine ecosystems and fisheries.
Located in Data and maps Indicators Ocean acidification
Figure D source code Ocean heat content calculated based on observations made in the upper 700 m of the water column
Ocean heat content is defined as the integrated temperature change times the density of seawater, times specific heat capacity from the surface down to the deep ocean.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Troff document Decline in pH measured at the Aloha station as part of the Hawaii Ocean time-series
Aloha station pH time series. Changes here are similar to those that are observed at a much shorter time scale in Europe.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Indicator Assessment Chlorophyll in transitional, coastal and marine waters (CSI 023) - Assessment published Jul 2011
In 2008, the highest summer chlorophyll-a concentrations were observed in coastal areas and estuaries where nutrient concentrations are high, namely in the Gulf of Riga, the Gulf of Finland and along the coast of France and Belgium. Although nutrient concentrations in some European sea areas decreased from 1985 to 2008 (see Core Set Indicator 21), these changes were not clearly reflected in chlorophyll-a concentrations: of the 546 stations reported to the EEA the majority of the stations (89%) indicated no statistically significant change. Changes were detected mainly in Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish and Italian coastal waters. At the Finnish and Swedish monitoring stations chlorophyll-a concentrations showed both decreasing and increasing trends, whereas in Italy, Netherlands and Norway concentrations were mainly decreasing. An analysis of changes based on satellite imagery show significantly increasing trends of ocean colour (equivalent to chl-a)along the Mediterranean coast, whereas trends are significantly decreasing in large parts of the central Mediterranean and Black Seas. It also shows significantly increasing trends in the Baltic Sea, but here the analysis is less certain.  
Located in Data and maps Indicators Chlorophyll in transitional, coastal and marine waters
Figure Troff document Ocean acidity over the past 25 million years and projected to 2100
The ‘pH’ is a measure of acidity – the lower the number the more acidic the ocean becomes. On a geological timescale, ocean pH has been relatively stable. Recently, oceans have been acidifying fast and this is projected to continue at a rate unprecedented for millions of years.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Projected ocean acidification by 2100
The maps show projected ocean acidification and related impacts on corals by 2020, 2060 and 2100: from better (blue) to worse (orange) conditions for coral skeletal growth.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100