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 North Sea via the Kiel Canal. The Baltic Sea might be considered to be 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. These various gulfs can also be considered part of the Baltic Sea.
Europe is traditionally reckoned as one of seven continents. Physiographically, it is the northwestern peninsula of the larger landmass known as Eurasia (or Afro-Eurasia); Asia occupies the eastern bulk of this continuous landmass and all share a common continental shelf. Europe's eastern frontier is delineated by the Ural Mountains in Russia. The southeast boundary with Asia is not universally defined, but the modern definition is generally the Ural River or, less commonly, the Emba River. The boundary continues to the Caspian Sea, the crest of the Caucasus Mountains (or, less commonly, the Kura River in the Caucasus), and on to the Black Sea. The Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles conclude the Asian boundary. The Mediterranean Sea to the south separates Europe from Africa. The western boundary is the Atlantic Ocean. Iceland, though on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and nearer to Greenland (North America) than mainland Europe, is generally included in Europe for cultural reasons and because it is over twice as close to mainland Europe than to mainland North America. There is ongoing debate on where the geographical centre of Europe falls.
The Baltic languages are part of the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family spoken by the Balts. Baltic languages are spoken mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. The family is usually divided into two groups: Western Baltic, containing only extinct languages, and Eastern Baltic, containing both extinct and the two living Baltic languages: Lithuanian and Latvian. The range of the Eastern Balts once reached to the Ural mountains. Although related, the Lithuanian, the Latvian, and particularly the Old Prussian vocabularies differ substantially from one another and are not mutually intelligible. The now-extinct Old Prussian language is considered the most archaic of the Baltic languages.
Brackish water or briny water is water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing of seawater with fresh water, as in estuaries, or it may occur in brackish fossil aquifers. The word comes from the Middle Dutch root "brak," meaning "salty". Certain human activities can produce brackish water, in particular certain civil engineering projects such as dikes and the flooding of coastal marshland to produce brackish water pools for freshwater prawn farming. Brackish water is also the primary waste product of the salinity gradient power process. Because brackish water is hostile to the growth of most terrestrial plant species, without appropriate management it is damaging to the environment (see article on shrimp farms).
Technically, brackish water contains between 0.5 and 30 grams of salt per litre—more often expressed as 0.5 to 30 parts per thousand (ppt or ‰). Thus, brackish covers a range of salinity regimes and is not considered a precisely defined condition. It is characteristic of many brackish surface waters that their salinity can vary considerably over space and/or time.
Baltic Compass is a transnational project which aims to reinforce connection between landuse, environment and agriculture, leading to healthier ecosystems and a more competitive Baltic Sea region. The name Baltic Compass comes from the letters from the whole name of the project: Comprehensive Policy Actions and Investments in Sustainable Solutions in Agriculture in the Baltic Sea Region.
The Eemian sea was a body of water located approximately where the Baltic sea is now during the last interglacial, or Eemian Stage, Marine isotopic stage (MIS) 5e, roughly 130,000 to 115,000 years BP. Sea level was 5 to 7 metres higher globally than it is today, due to the release of glacial water in the early stage of the interglacial. Although “Eemian” rightly applies only to the north European glacial system, some scientists use the term in a wider sense to mean any high-level body of water in the last interglacial.
The early Eemian sea connected with the White Sea along the line of the present White Sea-Baltic Canal. Karelia was inundated and Lakes Ladoga and Onega were mere depressions in the shallow eastern end of the Eemian sea. At the other end the sea connected to the North Sea more broadly than its presently does. Much of north Europe was under shallow water. Scandinavia was an island. The salinity of the Eemian sea was comparable to that of the Atlantic. Scientists reach these conclusions from a study of types of microorganisms fossilized in the clay sediments laid down in the Eemian sea, and from the included pollen of Corylus, Carpinus and Betula.
Hospitality is the relationship between the guest and the host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. This includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of the European continent. A United Nations report published in 2011 defines Northern Europe as including the following ten countries and dependent regions: Denmark (with Faroe Islands), Estonia, Finland (with Åland), Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway (Svalbard and Jan Mayen), Sweden, and the United Kingdom (with Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey).
The UK and the Republic of Ireland are sometimes included in Western Europe; as is Iceland for historical, cultural, linguistic and political reasons (compare Greenland which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but is geographically located in North America, and is sometimes considered to be in Northern Europe or the Nordic countries, though rarely Scandinavia proper).