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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).
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.
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).
PhD opportunities in Ecosystem Modelling/Marine Science/Remote Sensing at the University of Reading (UK) with Dr Shovonlal Roy:
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’.
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. (noticiasambientales.com.ar)
The COMET Program is pleased to announce the release of the lesson “GOES-R GLM: Introduction to the Geostationary Lightning Mapper”. This one-hour lesson is an extension of the COMET lesson “GOES-R: Benefits of Next Generation Environmental Monitoring” and focuses on the GLM instrument, the satellite’s lightning mapper.
The Geostationary Lightning Mapper will provide continuous lightning measurements over a large portion of the Western Hemisphere, mapping total lightning (intra-cloud and cloud–to–ground) flash rates and trends. GLM observations will improve local forecasts and warnings of severe weather and air quality, and provide new data for numerical weather prediction and studies of regional climate and climate change.
The first part of the lesson describes the need for real-time lightning information and introduces the capabilities of the GLM, which will fly on the next-generation GOES-R satellites. The second section lets users explore the life cycle of a typical cloud-to-ground lightning flash, how it is observed by space and ground-based detection systems, and how lightning flashes translate into GLM observations. The final section explores some of the many applications that will benefit from GLM observations including convection and severe weather nowcasting, warning of lightning ground strike hazards, aviation, atmospheric chemistry, quantitative precipitation estimation, tropical cyclones, fire ignitions, numerical weather prediction, and climate and global studies.
We welcome any comments or questions about the content, instructional approach, or use of this lesson. Please e-mail them to Patrick Dills (firstname.lastname@example.org).