New ICTA-UAB map shows success, concerns and challenges of the transition away from fossil fuels and coal industry in Australia

Resistance against massive coal-mining in Australia and a growing movement for a ‘just transition’ from fossil fuels have enjoyed some success but face massive challenges, as shown in a new map developed by researchers from the international ACKnowl-EJ project of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB)  and the Australian Environmental Justice (AEJ) research team at the Centre for Urban Research (RMIT University.

ICTA-UAB researcher Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Consolidator Grant

ICREA researcher at ICTA-UAB Victoria Reyes- García has been graced with a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) for the development of a project aimed at bringing insights from local knowledge to climate change research.

Research to study the health effects of forests

The ICTA-UAB, CREAF and the "la Caixa" Bank Foundation recently presented the project "Healthy Forests for a Healthy Society".

Blockadia map by ICTA-UAB reveals global scale of anti-fossil fuel movement

A new interactive map by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) reveals the worldwide impact of resistance direct actions by people putting their own bodies in the way of fossil fuel projects.

The ICTA-UAB participated in the 100xCiencia.2 meeting in Alicante

The encounter, which was focused on the transfer of knowledge and technology, brought together representatives of 40 centres and research units “Severo Ochoa” and “María de Maeztu”, respectively.

Launch of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa Centres and Maria de Maeztu Units of Excellence

​ The Secretary of State for R&D+i, Carmen Vela, chaired the kickoff meeting of the new Severo Ochoa and Maria Maeztu Alliance of Excellence.

Green gentrification can limit the favourable effects of green areas on health

A scientific research conducted by ICTA-UAB and IMIM suggests that more socially disadvantaged neighbours do not benefit equally from the effects newly created green areas have on health.

Oil contamination in the Amazon modifies chemical composition of rivers

A scientific study by the ICTA-UAB and ISS-EUR quantifies the environmental impact of oil extraction activities and contamination in headwaters of the Amazon.

ICTA-UAB researchers alert that oil palm plantations produce infertility in tropical lands

Oil palm plantations are replacing 40% of tropical forests and 32% of basic grain crops, according to an ICTA-UAB research conducted in Guatemala.

UAB scientists and citizens can identify Barcelona's allergy-causing plants with the new Plant*tes app

The UAB Point of Information on Aerobiology (PIA) presented its new Plant*tes app in Barcelona as part of the BArcelona City Council's project entitled "Ciència Ciutadana als barris".

EJAtlas Includes 2,100 Case Studies on Socio-Environmental Conflicts Around the World

The Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas), created by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), currently includes 2,100 cases of ecological distribution conflicts identified in different parts of the world.

Unrestricted Improvements in Fishing Technology Threaten the Future of Seafood

A study conducted by ICTA-UAB researcher Eric Galbraith shows that future improvement of fishing technology poses a threat for the global fishery that could be greater than climate change.

Ice age thermostat prevented extreme climate cooling

During the ice ages, an unidentified regulatory mechanism prevented atmospheric CO2 concentrations from falling below a level that could have led to runaway cooling, reports a study conducted by researchers of the ICTA-UAB and published online in Nature Geoscience this week.

The New Theory of Economic “Agrowth” Contributes to the Viability of Climate Policies

 ICTA-UAB researcher Jeroen van den Bergh publishes in Nature Climate Change a study in which he proposes a new economic theory compatible with the fight against climate change.

European Project to Analyse the Effects of Waste Generated by Tourism on Mediterranean Islands

An European study involving the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma e Barcelona will address and propose solutions to the effects of the increase of waste generated by tourism on Mediterranean islands during the summer season.

New ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide'

The new ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide' it is at your disposal now. With this document, we aim to help you discover the basics of the PhD programme, ICTA-UAB’s structure, etc.
News
Importance of Saharan dust and climate change effects under study

Date: 2016-05-06

ICREA researcher Antoni Rosell, from ICTA-UAB, participates in an international research which analyses the processes of transport and deposition of Saharan dust and African fires. Environmental dust contributes to the cooling of the planet and fertilises oceans.

Studying the processes of transport and deposition of dust from the Saharan desert and African fires to determine its importance in regulating the planet's climate and marine ecosystems. These are the main objectives of the scientific expedition JC134 of the Royal Research Ship James Cook, organised by the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and in which ICREA researcher Antoni Rosell, from ICTA-UAB, participated. This is the last transatlantic cruise conducted under the framework of the Dust Traffic project led by Jan Berend Stuut and funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

The project aims to quantify transatlantic dust and soot flows from Africa and their influence on climate change processes such as ocean fertilisation and change in the energetic balance of the atmosphere. 

To do so, researchers gathered samples of desert dust along the ocean from close to Venezuela in the Caribbean to Cape Verde and the Canary Islands. This is a good moment in the year to conduct the research given that the winds are blowing from the African continent towards South America, the Sahara is the dustiest desert in the planet and Central Africa is where the majority of fires originate. 

For four weeks, the scientific expedition gathered samples of mineral desert dust and soot suspended in the air above the Atlantic Ocean heading towards South America by using dust collectors and buoys. 

"We want to analyse the process of transport and redistribution of these materials all over the planet and particularly from the African continent to the ocean and even to other continents", explains lecturer and ICTA-UAB researcher Antoni Rosell, who highlighted the importance of dust in the regulation of the planet's climate. Atmospheric dust contributes to the cooling of the planet by acting as a screen when suspended in air, therefore reflecting solar light back into space. Rosell adds that "when deposited in oceans, the nutrients it carries allows fertilising the ocean and contributes to a greater productivity of algae, which absorbs the CO2 found in the atmosphere". 

Scientists consider it necessary to perform in-depth studies of the functions of this mineral dust and the effects of its moving around the planet. "We need to learn about the composition of the particles, how they are transported and the effects it can have on the areas in which it is deposited", Rosell states. 

The scientists analyse the size of the particles, the composition of each one of them and their degree of mobility according to their composition. They will also study how the dust from Central African fires is transported and analyse its organic composition. 

The final objective is to understand current processes in order to reconstruct past climate changes and thus be able to predict future processes and tendencies.




ICTA's Activities