EuroSea Symposium on Ocean Observing and Forecasting is a high-level event bringing together national and international stakeholders from policy, science, and industry. This symposium will take place on September 21, 2023, at the IOC/UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
The EuroSea Symposium is a momentous occasion to celebrate the remarkable innovations in European ocean observing and forecasting over recent years. It will serve as a platform for participants to reflect on past achievements and address the challenges that lie ahead in this vital field. The event aims to present and discuss recommendations for building a sustainable ocean observing and forecasting system that provides accessible, timely, and actionable data and information to all ocean users. By fostering collaboration between diverse stakeholders, including policymakers, scientists, and industry leaders, the symposium strives to develop a unified approach to ocean research and forecasting.
Read more about the symposium and how to attend here.
Self-reporting applications are a promising solution for monitoring fisheries data. However, they still fail to provide accurate information and do not always engage users. In the video below, Eurico Noleto introduces Shiny4SelfReport, an application he has developed to address such shortcomings.
Instead of using expensive, proprietary software, Shiny4SelfReport uses common and affordable technologies. The tool, developed in R, gathers fishers’ input and stores them in the cloud. It was designed to be simple and adaptable, aiming to fill gaps in the management of fisheries in developing nations.
Shiny4SelfReport is available here and described in more detail here.
The Science to Policy Workshop, focused on optimising ecosystem management in South Atlantic countries of Africa, will take place at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (Cape Town, South Africa), 22–24 August 2023.
The event is convened by Mission Atlantic. More information here.
«Be kind, take a deep breath and plan,» says Mathew Stiller-Reeve.
Stiller-Reeve, a writing coach and researcher, has just finished teaching an online writing workshop organized through TRIATLAS and CANEMS. Young researchers from Benin, Angola, South Africa, France, Norway, Spain and Brazil have spent a total of six days learning about and discussing scientific writing.
Spreading the workshop over eight weeks gave the participants time to work on their own article between the sessions. The aim has been to give them support through the entire working process for one of their TRIATLAS articles.
«They were fantastic to work with,» says Mathew Stiller-Reeve. «Very hard-working.»
Besides Stiller-Reeve’s lectures, the participants were organized in groups to give each other feedback on article drafts.
The writing coach points to the way the young researchers developed their way of talking about writing during the course. Their analysis of their own material as well as articles by other authors changed completely, he explains.
«I’d ask them: Could you have done this four weeks ago? – No chance.»
Isabelle Vilela was one of the workshop participants. She says she especially enjoyed learning how to break the process down.
«It helped me not to get stuck. When you look at the total, it’s like a mountain, so hard to climb. If you break it into small steps, you see that you can go all the way to the mountain.»
«It would be nice if there were a possibility to continue,» she says.
Continuation is one of TRIATLAS’ goals when organizing such a course. Having worked together in small groups over a time span of two months, all participants now know someone to ask for feedback.
«Most importantly, I wish to create a social environment for writing that can continue after the end of the course», Mathew Stiller-Reeve says.
The International Master 2 in Oceanography and Applications is co-hosted by the University of Abomey Calavi (UAC, Benin) and the University of Toulouse III (UT3, France). Since 2008, it has allowed more than 130 students from different countries of West and Central Africa to study the physics, chemistry and biology of the ocean.
This Master covers a wide spectrum, from ocean circulation theory to oceanographic instrumentation and coastal erosion. Courses are taught by professors from the two host universities (UAC and UT3), but also by researchers from West Africa, France, Brazil and Germany.
Holders of a Master’s degree in physics, mathematics, environmental sciences, hydrology, or any other equivalent degree are eligible to apply.
Recurring marine heat waves combined with acidification threaten productivity in regions important for fisheries.
Heat waves are associated with sweltering streets and scorched soil. But as likely as humans and cattle, the victims can be corals or fish. Abnormally hot periods also occur in the ocean.
When marine heat waves co-occur with strong acidification and low biological productivity, living conditions in the water deteriorate even further.
“Over the past two decades, the frequency and intensity of these compound events have increased dramatically in the Tropical and South Atlantic,” says Regina Rodrigues, associate professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Rodrigues was recently in Bergen to present her work at the fifth International Symposium on Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans.
Since 2014 compound events of marine heat waves, high acidification and little chlorophyll have occurred practically every year in several biologically important regions in the Tropical and South Atlantic. Regina Rodrigues expresses her worry that the recurring events make it harder for life in the ocean to cope.
