Todas las entradas de Gustavo Arencibia Carballo

Sharing knowledge to protect our marine environment

The JRC has set up the MSFD Competence Centre (MCC) to help EU countries achieve ‘Good Environmental Status’ of their marine waters by 2020, the main aim of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). In achieving this aim, the MSFD seeks to protect the fragile balance of marine ecosystems, upon which many economic and social activities such as fishing or tourism depend.

The MCC acts as a science-policy interface, facilitating cooperation and information exchange for the successful implementation of the Directive.

The MCC constitutes a platform on which to share knowledge and scientific expertise on methods and modelling tools, and provides access to guidance, assessments and reviews. It is the result of a close collaboration between the European Commission, the European Environment Agency, EU Member States, Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs), the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the European research community.

The MCC will act as a single entry point for policy-review activities, including the current review of the criteria and methodological standards for good environmental standards, which are key to achieving the MSFD goal. It will also provide useful modelling tools for the assessment of MSFD descriptors and serve as a knowledge broker, bridging the science-policy divide by feeding the implementation and adaptation process with relevant knowledge from the scientific community. The MCC has a web interface that brings together relevant tools and information, including assessment approaches, methodological standards or links to other related initiatives, such as the European Marine Observation and Data network (EMODnet).

Launch at the EurOCEAN 2014 conference

The new MSFD Competence Centre was launched today by JRC Director for Environment and Sustainability, Maria Betti, at the EurOCEAN 2014 conference in Rome. This conference brings together marine scientists from across the broad range of disciplines, policymakers, and representatives of industry and NGOs, to develop a common vision for achieving an ecosystem approach to the management of Europe’s marine resources, a fundamental requirement for sustainable Blue Growth.


European seas and oceans provide benefits that can be enjoyed by everyone. They also have enormous intrinsic value, whereby they support clean coastal and marine environments and wildlife, and play an important role in keeping our climate stable. However, traditional activities (transport, fishing, tourism) now sit alongside, and often compete with, more recent activities such as mineral extraction and renewable energy production. The unsustainable use of our seas threatens the fragile balance of marine ecosystems.

The aim of the European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), adopted in 2008, is to more effectively protect the European marine environment. The Directive aims to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) of the EU’s marine waters by 2020, and each Member State is required to develop a strategy for this. As the Directive follows an adaptive management approach, these strategies must be kept up-to-date and reviewed every six years.


New tsunami alert system tested in Portugal:

New tsunami alert system tested in Portugal

Man climbing down a ladder on a pier
The experimental alert system being tested in Setubal consists of a digital panel and a sea level measurement device
© EU, 2014

A new tsunami alert system developed by the JRC was tested in Setubal, Portugal, today. The experiment confirmed the effectiveness of using a sea level measurement device to trigger automatic alerts. This new system could be used to detect any kind of tsunami before they reach the sea shore, and issue automatic warnings to populations at risk in order to facilitate timely evacuations.

The experimental alert system being tested in Setubal consists of a digital panel and a sea level measurement device. The digital panel, equipped with data receivers, a siren and loudspeakers, has been placed in the Albarquel Park, by the sea. The sea level measurement device is positioned 3 kilometres from the digital panel along Setubal’s coast. During the test conducted on 2 October 2014, a measurement device was placed inside a mechanical simulator, which simulates a rise in the sea level corresponding to a tsunami wave. When the measurement device detects a significant rise in the sea level, it transmits a signal to the digital panel, which then alerts people present in the park via the digital panel, the loudspeakers and the siren.

The experiment confirmed that the real time analysis and transmission of the signal from the measurement device to the alert panel is reliable. It also demonstrated that sea level measurement can be efficient as a triggering mechanism for a tsunami alert device. Increasing the distance between the measurement device and the sea shore would increase the lead time before the arrival of the wave and thus provide more time to evacuate.

The alert device can also be activated manually, if necessary, or in cases of tsunamis caused by earthquakes, the panel can be automatically activated using JRC software, which estimates the wave height and travel time on the basis of the epicentre and magnitude of the earthquake. Connecting the alert device with local sea level measurement systems will allow automatic activation of the alarm also in case of dangerous waves of non-seismic origin, created by undersea landslides or collapsing volcanoes. In such cases, existing alert systems based on seismic signals wouldn’t be able to send a prior warning. The decision to allow automatic or manual alerting is to be assumed by the local authorities in charge of people evacuation.

The experiment is part of a European research activity which studies new advanced methods to improve disaster alerting mechanisms and to shorten the transmission time of alerts. The JRC is conducting the experiment in close collaboration with the Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA).


workshop “QUANTITATIVE CLADISTICS AND USE OF TNT – 2nd Edition”, June 29 – July 3, 2015.

Dear colleague,

Registration is open for the workshop “QUANTITATIVE CLADISTICS AND USE OF TNT – 2nd Edition”, June 29 – July 3, 2015. Instructors: Dr. Goloboff and Dr. Szumik (Conicet, Argentine).
PLACE:  Facilities of the Centre de Restauració i Interpretació Paleontologica, Els Hostalets de Pierola,  Barcelona (Spain).WEBPAGE:

Intro and Basics. Parsimony and phylogenetic systematics. Character optimisation and mapping. Most parsimonious reconstructions and specific changes. Input/output in TNT. Dataset formats. Using GB->TNT to create matrices. Instruction files. Options for graphic output (SVG, metafiles). Creation of “batch” files. Editing trees. Handling tree files. Groups of trees, characters and taxa.

– Tree calculation. Tree searches. Exact solutions, Wagner trees, branch-swapping. Local and global optima. Use of multiple addition sequences. Improving search strategies. Factors which affect the efficiency of tree-searches. Constraints and “timeouts”.

