Researchers Matthew Salter, Ilona Riipinen and Christoph Humborg from the Department of Environmental Science are behind a successful infrastructure funding application to the Swedish Reseach Council (VR) on the development of a new atmospheric science laboratory at Askö, a marine research station located within the Stockholm archipelago. This funding is the latest milestone in the establishment of a multidisciplinary centre for coastal ecosystem and climate research called CoastClim, which is based on Baltic Bridge, a strategic cooperation research project between the University of Helsinki and Stockholm University launched in 2017.
“This centre brings together expertise in the fields of marine ecology, biogeochemistry and atmospheric research in order to develop more integrated knowledge about how different marine processes and the Baltic Sea coastal environments interact with atmospheric processes and what this means for the climate, says Matthew Salter, Researcher at the Department of Environmental Science and Principal Investigator of the project.
At its heart, the new laboratory will be concerned with questions surrounding emissions of sea spray aerosols and gases from the Baltic Sea and their impacts on climate. “ Sea spray aerosol is one of the most important natural aerosol sources but we lack fundamental understanding of its exact physico-chemical properties and in particular the links to marine biogeochemistry,” explains Salter. He continues: “Further, the Baltic Sea is highly impacted by the large population centres surrounding it meaning that the concentrations of marine contaminants exceed those of many other marine areas. As such, the laboratory will be a unique facility to probe whether the Baltic Sea is acting as an important source of contaminants to the atmosphere via sea spray aerosol and whether this pathway may be relevant at the global scale.”
The infrastructure project is led by Professor Christoph Humborg who is the scientific director of the Baltic Sea Centre at Stockholm University and professor at the Department of Environmental Science. “The Askö laboratory has unique centennial time-scale data sets on hydrographic, climate and biodiversity variables and the new atmospheric science infrastructure will enable us to link our cutting-edge expertise in marine ecology, biogeochemistry and atmospheric science providing a pathway to scientific breakthroughs,” says Humborg.
About the Askö Laboratory