ICTA-UAB to organize the International Conference 2020 on Low-Carbon Lifestyle Changes

ICTA-UAB will host the International Conference 2020 on Low-Carbon Lifestyle Changes with the aim of exploring the role of changing lifestyles in climate change mitigation.

La asociación Amics de la UAB premia al ICTA-UAB

El ICTA-UAB recibirá uno de los premios que la asociación Amics de la UAB entrega cada año en el marco de la Festa Amics UAB.

Iron availability in seawater, key to explaining the amount and distribution of fish in the oceans

People tend to pay more attention to how much food they are eating, than with how rich their diet is in essential micronutrients like iron.

Mining waste dumped into Portmán Bay continues to release metals into the sea 25 years later

The waters of the Mediterranean Sea continue to receive dissolved metals from the mining waste deposited in Portmán Bay (Murcia) 25 years after the cessation of mining activity.

A new ICTA-UAB project to assess the impacts of micro- and nano-plastics in the tropical and temperate oceans

A new project led by ICTA-UAB researcher Patrizia Ziveri is one of five projects selected for funding by the Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans).

Big data reveals extraordinary unity underlying life’s diversity

Limits to growth lie at the heart of how all living things function, according to a new study carried out by ICTA-UAB researchers  .

Jeroen van den Bergh, awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University of the Netherlands

The environmental economist at ICTA-UAB Prof. Dr Jeroen van den Bergh was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University of the Netherlands.

Paris Agreement hampered by inconsistent pledges, new ICTA-UAB research finds

Some countries' Paris Climate Agreement pledges may not be as ambitious as they appear, according a new study carried out by researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB).

High lead concentrations found in Amazonian wildlife

Researchers from ICTA-UAB and the UVic-UCC detect high levels of lead concentration in wildlife samples from the Peruvian Amazon caused by lead-based ammunition and oil-related pollution in extraction areas.

Study gauges trees’ potential to slow global warming in the future

The Pyrenean forests, the Cantabrian coast and Galicia show an important potential to accumulate even larger amounts of carbon dioxide in the future and thus help to slow down the increase in CO2 concentrations which are warming the planet.

Why do environmentalists eat meat?

A study by researchers at the ICTA-UAB analyses the reasons why environmentally-minded scientists find it difficult to give up meat consumption, one of the world's greatest environmental problems.

La gestión del verde urbano permite incrementar la presencia de pájaros en las ciudades

Incrementar la biodiversidad del verde urbano permitiría aumentar la presencia de aves paseriformes en las ciudades mediterráneas, según un estudio científico realizado por investigadores del Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambientales de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) que analiza qué estrategias hay que implementar sobre la vegetación urbana para conseguir "naturalizar" las ciudades favoreciendo la entrada de flora y fauna.

The Ebro River annually dumps 2.2 billion microplastics into the sea

An ICTA-UAB study analyses the distribution and accumulation of microplastics from one of the main rivers of the western Mediterranean.

European project to support rooftop greenhouses projects

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is launching an open call to support rooftop greenhouse projects, in the framework of GROOF Project.

El ICTA-UAB participa en el proyecto que habilitará 10 escuelas de Barcelona como refugios climáticos

El Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambientales de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) es una de las instituciones impulsoras de un proyecto que habilitará 10 escuelas de Barcelona como refugios climáticos para disminuir el impacto de las altas temperaturas del verano.

New study dismisses green growth policies as a route out of ecological emergency

Researchers from ICTA-UAB and the Goldsmiths University of London suggest that emissions reduction is only compatible with a lower economical degrowth or a degrowth scenario.
MdM SEMINAR SERIES: “Understanding past, present and future carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems: a multidisciplinary challenge” by Prof. Iain Colin Prentice FRS

Date: 2019-01-16


Title: “Understanding past, present and future carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems: a multidisciplinary challenge”


Speaker: Prof. Iain Colin Prentice FRS, AXA Chair of Biosphere and Climate Impacts, Imperial College London

Date: Wednesday, January 16th 2019
Time: 12h
Venue: room Z/022- Z/023

Terrestrial ecosystems are performing a valuable service by taking up, in the decadal average, more than a quarter of the total anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide. Yet the mechanisms involved are still disputed, and numerical models continue to give widely deviating projections of the future of this global uptake. Moreover, despite sustained efforts, these models are not improving (in terms of their agreement with present and historical observations), and their projections of the future are not converging. I will argue that this situation reflects (a) a tradition in biology to focus on the diversity (rather than the unity) of life, which hinders the search for unifying principles; (b) an undue focus on future projection (rather than explanation) as the principal goal of models; and (c) a distortion of research priorities and culture that unconsciously reflects the politicization of climate and carbon cycle science. I will further argue, however, that scientists have a responsibility to be aware of both disciplinary limitations and political pressures, and to consciously resist them. On the other hand, the international “spotlight” on climate and the carbon cycle has permitted huge advances in the availability of relevant data, at scales from individual plant leaves to satellite observations of the whole Earth, and these advances provide immense opportunities: both for improved scientific understanding of the carbon cycle, and for the development of better-founded predictive models. I will show how recent theoretical advances based on eco-evolutionary optimality concepts have led to general, testable hypotheses concerning the most fundamental processes underlying ecosystem function – forming the basis for an emerging new generation of models, resting on firmer theoretical and empirical foundations than those they will eventually replace.

Professor Iain Colin Prentice FRS holds the AXA Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts in the Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, and an Honorary Professorship in Ecology and Evolution at Macquarie University in Sydney. He has a PhD in Botany from Cambridge University and has held academic and research leadership positions in several countries, including the Chair of Plant Ecology at Lund University, and a founding Directorship of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena. He led the research programme Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System for the UK Natural Environment Research Council. He developed the standard model for pollen source area, popularized now widely used techniques to analyse species composition along environmental gradients, and led the international development of succcessive generations of large-scale ecosystem models – from equilibrium biogeography (BIOME) to coupled biogeochemistry and vegetation dynamics (LPJ). He was a founding member and, later, co-chair of the Internal Geosphere-Biosphere programme task force on Global Analysis, Integration and Modelling; and co-chair of its successor project Analysis, Integration and Modelling of the Earth System. He was co-ordinating lead author for “The carbon cycle and atmospheric carbon dioxide” in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report, and a reviewer in subsequent reports. He is currently Director of the Masters programme in Ecosystems and Environmental Change at Imperial College. His research, now supported by the European Research Council advanced grant Re-Inventing Ecosystem and Land-surface Models (REALM), applies eco-evolutionary optimality concepts to develop and test new quantitative theory for plant and ecosystem function and land-atmosphere exchanges of energy, water and carbon dioxide with the goal of more robust global modelling of terrestrial Earth system processes.

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