ICTA-UAB estudiará el uso sostenible de la tierra y los recursos naturales en el marco del programa COUPLED

El Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambientales de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) recibirá una dotación económica de medio millón de euros en el marco del proyecto COUPLED, una red de formación innovadora europea financiada por el programa Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions de la Unión Europea.

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.

An ERC Advanced Grant for EVOCLIM. Candidates invited for 3 senior and 4 junior research positions

Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh from ICTA-UAB was just awarded a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant for the project “Behavioral-evolutionary analysis of climate policy: Bounded rationality, markets and social interactions” (EVOCLIM).

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.

¿Son los Pirineos una barrera real para el transporte atmosférico de polen?

Los resultados del estudio llevado a cabo por Jordina Belmonte y Concepción de Linares, investigadoras expertas en botánica de la UAB, constatan que el polen de abedul, una de las especies principales de plantas que causan alergia en Europa Central y del Norte.

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.

Map Commemorating Women’s Resistance to Extractivism and Defense of Life and Territory in Latin America

A map created by researchers at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), the Latin-American Network of Women Defending Social and Environmental Rights and the Colombian NGO CENSAT-Agua Viva Friends of the Earth Colombia makes visible the struggles of women in Latin America against mining and in defense of life.

High levels of pollen expected this spring

Researchers at ICTA-UAB recently presented the predictions of pollen and spore levels for this spring.

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.

El ICTA-UAB volverá Locos por la Naturaleza a 27 estudiantes de bachillerato

Un total de 27 estudiantes de bachillerato participan en la tercera edición del programa Locos por la Naturaleza que ofrece el Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) con la voluntad de promover el talento científico entre los jóvenes potenciando el conocimiento del medio natural y poniéndolos en contacto con los principales investigadores en la materia.

More Urban Green Needed in Barcelona to Have Positive Effects on Environmental Quality and Wellness

A PhD dissertation by Francesc Baró, from ICTA-UAB, quantifies and maps the benefits of urban and periurban green in Barcelona such as the improvement of air quality, climate change mitigation and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

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.

Social Relations, Success in Hunting and Good Health, Sources of Happiness for Indigenous People

Rural and indigenous people from the Global South push absolute income into the background as source of wellbeing.

More than One-Third of the Population Would Stop Economic Growth to Achieve Sustainability

A study by researchers of the Institut of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) assesses Spanish public opinion on economic growth, the environment and prosperity.

ICTA-UAB and ISGlobal Researchers Denounce Lack of Studies on the Harmful Health Effects of Oil Spills

A project led by ICTA-UAB, ISGlobal and the UAB Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in the Peruvian Amazon analyses the health effects of oil spills among people living close to oil extraction areas in developing countries.

Do Greener Cities Become More Unjust?

A new research project led by ICTA-UAB researcher Isabelle Anguelovski and funded by the European Union will assess the “green gentrification” process by which the creation of green urban amenities tends to attract the higher social classes and excludes the most vulnerable groups.

The ICTA-UAB Will Assess, in Collaboration with EU Staff, the Effectiveness of EU Sustainability Policies

The EU Project MAGIC (H2020) coordinated by the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has the goal to study and develop new strategies for a better use of science for governance.

ICTA-UAB receives María de Maeztu Excellence Award

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology has received the award as a "María de Maeztu" Unit of Excellence 2015 from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO).
News
Ocean Warming and Acidification Impact on Calcareous Phytoplankton

Date: 2016-07-12

Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), the University of Cambridge and the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom warn of the negative impacts of rapid ocean warming and ocean acidification on coccolithophores, and consequently in the regulatory processes of  atmospheric and ocean concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Two new studies recently published in Limnology & Oceanography and Biogeosciences report that ocean warming may exacerbate the impacts of ocean acidification on calcareous phytoplankton, and its evolutionary success and physiological performance will be hampered.

The oceans have absorbed more than a quarter of the human-made carbon dioxide (CO2) in the last century, changing the chemistry of the ocean and resulting in ‘ocean acidification’. A rise in average temperatures is also warming the sea surface. The risks posed by warming and acidification are expected to become more acute in the next decades, as CO2 emissions into the atmosphere are increasing.

 

Coccolithophores is a very abundant calcifying phytoplankton group which plays a major role in the biogeochemical cycle and in the regulation of the global climate. These tiny algae which measure less than one hundredth of a millimeter “form the basis of the aquatic trophic chain, and through calcification and photosynthesis coccolithophores regulate atmospheric and oceanic CO2 levels”, says Dr Patrizia Ziveri, ICREA Research Professor at ICTA-UAB and author of the study. The effects of acidification - and in particular warming - are rarely considered for the organism itself, and there is very little knowledge on how warming and acidification combined may affect the physiological performance or evolutionary success of coccolithophores.

Therefore, it was the aim of the team to investigate not only how temperature affects the impact of acidification on the cocolithophores, but also on the sinking rate and coccolithophores morphogenesis. A culture experiment was conducted on Mediterranean Sea and North Pacific Ocean strains of Emiliania huxleyi, the most abundant coccolitophore species.

Using scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging, the researchers show in their study that there will be an increase in the percentage of malformed and incomplete coccoliths in a warmer and more acidified ocean. This will hamper the evolutionary success of these calcifiers and their role in regulating atmospheric carbon.

Since coccolithophores need to stay in the photic zone of the oceans, their sinking velocity affects their survival rate. Nothing is known about the response of coccolithophores to acidification and warming in terms of sinking rate, because it had been impossible to estimate sinking rate in the framework of a typical laboratory experiment. The team used a novel approach to calculate sinking rate from cell-architecture and showed that an increase in temperature will lead to an increase in sinking rate. Hence, the faster sinking for the organism itself has an impact on future global carbon cycling and therewith on atmospheric levels of CO2 and global climate.

This work was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement 265103 (project MedSeA), the European Research Council (ERC grant 2010-NEWLOG ADG-267931 HE), the Natural Environment Research Council (Grant NE/N011708/1) and the Generalitat de Catalunya (MERS, 2014 SGR - 1356). This work is contributing to the ICTA-UAB 'María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence' (MinECo, MDM2015-0552).
 

References:
Milner, S, Langer, G, Grelaud, M, Ziveri, P (2016) “Ocean Warming Modulates the Effects of Acidification on Emiliania huxleyi Calcification and Sinking”. Limnology & Oceanography, in press.

Rosas-Navarro A, Langer G, Ziveri P (2016) “Temperature Affects the Morphology and Calcification of Emiliania huxleyi Strains”. Biogeosciences, 13, 2913–2926.


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