Academia in the Time of COVID-19: Towards an Ethics of Care

                                                                                                                                                                       .

Computer Platform Gives Visibility to Catalonia's Small Villages

A research team from the UAB, in collaboration with the Association of Microvillages of Catalonia, has created a Geographic Information System (GIS) for Active and Sustainable Hamlets (GISASH), which gathers information on the state of and services offered by the more than 330 municipalities in Catalonia with fewer than 500 inhabitants.

Environmental justice defenders victims of violence and murder

Grassroots movements halt environmental degradation in up to 27% of environmental conflicts worldwide, according to a study by the ICTA-UAB.

El Locos por la Tierra retoma las sesiones en formato virtual

El programa Locos por la Tierra impartido por el ICTA-UAB ha reanudado sus sesiones formativas en formato virtual.

Technological changes and new low-carbon lifestyles, key to mitigating climate change impacts

In order to mitigate climate change impacts and achieve a more sustainable society, it is necessary to transform the current energy system based on fossil fuels into a model based on renewable energies.

Exploring climate change impacts through popular proverbs

Members of an irrigation community doing maintenance work in an acequia de careo (irrigation canal built at the top of the mountain) to improve the circulation of water for irrigation and human consumption.

Neolithic vessels reveal dairy consumption in Europe 7,000 years ago

Pottery from the site located in Verson (Francia) analysed during the research (Picture by Annabelle Cocollos, Conseil départemental du Calvados ou CD14 publicada en Germain-Vallée et al.

Mapping out the impacts of pollution upon Indigenous Peoples worldwide

Sulphur mine in Ijen, Java, Indonesia. Picture by Joan de la Malla.

Economic growth is incompatible with biodiversity conservation

A study involving more than 20 specialists in conservation ecology and ecological economics highlights the contradiction between economic growth and biodiversity conservation.

Encuesta: El rol del verde residencial durante el confinamiento por el brote de COVID-19 en España

El grupo de investigación BCNUEJ (www.bcnuej.org) del ICTA-UAB (https://ictaweb.uab.cat/) y del IMIM (www.imim.es) está realizando un estudio sobre el papel del verde residencial (vegetación interior, en balcones, en terrazas, cubiertas verdes, jardines particulares, etc.

ICTA-UAB shares protective material with hospitals

ICTA-UAB is since last Monday 16 March 2020, an Institute with Restricted Access. Most of the laboratories are empty, the Scientific and Technical Services are closed, only the basic services are working and most of the people is working and staying at home.

Higher and earlier pollen concentrations expected for this spring

Spring and summer pollination will begin a few days earlier than usual and in important numbers, reaching higher than average levels (from the 1994-2019 period).

Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

Transformative actions implemented by cities to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change may be hindered by political struggles for municipal power.

Analysis of tropical fire soot deposited in the ocean will help predict future global climate changes

The ICTA-UAB begins a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean to collect dust and smoke samples from the fires of tropical Africa deposited in marine sediments.

What elements and characteristics should forests have to influence human health?

Despite the increasing interest of the scientific community and society towards the potential of forests as a source of human health, the existing scientific literature does not allow for a coherent relationship between the type of forest and different health variables.

Red coral effectively recovers in Mediterranean protected areas after decades of overexploitation

Protection measures of the Marine Protected Areas have enable red coral colonies (Corallium rubrum) to recover partially in the Mediterranean Sea, reaching health levels similar to those of the 1980s in Catalonia and of the 1960s in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Italy).

Sub-national “climate clubs” could offer key to combating climate change

‘Climate clubs’ offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally-harmonised climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.

Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Proof of Concept grant linked to the LICCI project

Victoria Reyes-García ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the 76 top researchers that will receive ERC Proof of Concept grants.

ICTA-UAB demands the UAB to reduce number of flights

Given our current climate emergency, recently acknowledged by the UAB, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has drawn up a proposal urging the University to put into action a new travel policy to tackle one of its most polluting activities: Flying.

New assessment finds EU electricity decarbonization discourse in need of overhaul

It’s well known that the EU is focusing its efforts on decarbonizing its economy.

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).
News
Analysis of tropical fire soot deposited in the ocean will help predict future global climate changes

Date: 2020-03-06




The ICTA-UAB begins a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean to collect dust and smoke samples from the fires of tropical Africa deposited in marine sediments. The study will allow to understand the variations in the atmospheric circulation in the past and to predict rain pattern changes in the future.


Studying the processes of transport of smoke from the fires of tropical Africa and the dust of the Sahara Desert, and its deposition in marine sediments to understand how atmospheric circulation has shifted in the past, and to be able to predict changes in the future, considering the current context of climate change on the planet. These are the main objectives of the scientific expedition carried out by researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) within the framework of the European Research Council (ERC) project PALADYN, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Rhode Island, led by Professor Rainer Lohmann.

Tropical climates are changing rapidly in the most populated regions of the planet due to natural and anthropogenic factors that alter the atmospheric circulation of air masses. However, there is still much ignorance about how this affects the distribution of global precipitations under global warming. One hypothesis suggests that rains will be accentuated in the humid areas of the Earth while droughts will be more extreme in arid areas. However, existing simulation models have not been able to prove this due to the complexity of studying the atmosphere in the past.

The PALADYN project, led by ICREA researcher at the ICTA-UAB Antoni Rosell-Melé, aims to determine changes in tropical atmospheric circulation in the past 5 million years (wind direction and speed, and rainfall distribution), with special attention to past episodes of extreme heat and cold, in order to establish its natural range of variability.

To do so, researchers gathered samples of soot (pyrogenic carbon) and dust from tropical Africa along the oceanic transect that goes from the Barbados Island in the Caribbean, to the Cape Verde Islands and the Florida peninsula in the USA. For four weeks, the scientific expedition collected samples of soot and desert mineral dust suspended in the atmosphere, the water column and the sediments of the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean by using specific instruments, aboard the US oceanographic ship RV Endeavor.

This is a good moment in the year to make this transect given that the winds are blowing from the African continent towards South America, the Sahara is the dustiest desert on the planet, and the tropical savannahs and grasslands of Africa are where the majority of fires systemically originate.

“Desert dust and soot is transported by the winds and deposited in deep-sea sediments. Samples collected at different depths of the water column or in the seabed will offer us information about their transport and deposition weeks, decades and thousands of years ago”, says Antoni Rosell-Melé. He adds that this will allow them to “have a valuable continuous record and to establish patterns about changes in atmospheric circulation throughout past history, and relate it to the warmest and coldest periods in Earth's history”. The research focuses on the area of ​​the tropics where there are dry and wet seasons, and more solar radiation. “The tropics are the energy engine of the climate system; if we understand the changes that occur in the tropics, we will understand how the rest of the global climate changes. It is necessary to know where the rain zones may move or if the deserts will spread in the future”.

The research also analyses the role of desert mineral dust in ocean fertilization processes and in the regulation of the planet’s climate. When deposited in oceans, the nutrients it carries allow fertilising the ocean and contribute to a greater productivity of algae, which absorb the CO2 found in the atmosphere. In addition, atmospheric dust contributes to the cooling of the planet by acting as a screen when suspended in air, therefore reflecting solar light back into space. In contrast, the soot suspended in the atmosphere could have the inverse role in global warming because its darker color would absorb heat, contributing to an increase in the temperature of the planet.

The new data will make it possible to refine prediction models of atmospheric circulation, carbon cycle, precipitation and wildfires, issues that are of paramount global importance from scientific as well as societal standpoints.

ICTA's Activities