THE BALTIC SEA
Location map of the Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a mediterranean sea located between Central and Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 10°E to 30°E longitude. It is bounded by the Swedish part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and the Little Belt. The Kattegat continues through Skagerrak into the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The Baltic Sea is connected by artificial waterways to the White Sea via the White Sea Canal, and to the German Bight of the North Sea via the Kiel Canal. The central part, also called the Baltic Proper, is bordered on its northern edge by the Gulf of Bothnia, on its northeastern edge by the Gulf of Finland, and on its eastern edge by the Gulf of Riga.
The Baltic Sea covers about 149,000 square miles (386,000 square km). The catchment area drained by the rivers bringing fresh water into the Baltic is about four times as large as the sea itself. The Baltic proper stretches southwest-northeast on the eastern side of the Scandinavian Peninsula from latitude 54° N to very near the Arctic Circle; its major axis, from eastern Denmark to southern Finland, is a little more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) long, with an average width of about 120 miles (190 km). The western Baltic extends north through insular Denmark and includes the Kattegat, a strait separating peninsular Denmark (Jutland, or Jylland) from southwestern Sweden. The Kattegat is bounded on the north by the Skagerrak, a deep inlet of the North Sea that separates southern Norway from northern Jutland.
The average depth is 55 m (180 ft, 30 fathoms). The maximum depth is 459 m (1506 ft) which is on the Swedish side of the center. The surface area is about 349,644 km² (145,522 sq mi) and the volume is about 20,000 km³ (5040 cubic miles). The periphery amounts to about 8,000 km (5,000 mi) of coastline.
The busy Baltic route leads to high levels of exhaust and other pollution.
Once plastic and other waste gets into the Baltic Sea, it cannot easily escape into the open ocean, ending up on beaches as a subsurface soup that is harmful to marine organisms. The Baltic Sea has a narrow outlet to the ocean - between Sweden and Denmark - because of this the water takes 25-30 years to refresh itself. The World Wildlife Fund, reporting on the Baltic seaport of Stralsund said low oxygen levels have rendered around 70,000 square meters of the sea uninhabitable. The Baltic Sea is in a "critical" condition and in danger of dying unless pollution from the Russian city of St Petersburg is drastically cut.
HYDROGRAPHY and BIOLOGY
Bulk cargoes of oil and coal come by all water routes into the Baltic, and many exports of minerals, timber, and wood products move in the opposite direction by sea around Jutland. These traditional exports represent a diminishing value in overall trade. The greatest values are in consumer goods, most of which are carried in containers by integrated land and sea transport to markets and to and from the North Sea ports of Hamburg in Germany and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. This has led to increased interest in building a bridge between Denmark and Sweden. Shipbuilding has declined in Sweden but has continued in Poland and Finland (especially for ice-strengthened vessels); marine engines are produced in Denmark. Generally, however, light engineering, high-quality furniture production, and motor-vehicle manufacturing have replaced many of these maritime-based industries.
A manned ferry carrying around 240 souls caught fire on the Baltic Sea, injuring 22 people. An explosion on the upper deck of the Lisco Gloria set the ship ablaze. It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion according to reports. The Lithuanian-flagged ferry was travelling from the German port of Kiel to Klaipeda, Lithuania. Six other ships rushed to the scene to help evacuate passengers and crew shortly after the accident. Three people were taken to hospitals by helicopter and the others were being taken back to Germany on another ferry. Unmanned ships not only are better equipped with fire sensors, but also react to emergencies quicker than a human crew.
Since World War II, various nations, including the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, have disposed of chemical weapons in the Baltic Sea, raising concerns of environmental contamination. Even now fishermen accidentally retrieve some of these materials: the most recent available report from the Helsinki Commission notes that four small scale catches of CW munitions representing approximately 105 kilograms (231 lbs) of material were reported in 2005. This is a reduction from the 25 incidents representing 1,110 kilograms (2,447 lbs) of material in 2003. Until now, the U.S. government refuses to disclose the exact coordinates of the wreck sites. Rotting bottles leak Lost and other substances, thus slowly poisoning a substantial part of the Baltic Sea.
Slimy and disgusting algae have become a daily problem for holidaymakers along the Baltic shores. Industrial emissions and untreated municipal sewage water have over the last century left the sea suffocated. This is common knowledge and efforts are being made to cope with the problem. However, something quite appalling is about to happen, something that is not as widely known.
BALTIC SEA MEDIA PROJECT (BSMP)
A map of Northern Europe including the North and Baltic Seas
The Baltic Sea is ice-covered at the annual maximum for about 45% of its surface
area on average. The ice-covered area during such a typical winter includes the Gulf of Bothnia, the Gulf of Finland, Gulf of Riga, Väinameri in the Estonian archipelago, the Stockholm archipelago and the Archipelago Sea of Finnish territorial waters. The remainder of the Baltic itself does not freeze during a normal winter, with the exception of sheltered bays and shallow lagoons such as the Curonian Lagoon. The ice reaches its maximum extent in February or March; typical ice thickness in the northernmost areas in the Bothnian Bay, the northern basin of the Gulf of Bothnia, is about 70 cm (28 in) for landfast sea ice. The thickness decreases farther south.
Aland Island, Baltic Sea - is an area with significant environmental issues
In the early Middle Ages, Norse (Scandinavian) merchants built a trade empire all around the Baltic. Later, the Norse fought for control of the Baltic against Wendish tribes dwelling on the southern shore. The Norse also used the rivers of
Russia for trade routes, finding their way eventually to the Black Sea and southern Russia. This Norse-dominated period is referred to as the Viking Age.
