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Photo by Vivir O Mar-TVG-ACID

Improving knowledge on coastal acidification of the Rias Baixas

FOL leads the Climate Risk Assessment for acidification in ACID project

06/09/2023 -

In 2022, the ACID project led by Dr. Cristina Sobrino of the Group of Biological Oceanography of CIM-Uvigo started. Its general goal is to determine the role of elevated CO2 concentrations on coastal phytoplankton communities, and its relationship with the upwelling intensity and nutrient run-off, as well as its environmental and social impact. Then, Future Oceans Lab (FOL) will conduct a climate risk assessment to evaluate the effects of coastal acidification on Galician fishing sector.

This project is studying the impacts of elevated CO2 on microbial plankton physiology, composition, community structure and the production in the Rias Baixas, namely at Ría de Vigo and Ría de Muros-Noia as case studies. These areas were chosen for comparative purpose since both rias are socioeconomically important due to mussel aquaculture and shellfish harvesting, but differences due to human population and industrial activity, being  the Ría de Vigo an anthropogenized coastal system for the project, while Ría de Muros-Noia represents a more clean coastal system.

During this time, experimental approaches have already started such as mesocosm experiments at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) during summer of 2022, and since the beginning of year, the monthly collection of natural samples along Ría de Vigo and Ría de Muros-Noia. In the sampling of June, Mariana Barros supported GOB group in the field work during her professional practices of IMBRSea master program at FOL. Apart from that, Mariana started to work on climate risk assessment for acidification following the IPCC risk framework (IPCC 2014), conducting a literature review, and starting to define the indicators for assessment structure which relies the combination of the three dimensions of risk: hazards (i.e. CO2 concentrations, cumulative impacts), exposure (i.e. harvested coastal area), and vulnerability (i.e. dependence of women).

FOL is moving forward in this project, and will seek a joint PhD student together with GOB-CIM who can conduct a doctoral thesis in the ACID project framework.

Stay tuned and see all our progress.


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