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BEAR

Baltic Earth Assessment Reports Logo

BEAR in mind...

One of the goals of Baltic Earth when it inherited BALTEX, was the establishment of assessment reports of the current state of the science in different research fields in the Baltic Earth context, similar to the BACC approach for climate change. Now, 6 years after the founding of Baltic Earth, and 2 international conferences, 23 workshops/seminars/sessions and 5 summer schools later, a series of extensive assessment reports, called BEAR (Baltic Earth Assessment Reports), is underway. For each of the Baltic Earth Grand Challenges, a team of experts from the Baltic Earth network is wrapping up the current state of knowledge in the respective research fields, including uncertainties and gaps in knowledge. For each report, a lead author (mostly from the corresponding Working Group) is responsible for the coordination of the writing process, but many co-authors will be invited to contribute to the respective reports. In addition to the Grand Challenges, more topics will be assessed due to the great relevance for current research in the Baltic Sea region.

See below the list of BEAR papers, with direct links on the Earth System Dynamics journal website. Both preprints under review/discussion and finally accepted and published manuscripts are available.

BEAR reports:

Grand Challenge 5 ("Regional variability of water and energy exchanges in the Baltic Sea region") and the Baltic Earth topic "Climate Observation Systems" will be treated in a later follow-up phase of BEAR.

A special case of the current BEAR reports is "Climate Change in the Baltic Sea Region: A Summary". This report is the update to BACC II, which had been published as a book in 2015. The upcoming report will add new knowledge and possibly challenge old knowledge, while summarizing but not repeating the valid information from BACC II and BACC I.

The BEAR reports are being published open access as a Special Issue in Earth System Dynamics.

The reports will be established following the BACC principles, "by synthesis of material drawn comprehensively from the available scientifically legitimate literature (e.g. peer reviewed literature, conference proceedings, reports of scientific institutes). Studies whose results and conclusions cannot be reconciled with a consensus view but which are of a good scientific and technical standard should be taken into account. The assessment should thus encompass the knowledge about what scientists agree on but also identify cases of disagreement or knowledge gaps".

As for the previous two BACC endeavours, there is a close collaboration with HELCOM, the intergovernmental organization for the protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. HELCOM will integrate climate change aspects into their work, e.g. into the update of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan. Moreover, HELCOM will publish an easily accessible climate “Fact Sheet” for practitioners, decision makers and the public. Baltic Earth scientists are part of the joint expert network on climate change by HELCOM and Baltic Earth (EN CLIME) which is responsible for the scientific information of the fact sheets. EN CLIME largely draws its information on BACC, BACC II and the BEAR reports.

BEAR principles

BEAR reports wrap together the currently available published scientific knowledge. They do not document unpublished research results.

The essence of the work is the synthesis of material drawn comprehensively from the available scientifically legitimate literature (e.g. peer-reviewed literature, conference proceedings, and reports of scientific institutes).

The work should encompass the knowledge about what scientists agree on but also identify cases of disagreement or knowledge gaps.

Press release (Dec 2018)