New Project to Link Extreme Weather Events, Atmospheric Biodiversity and Human Health

A new ICTA-UAB project led by researcher Jordina Belmonte will study the effects of extreme meteorological events on the biological biodiversity present in the atmosphere in order to predict changes in the environment and possible affectations on human health.

Bolivian Amazon on road to deforestation

Amazon biodiversity hotspot to suffer even more “alarming” losses after contentious law passed, according to a study involving ICTA-UAB researchers.

ICTA-UAB’s success: five ERC grants in two years

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been awarded five European Research Council (ERC) grants in two years, which is about ten per cent of all ERC grants arriving in Catalonia over the period from the end of 2015 to the end of 2017.

Scientists Alert of Swift Degradation of Marine Ecosystems and Grave Consequences for the Planet

A book edited by researchers from the ICTA-UAB, the UB, the CNRS and the IEO addresses the concept of "animal forest" and highlights the importance of the role seas and oceans have in combating climate change.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Humans have caused climate change for 180 years

Date: 2016-09-01

An international research project involving ICTA-UAB researcher P. Graham Mortyn has found human activity has been causing global warming for almost two centuries, proving human-induced climate change is not just a 20th century phenomenon.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Nerilie Abram from The Australian National University (ANU) said the study found warming began during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution and is first detectable in the Arctic and tropical oceans around the 1830s, much earlier than scientists had expected.

“It was an extraordinary finding,” said Associate Professor Abram, from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. “It was one of those moments where science really surprised us. But the results were clear. The climate warming we are witnessing today started about 180 years ago".

The new findings have important implications for assessing the extent that humans have caused the climate to move away from its pre-industrial state, and will help scientists understand the future impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the climate.
“In the tropical oceans and the Arctic in particular, 180 years of warming has already caused the average climate to emerge above the range of variability that was normal in the centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution,” Associate Professor Abram said.

The research, published in Nature, involved 25 scientists from across Australia, the United States, Europe and Asia, working together as part of the international Past Global Changes 2000 year (PAGES 2K) Consortium.

Associate Professor Abram said anthropogenic climate change was generally talked about as a 20th century phenomenon because direct measurements of climate are rare before the 1900s. However, the team studied detailed reconstructions of climate spanning the past 500 years to identify when the current sustained warming trend really began.

Scientists examined natural records of climate variations across the world’s oceans and continents. These included climate histories preserved in corals, cave decorations, tree rings and ice cores.

The research team also analysed thousands of years of climate model simulations, including experiments used for the latest report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to determine what caused the early warming.
The data and simulations pinpointed the early onset of warming to around the 1830s, and found the early warming was attributed to rising greenhouse gas levels.

Co-researcher Dr Helen McGregor, from the University of Wollongong’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said humans only caused small increases in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere during the 1800s.

“But the early onset of warming detected in this study indicates the Earth’s climate did respond in a rapid and measureable way to even the small increase in carbon emissions during the start of the Industrial Age,” Dr McGregor said.
The researchers also studied major volcanic eruptions in the early 1800s and found they were only a minor factor in the early onset of climate warming.

Associate Professor Abram said the earliest signs of greenhouse-induced warming developed during the 1830s in the Arctic and in tropical oceans, followed soon after by Europe, Asia and North America.

However, climate warming appears to have been delayed in the Antarctic, possibly due to the way ocean circulation is pushing warming waters to the North and away from the frozen continent.

 

Coral coring off northwest Australia (Eric Matson AIMS)
Coral coring off northwest Australia (Eric Matson AIMS)

Nerilie Abram moving ice core box (Samantha Shelley)
Nerilie Abram moving ice core box (Samantha Shelley)

ICTA's Activities