The Malaspina expedition in "Tuesdays in the Oceanogràfic"

Nov 29, 2010

The Malaspina expedition in The seventh “Tuesdays in the Oceanogràfic’ series of lectures is this year focussing on the keys to oceanographic exploration and the study of climate change through the Malaspina Circumnavigation Expedition. This project is directed by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and begins next 15th December, when the oceanographic research boat Hespérides sets off from Cádiz.

The general director of the City of Arts and Sciences, Pedro García Ribot, and the CSIC researcher and Malaspina's coordinator, Carlos Duarte, today presented the content of the series made up of ten presentations that will take place once a month in the Red Sea Auditorium at the Oceanogràfic (aquarium) and will be given by lecturers, researchers and technicians that form part of the expedition.

Pedro García Ribot explained that since the Oceanogràfic opened, “a considerable effort has been made to provide society with better knowledge about the marine ecosystem through a great variety of activities and content, including different activities aimed at the general public among whom we try to create awareness and knowledge about conservation of the wealth of nature.”

On board the boat Hespérides and Sarmiento de Gamboa, for 7 months over 400 scientists will be studying the impact of climate change on the ocean and will explore its diversity. The researchers will be checking samples at 250 stations at depths of down to 5,000 metres. They will also take continual samples of gases and compounds in the air and seawater at the surface.

“This is an ambitious project of global dimensions that addresses two important needs: to assess the impact of the global change on the ocean and to explore this ecosystem that is still so unknown, the deep ocean. With this expedition we’re going to go around the world, but we also want to create a new atmosphere of cooperation and give a new boost to marine sciences,” explained Carlos Duarte, the expedition’s coordinator.

Tomorrow, 30th November, the CSIC scientist will be giving the first of the “Tuesdays in the Oceanogràfic” lecture series: 2010 Malaspina Expedition and oceanic exploration in the 21st century. The project takes its name from the sailor Alejandro Malaspina (Mulazzo, 1754 - Pontremoli 1810), a captain of a frigate in the Royal Spanish Armada whose death is being commemorated in 2010 after 200 years. In July 1789, Malaspina led the first Spanish expedition to circumnavigate the globe in which a group of scientists collected a great deal of information, mapped out territories, classified fauna and explored the sea.

Oceans and biodiversity
“Tuesdays in the Oceanogràfic” will this time be looking at global ocean research both from a historical and current point of view, with an analysis of developments in oceanic exploration and the impact of mankind’s activity on marine biodiversity.

In the six previous editions, the lectures have dealt with aspects concerning biodiversity from a global point of view and the specific cases of sharks, ocean dynamics, fisheries, environmental impact, the polar seas and their environment, the relationship between oceans and climate change, and the deep ocean.