La Fundación Bancaria ”la Caixa”, el ICTA-UAB y el CREAF presentan el estudio pionero Bosques sanos para una sociedad saludable

• Àngel Font, director corporativo de Investigación y Estrategia de la Fundación Bancaria ”la Caixa”; Martí Boada, profesor e investigador del Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambientales de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB).

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 participates in the 100xCiencia.2 meeting in Alicante

The encounter, which is focused on the transfer of knowledge and technology, brings 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.

ICTA-UAB to study the sustainable use of soil and natural resources in the framework of the COUPLED program

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) will be awarded half a million euros in the framework of the COUPLED program, a European innovating training network.

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.

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.
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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