“This puts in check the capability of the marine ecosystems to recover from these compound extremes,” she says.
A need for monitoring below the surface
Jerry Tjiputra, researcher at NORCE and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, calls for a long-term monitoring system in key vulnerable regions such as the Southern Ocean and the Tropical and North Atlantic.
Tjiputra has used Earth system models to estimate when anthropogenic signals in the global ocean may be detectable under different climate change scenarios.
While changes in surface water are more easily recognized, his work indicates the need for a closer look at greater depths.
“Changes in temperature, salinity, oxygen and pH can occur earlier in the interior ocean than on the surface”, he says. “Below the surface, where most marine organisms live, anthropogenic signals may already have manifested and are potentially predictable.”
Local action to address global targets
“Local actions can mitigate the negative extremes once we have a good monitoring and prediction system,” says Regina Rodrigues.
In the South Atlantic the Agulhas Leakage or Benguela Current region off the coast of Africa has suffered specifically from compound events.
Lynne Shannon, a research professor from the University of Cape Town, has used the South African marine system as a case study to identify local science-policy actions that would address globally relevant targets.
“Interlinking climate and biodiversity targets remains a challenge,” she says.
An array of South African research activities as well as policy and management measures, strive to address both the climate and biodiversity crises. The activities also address outcomes aimed for in the UN Ocean Decade, namely oceans and coasts that are clean, healthy and resilient, predicted, safe, sustainably harvested and productive, transparent and resilient.
Shannon notes that most of the activities have a strong societal component.
“The challenge worldwide will be to ensure that each of our well formulated research, policy and management activities are actually put into action in our governance system”, she says.
Ecological models such as Ecopath with Ecosim are increasingly used to investigate the effect of various stressors on ecosystems. A recent review of studies using such models found that more work is needed to address the compound effects of all relevant stressors.
Among the 166 studies considered, 60 considered stressors of climate change, 22 considered introductions of new species, 21 considered habitat loss and 20 eutrophication. Only 20 of the 166 studies investigated at least three stressors simultaneously, most focusing on a single stressor.
The authors call for the filling of gaps in approaches to harness to full power of EwE such as deriving functional responses to stressors, including human dimensions of change beyond fishing, and using systematic computational simulations to assess uncertainty.
A. Stock, C.C. Murray, E.J. Gregr, J. Steenbeek, E. Woodburn, F. Micheli, V. Christensen, K.M.A. Chan (2023): Exploring multiple stressor effects with Ecopath, Ecosim, and Ecospace: Research designs, modeling techniques, and future directions, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 869, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.161719.
“There are very obvious shifts and variations in marine ecosystems, partly driven by climatic changes, but also by human pressures like fisheries,” says Noel Keenlyside, professor at the University of Bergen and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research.
Keenlyside is the coordinator of the project TRIATLAS, aimed to develop climate-based ecosystem predictions for the Tropical and South Atlantic Ocean.
“It’s a big challenge to understand how environmental changes will influence marine ecosystems. We’re dealing with a problem that extends across disciplinary boundaries and also towards societal aspects,” he continues.
The project team is highly international, consisting of researchers from more than thirty institutes in Europe, South America and Africa.
“Most of the societal challenges and the scientific challenges we are facing to support society, are above the scale of the nation. We need to work as a community across nations to tackle this,” says Roland Séférian from Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, in Toulouse.
Both physical oceanographers and marine biologists are involved, as well as researchers working to enable policy makers to tackle socioeconomic challenges. A major goal is to contribute to the sustainable development of the region.
“You can’t manage fish, right? Fish are not black cattle that you can put in a pasture and there’s a fence around it. We have to manage people’s behavior in our marine systems,” says Louise Gammage, a specialist in marine sustainability from the University of Cape Town.
Whether you are planning an article for TRIATLAS, or you already have a first draft, this is for you!
Sign up for the TRIATLAS – CANEMS Writing with Results workshop before 15th March.
Many PhD students and early career researchers struggle with writing efficiently and are unconfident about their writing skills. This is why TRIATLAS – CANEMS is collaborating with Mathew Stiller-Reeve to put on an extended workshop that will follow your real-life, academic writing process.
The “Writing with Results” workshop will take place as online sessions spread over 8 weeks (with two breaks), instead of consecutive days over one or two weeks. In this way, you will get support for the entire writing process for one of your TRIATLAS-related articles. By the end of the workshop, you will hopefully have a research article ready for submission.