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.

Indigenous knowledge, key to a successful ecosystem restoration

Ecological restoration projects actively involving indigenous peoples and local communities are more successful. This is the result of a study carried out by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB).
World expert Erik Van Sebille to talk on plastic contamination of oceans

Date: 2019-09-30


Oceanographer and climate scientist Erik van Sebille will visit the ICTA-UAB on 3 October to speak on the contamination of oceans caused by plastics, and their distribution and accumulation around the world.

Leading world expert in the problems caused by plastic, Erik van Sebille will offer a conference at 12 noon at the ICTA-UAB building, entitled "Where’s all the plastic in our oceans? Simulating ocean transport to identify sources, fate and risks of marine litter" and focuses on the need to understand how this debris moves around the ocean before being able to elaborate plans and strategies to help mitigate this global problem.

Most of our understanding about the movement of plastic debris in the ocean comes from observations of drifting buoys or numerical simulations of passive virtual particles in general ocean circulation models. However, neither of those represent the fragmentation, sinking, beaching and other processes that affect the movement of real plastic items in the ocean.

In order to fully simulate the sources, fate and risks of marine litter, it will be essential to simulate virtual particles that ‘behave’ like plastic. Such simulations are now being built, but the simulations will be most useful with sufficient observational data to constrain parameterisations for fragmentation, sinking and beaching.

Erik Van Sebille, from the University of Utrecht, will show the latest global simulations of dispersion and accumulation of plastic through the oceans and how they are constrained to data. Focusing on regional examples in the North Pacific gyre, the Arctic and the Southern Ocean, he will show how the resulting maps of plastic distribution can be used to identify hotspots of risk to marine life.

Erik van Sebille researches time scales and pathways of the global ocean circulation. His research focuses on how currents and eddies in the ocean transport heat, nutrients, marine organisms and plastics between different regions of the ocean. He currently holds a European Research Council Starting Grant to study the movement of plastic in the global ocean. He has testified before the UK parliament on the banning on micro-beads, is a member of a UN panel on the impacts of plastic pollution, and has advised the European Commission, the G7 and the Japanese government on the scope of the problem.

ICTA's Activities