The Mediterranean Sea has shaped the economic, technological and cultural development of the nations surrounding it. However, local pollution and global changes such as ocean warming and acidification are threatening its fragile ecosystems. Scientific cooperation between nations is therefore imperative in order to research, monitor and manage the Mediterranean Sea so as to preserve its health and protect the ecological services that it provides.
Environmental Ocean Team Director, Dr Emilio Tesi, said "As the name of the workshop suggests, environmental impacts know no boundaries. We hope that the workshop will generate public awareness of the range of environmental threats to the Mediterranean coastal and oceanic ecosystems and their complexities, and the international cooperation required to address them effectively."
Some of the marine research will take place within the Marine Protected Area of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals in the Ligurian Sea off the coast of Tuscany. Here, the students will use hydrophones to listen out for whales. They will also use specialised scientific instruments to measure the salinity, temperature and density of seawater at different depths, and will also study phytoplankton, the tiny marine plants that dominate biological production in sunlit surface waters.
Dr John Allen of NOC is also participating in the workshop. While aboard the Mediterranean Explorer and the Adriatica in the Ligurian Sea, he and his colleagues plan to conduct research into the turbulence of the upper ocean and its effects on phytoplankton.
"We have a unique opportunity to measure turbulence in the summer mixed layer because such small vessels (around 20 meters in length) do not cause as much disturbance as a large survey vessel would," said Dr Allen.
|Contact: Dr. Rory Howlett|
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK)