ICTA-UAB launches the first master’s Degree in “Political Ecology. Degrowth and Environmental Justice”

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) launches the master’s Degree in “Political Ecology.

Pioneering study analyses the effects of forests on human health

A group of volunteers have participated in an experimental study conducted by the ICTA-UAB to analyse the potential health benefits of forests.

Marine Litter on Mediterranean Beaches Triples in Summer

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) analyses and quantifies the waste generated by tourists in eight islands of the Mediterranean as part of the European BLUEISLANDS project.

Mapping the Urban Vitality of Barcelona

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Agricultural intensification not a “blueprint” for sustainable development

Social and ecological results of increased agricultural intensification are not as positive as expected.

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Green urban planning must consider social equity criteria

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The ICTA-UAB alerts of a new invasive Asian beetle pest in Catalonia that kills mulberry trees

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More than 120 ICTA-UAB researchers addressed environmental challenges at a symposium, especially those arising from global and...

The Institut of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) organized its 1st Spring Symposium with the aim of addressing some of the main environmental and sustainability challenges.

Low-carbon energy transition requires more renewables than previously thought

A new study by ICTA-UAB analyzes the impacts on lifestyles of substituting fossil fuels for cleaner energies.

Are Farmers Who Belong to Local User Associations Better Adapted to Climate Change?

Droughts, floods and high temperatures derived from climate change are not the only threats that farmers with irrigated crops must face.

Climate Change Threatens World's Largest Seagrass Carbon Stores

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Amazon's indigenous people hunt animals feeding in areas contaminated by oil spills

A study by the ICTA-UAB and the UAB Department of Animal Health and Anatomy demonstrates that the main species hunted by the indigenous popoulations of the Peruvian Amazon ingest water and soil contaminated with hidrocarbons and heavy metals.

The new Planttes app warns of allergy risks in different urban areas

The Planttes application is a citizen science project which aims to encourage people to identify and locate on a map the existence of allergy-causing plants and indicate their phenological state.

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.

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 '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
The ICTA-UAB contributes to develop regional capacity for ocean acidification observations in the Western Indian Ocean

Date: 2017-11-07

WIOMSA Ocean Acidification Workshop


The ocean absorbs up to 30% of the annual emissions of anthropogenic CO2 to the atmosphere, helping to alleviate the impacts of climate change on our planet. However, this comes at a steep ecological cost, resulting in changing acidity levels in the ocean. On 24-25 October 2017, ocean acidification research and monitoring in the Western Indian Ocean region was promoted at a workshop in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Patrizia Ziveri, ICREA research professor at ICTA-UAB participated in this workshop with other internationals experts.

Little is actually known about ocean acidification in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), as long-term observations and relevant experiments have not been carried out. This means that countries in the WIO region are not able to report towards target 14.3 of Sustainable Development 14, which asks to “minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification”.

The Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) Ocean Acidification Workshop therefore provided the platform for a range of stakeholders, including scientists and policymakers, to discuss how to improve knowledge on the current and expected impacts of reduced pH on marine life in the region.

Twenty-three international experts representing international organizations and six countries from the WIO (Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania) used this unique opportunity to develop strategies to improve their scientific capacity to detect and observe the effects of ocean acidification, based on their countries’ vulnerability to ocean change.

“Local adaptation strategies are critical under ocean acidification and climate change, and it is very important to find common ground for research and policies. The Western Indian Ocean region can present a great example for scientific cooperation on ocean acidification by gathering missing knowledge and acting in the most appropriate manner to protect the critical ecosystems and the many benefits provided,” mentioned Patrizia Ziveri, ICREA research professor at ICTA-UAB.

 “From local to global – this workshop is only the starting point. New projects and new capacities with respect to ocean acidification arising from our discussions here will create new knowledge. This understanding will enable the Western Indian Ocean communities to get prepared for the impacts of ocean acidification at the local and regional level, and it will improve global predictions needed for global actions,” said Kirsten Isensee, IOC Project Specialist, to the participants.

Acidification is the decrease in seawater pH and closely linked shifts in the carbonate chemistry of the waters, including the aragonite saturation state, which is the main form of calcium carbonate used by key species to form shells and skeletal material (e.g. reef building corals and shelled molluscs).

Concerns about ocean acidification, first expressed in the early 1980s, are now confirmed. Observations in the open ocean and coastal areas have revealed that marine acidity has increased on average by about 26% since the start of the Industrial Revolution. In some regions, the changes are further amplified by natural processes such as upwelling (often cold, CO2- and nutrient-rich water travelling from the deep sea toward the surface), resulting in conditions outside biologically-relevant thresholds.

As atmospheric CO2 levels increase, estimates indicate that the ocean could be nearly 150% more acidic by 2100.

“Expanding understanding of ocean acidification status and effects on biology in local systems, like the Western Indian Ocean region, is a goal of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network. This workshop was essential to exchanging knowledge and building this capacity,” said Jan Newton, University of Washington faculty and GOA-ON representative who contributed to the workshop.

The two-day workshop was kindly hosted by WIOMSA and the Nairobi Convention Secretariat, supported by IOC-UNESCO, Future Earth Coasts, the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON), the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) of the IAEA, the University of Washington, and the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB)

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