Ambiguity and consensus; summarizing results. Zero-length branches and collapsing rules. Types of consensus and their use; improving consensus trees; supertrees. Pruned consensus. Comparison of tree-topologies; SPR distances.

Character weighting. Successive and implied weighting. Auto-weighted optimization. Refining character weighting with blocks; taking into account missing entries. User-defined weighting functions.

– Group supports. Concept of group support. Bremer supports; how to calculate them; search of suboptimal trees. Problems with Bremer supports; absolute and relative Bremer support. Partitioned Bremer support and individual Bremer supports. Measures based on resampling; effect of search strategies and collapsing rules. Problems with resampling methods.

– Tree search in large and difficult data sets. Special search algorithms. Sectorial searches. Ratchet and drifting. Tree fusing. Combining different algorithms. Driven searches and stabilization of consensus.

– Scripting. Automation of decisions to go beyond simple commands. Flow control. Decisions. Expressions, user variables, and internal variables. Design of simple scripts.

This course  is co-organized by Transmitting Science, the Institut Catalá de Paleontologia M. Crusafont and the Centre de Restauració i Interpretació Paleontologica. Places are limited and will be covered by strict registration order.

Please feel free to distribute this information between your colleagues if you consider it appropriate.

With best regards
Juan Vicente Bertó Mengual
Communication Manager
Transmitting Science

If you want to receive information about specific courses, please subscribe ( selecting those topics of your interest.



América Latina está amenazada por el clima, según informe de la Cepal

Entre 1800 y 2012 hay evidencia de que la temperatura media global aumentó en 0,85º C. Es esperable que en este siglo el promedio se proyecte a subir entre 1 y 3.7º C, con un incremento de entre 1 a 2º C para 2050, aunque algunos escenarios extremos regionales predicen aumentos de temperatura más alta.

Por otro lado, la región de América Latina y el Caribe, si bien es una de las que menos tiene que ver con la emisión de gases de efecto invernadero, es una de las más vulnerables a las consecuencias del cambio climático.

Estas son dos de las principales conclusiones del informe que recién publicó la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (Cepal), titulado ‘La economía del cambio climático en América Latina y el Caribe: paradojas y desafíos’.

Escasos avances

En el documento, la Cepal advierte que el actual desarrollo mundial no es sostenible, teniendo en cuenta su impacto sobre las condiciones económicas, sociales y medioambientales. “El cambio climático, que es esencialmente resultado de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero, es perceptible en fenómenos como el aumento de las temperaturas medias globales, alteraciones en los patrones de precipitaciones, el aumento de los niveles del mar, la criósfera y la reducción de los cambios en el patrón de los fenómenos meteorológicos extremos”, afirma la publicación.

Por otro lado, el organismo establece que hasta la fecha se han realizado escasos avances y advierte que los efectos del cambio climático se harán sentir con mayor dureza durante este siglo, a menos que se logre un acuerdo de manera urgente para frenarlo.

Para estabilizar la situación, es necesario reducir el actual nivel de emisiones per cápita de las siete toneladas a las dos para 2015. (,_seg%C3%BAn_informe_de_la_Cepal.html#.VDVvTle27EQ


Becas Programa de Magister y Doctorado en Chile

Estimados Colegas

Junto con saludar, invito a quien interese a postular a los Programas:
1. Doctorado en Ciencias Aplicadas, mención Sistemas Marinos Costeros
2. Magister en Ecología de Sistemas Acuáticos
Estos programas se encuentran acreditados ante la Comisión Nacional de Acreditación. Las políticas institucionales de la Universidad de Antofagasta y de la Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT-Chile) permitirán este año la postulación a becas de Doctorado y Magister para extranjeros. Estas becas usualmente cubren los costos de arancel, manutención una asignación mensual por hijos menores de 18 años y cobertura en salud. Alternativamente, la Universidad de Antofagasta ofrece becas internas para postulantes con un currículum competitivo (publicaciones, asistencia a eventos científicos, experiencia en investigación)
El programa corre bajo la tutela del Instituto de Ciencias Naturales “Alexander von Humbodlt, con el apoyo de otras Unidades de la Universidad de Antofagasta y se fortalece mediante una red internacional de Profesores Visitantes de prestigiosas universidades e institutos en distintos países en Europa y Estados Unidos. La Universidad de Antofagasta se ubica estratégicamente en la zona central del Ecosistema de Afloramiento de la Corriente de Humboldt, el ecosistema marino más productivo del mundo, y aborda estudios en distintas disciplinas de las ciencias marinas (parasitología, biogeografía, ecología del cambio climático, comunidades marinas, pesquerías, entre otras). El calendario de admisiones 2015 para extranjeros es como sigue:
Cierre de recepción de documentos 8 de diciembre de 2014
Resultados de pre-selección 12 de diciembre de 2014
Entrevista y examen de seleccionados 15 al 19 de diciembre de 2014
Entrega de resultados 31 de diciembre de 2014
Cierre Postulación Becas CONICYT 6 de enero de 2015
Para mas información, les invito a visitar nuestra página:
Preguntas específicas pueden dirigirse al Dr. Rodrigo Orrego Fuentealba (Coordinador del Comité de Selección):
Vínculos relevantes:
Instituto de Ciencias Naturales “Alexander von Humboldt”
Universidad de Antofagasta
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica:
 Dr. José M. RIASCOS

Programa Doctorado en Ciencias Aplicadas mención Sistemas Marinos Costeros

Instituto de Ciencias Naturales Alexander von Humboldt (
Universidad de Antofagasta
Antofagasta, Chile
Tel: +56-55-637529