World's oldest - 9,000 year old stationary fishing trap is similar to baskets in use by cultures all over the world today.
ARCHAEOLOGY - JUNE 2012
Swedish marine archaeologists have found what they believe are the world’s oldest stationary fishing traps on the bottom of the Baltic Sea; the oldest dates back at least 9,000 years.
Artists impressions of the 'Baltic Anomaly.' The discovery was made on June 19, 2011 by the Swedish based “Ocean X Team” during a dive in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland while searching for an old shipwreck. The group describes themselves as treasure hunters and salvage operators who specialize in underwater searches for sunken “antique high-end alcoholic beverages and historic artifacts”. In March 2012, Ocean X formalized a partnership with entertainment producers Titan TV to produce a TV documentary series and documentary film.
JUNE 2011 - OCEAN X - BALTIC SEA ANOMALY
The Baltic Sea anomaly is a 60-metre (200 ft) circular rock-like formation on the floor of the Baltic Sea, discovered by Peter Lindberg, Dennis Åsberg and their Swedish “Ocean X” diving team in June 2011. The team reported that the formation rests on a pillar and includes a structure similar in appearance to a staircase, leading to a dark hole.
Commentators have suggested that the structure could be a World War II anti-submarine device, a battleship gun turret, sediment dropped by a fishing trawler, or a flying saucer. Several experts have stated that it is most likely a natural geological formation.
According to Ocean X, the formation has an appearance of “rough granite”, is round, 3 to 4 metres (9.8 to 13.1 ft) thick and approximately 60 metres (200 ft) in diameter, stands on an 8-meter (26 ft) tall pillar-like feature, and is located at a depth of 85 to 90 metres (279 to 295 ft). There is also another smaller object not far away. The object is at the end of what resembles a 300-metre (980 ft) “runway”.
On their second expedition, they reported that they found something that looks like a staircase and a round black hole that goes directly into the structure.
Dennis Asberg, September 28, 2012: “It is not an object which is man made in modern time. What ever it is it’s either from during the ice age or pre-ice age.” – Peter Lindberg, February 24, 2013 “The object is older than 140.000 yrs. Older than that… with straight angles/lines – rounded corners… much like a “dinner plate” and separate from the base below.”
There are THREE objects of interest – 1) the main 60 meter circular anomaly, 2) a smaller secondary object lying approx. 200 meters from the 1st anomaly with an area shaped like two “Gothic church windows” and 3) a third anomaly – a 28 meters high and 275 meters wide rock outcrop with a crack running through it, lying some 1500 metres South of the circular object, direct on the other end of the “trail”. The team has stated Anomaly 2 might turn out to be the most interesting than the first, and they plan to dive on it this time around
There are two holes on the anomaly. One is 25 centimeters in diameter, and the other is 2 meters surrounded by a square formation. It’s not yet known where the holes lead. “What I do not believe because I know, is the fact that we found a round hole approx 25 cm in diameter going straight into the surface of the circle, how odd is not that? How deep? No idea, we just saw it for some seconds before we decided to back off to preserve the visibility for the divers that was going down later on."
It looks like there are stair-like structures on the top right side (North-East) as well as the lower bottom left (South-West) of the 60 meter circular object. (Peter confirmed the “staircase” reference was only an example to describe what he saw and that steps on the lower south-west side are comprised of 8 steps with each step a 1 meter drop starting from the missing section on the left.)
“The staircase comment was slipped from my mouth, and probably too early. I have seen something that looks like a stair, or steps, on the Multi Beam raw data. And it looks like they are going from the missing part on the left side of the side scan image from last year and down to the bottom. I could only count eight of them and that should mean that every step should be like a meter high which is a bit to high for a person to use. If there actually are something that looks like steps they probably just natural.”
Peter Lindberg – June 28, 2012: “Someone asked about the stairs, there is stair shaped formations but I do not know if I have got it right. I thought they were on one side but on the Multi beam image they appeared to be on an other side. I will come back to the stairs when I can study an image from a different angle."
REGIONAL BRANDING 2013 - STOCKHOLM
2013 the Nordic Place Branding Conference 2013 was held in Stockholm. Representatives from cities, regions and government agencies in the five Nordic countries met to listen to speakers discussing their various place branding efforts.
BALTIC SEA TOURISM COMMISSION (BTC)
Baltic Sea Tourism Commission
- MEKONG - MISSISSIPPI - NIGER - NILE - PARANA - PASIG - SARNO - THAMES
- YANGTZE - YAMUNA - YELLOW
LINKS & REFERENCE
CLEAN UP YOUR OCEAN - Based on the Bluefish ZCC concept, that above feasibility design is a proposed trimaran test rig, using off-the-shelf components to get a feel for the concept. This is in no way a complete solution, but then we have to start somewhere. What we learn from these small scale experiments, could eventually help us to formulate a dual purpose, ocean capable cruiser, to clean up the Baltic Sea and local harbours, with a view to cleansing the marine environment and improving the quality of beaches and locally caught fish, etc. Full size, this autonomous vessel could harvest up to 50 tons of plastic, before it has to offload. There is an existing market for recycled plastic. That's good, because building the world's largest robot vacuum cleaner is not going to be easy. We need all the support we can get.
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