The main reason behind the unification of these two work avenues is CEI CamBio’s determination to base work on the principles of precaution and adaptation.
Water resources and climate change related issues are not only in the research agenda of our member universities and CSIC research centres, but are also tackled by several of the privately owned firms which form part of the coalition. Regarding CSIC centres, the participation of the Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas de Almería -including a Desertification and Geo-Ecology, Preservation of Threatened Species and Diversity Preservation in Arid Zones Department- must be specially highlighted. Likewise, the Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla – including a Protection of the Soil-Plant- Water System Department – also plays a very prominent role.
The Andalusian Strategy Against Climate Change, published in 2002 and pioneering nationwide, and the Andalusian Programme for Adaptation to Climate Change, published in 2010 and aimed at alleviating the effects of this phenomenon, are being implemented by the Andalusian Network of Observatories of Global Change (Red Andaluza de Observatorios de Cambio Global), with the cooperation of CEI CamBio. Andalusia thus becomes the first Spanish region to outline her own climate related scenarios.
Similarly, we must highlight the actions carried out by the Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucía (CSIC), responsible for the development of the GIFT temporal series, a sensor capable of monitoring the response of the Mediterranean Sea to global change. The relevance of GIFT, included in the Red Española de Observaciones Temporales de Ecosistemas (REDOTE) and in the oceanic branch of the European scientific infrastructure ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) has been nationally and internationally recognised. The network ICOS includes high precision observatories for the systematic recording of greenhouse effect gas fluxes, especially CO2, the results of which are the cornerstone for the design of global change mitigation policies.
Also of note are the air quality studies carried out in Andalusia, developed on the basis of air pollution maps with which to assess the effects of industrial pollution and the impact of air masses from northern Africa through the application of atmospheric dispersion models. These studies are being developed in the Centro Internacional de Estudios y Convenciones Ecológicas y Medioambientales (CIECEM) -attached to the University of Huelva- in cooperation with the prestigious National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Regarding coastlines, seas and oceans, the Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, along with other member universities and CSIC research centres, plays a very prominent role in the field of marine geo-science and global change. Similarly the Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucía maintains a foremost position in oceanography and global change related issues around the Straits of Gibraltar. Finally, we must not forget the part played by the Centro Andaluz de Ciencia y Tecnología Marina (CACYTMAR), co-managed by the Junta de Andalucía and the University of Cádiz.
It is important to highlight that due to its strategic location, the Straits of Gibraltar play a remarkable role in this global process, both as receptor and as agent. This crossroads between oceans and continents is a local sensor for change in the Mediterranean region, but not a passive one, since it also operates as a climatic agent capable of intervening in the planetary transition to an ice age and, for this reason, has been identified by UNESCO as one of the three critical oceanic regions for the monitoring of global change.
From the point of view of teaching and research, CEI CamBio is a reference for coastal and oceanic environmental information management projects, especially the project PEGASO (EU FP7 Large Project), with a budget of nearly 9 million Euros. University Pablo de Olavide actively participates in this project by leading the development of the project’s infrastructure towards the collection of coastal spatial data around the Mediterranean and Black Seas, the project COASTANCE (EU Med Programme) on regional coastal adaptation to climate change, and the project MEDINA (EU FP7) for monitoring Mediterranean marine ecosystems. CEI CamBio researchers also participate in the development of the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN), led by the University of Oregon (USA) and the Coastal and Marine Research Centre, attached to Cork University (Eire).