Next November, the Malaspina expedition 2010 will set sail from the city of Cadiz. This interdisciplinary project led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) aims to evaluate how global change is impacting on the oceans and to survey their biodiversity. The expedition has the backing of the Spanish Royal Navy and the BBVA Foundation, and takes its name from mariner Alessandro Malaspina, the leader of Spain's first round-the-world scientific expedition in the late 18th century, in what is the bicentenary of his death.
The Malaspina Round-the-World Expedition 2010: Global Change and Exploration of Global Ocean Biodiversity is coordinated by Carlos Duarte, CSIC researcher and a close collaborator of the BBVA Foundation. "This expedition will circumnavigate the globe, but it will also change the face of Spanish oceanography, ushering in a new level of cooperation. This is an ambitious project, global in scope, which addresses two important needs: to assess the impact of global change on our oceans and to explore the still unknown ecosystem that is the deep sea".
For nine months, the oceanographic research vessels Hesprides and Sarmiento de Gamboa will cover a combined 42,000 nautical miles. Most of the sailing will be done by the Hesprides, which will depart from Cadiz and call in at Rio de Janeiro, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Town, Perth, Sydney, Honolulu, Panama, Cartagena de Indias and Cartagena then back to Cadiz. The Sarmiento de Gamboa, meantime, will follow a route from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Miami. Each port of call will be the occasion for talks and public events alerting to the consequences of global change and the importance of marine research, and publicizing the Malaspina campaign.
In all, over 250 researchers from 19 Spanish institutions are participating in the project, rising to around 400 if we add on students and researchers from the 16 foreign partners in the project, among them NASA, the European Space Agency a
|Contact: Silvia Churruca|