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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-78
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-78
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 08 Jul 2019

Research article | 08 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

Contribution of shipping NOx emissions to the marine nitrogenbudget of the western Baltic Sea – A case study

Daniel Neumann1, Matthias Karl2, Hagen Radtke1, Volker Matthias2, René Friedland3, and Thomas Neumann1 Daniel Neumann et al.
  • 1Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Seestr. 15, 18119 Rostock, Germany
  • 2Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Max-Planck-Str. 1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
  • 3European Commission DG Joint Research Centre, Directorate D – Sustainable Resources, Via Fermi, 2749 – TP 270, 21027 Ispra (VA), Italy

Abstract. The western Baltic Sea is impacted by various anthropogenic activities and stressed by high riverine and atmospheric nutrient loads. Atmospheric deposition accounts for up to a third of the nitrogen input into the Baltic Sea and contributes to eutrophication. Amongst other emission sources, the shipping sector is a relevant contributor to atmospheric concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in marine regions. Thus, it also contributes to atmospheric deposition of bioavailable oxidized nitrogen into the Baltic Sea. In this study, the contribution of shipping emissions to the nitrogen budget in the western Baltic Sea is evaluated with the coupled three-dimensional physical biogeochemical model MOM-ERGOM in order to assess the relevance of shipping emissions for eutrophication. The input of bioavailable nitrogen impacts eutrophication differently depending on time and place of input – e.g. nitrogen is processed and denitrified faster in flat coastal regions. The shipping sector contributes up to 5 % to the total nitrogen concentrations in the water. The impact of shipping-related nitrogen is highest in the off-shore regions distant to the coast in early summer but is considerably reduced during blooms of cyanobacteria in later summer. Although absolute shipping-related total nitrogen concentrations are high in some coastal regions, the relative contribution of the shipping sector is low in the vicinity to the coast because of high riverine nutrient loads.

Daniel Neumann et al.
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Daniel Neumann et al.
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Short summary
The study evaluates how much bioavailable nitrogen is contributed to the nitrogen budget of the western Baltic Sea by deposition of shipping-emitted nitrogen oxides. Bioavailable nitrogen compounds are nutrients for phytoplankton (algae). Excessive input of nutrients into water bodies may lead to eutrophication: more algal blooms and, subsequently, oxygen limitation at the sea floor. Hence, reducing shipping emissions might reduce the anthropogenic pressure on the marine ecosystem.
The study evaluates how much bioavailable nitrogen is contributed to the nitrogen budget of the...
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