Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Paris, France

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Paris, France

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Apostolopoulou E.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Drakou E.G.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Drakou E.G.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Santoro F.,University of Venice | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology | Year: 2012

Recent decades have seen significant steps in the longstanding scientific, philosophical and political debates concerning the relationship between society and nature towards a more 'human-in-nature' view in biodiversity conservation. This progress has been reflected in both prominent scientific publications and several policy documents. However, the recent resurgence of 'protection' paradigms and the persistence of human practices undermining ecosystem functions on which human existence depends reveal that human and natural systems frequently continue to be treated separately in conservation practice and conventional scientific and policy discourses. Using insights from the field of political ecology and from research on social-ecological systems, and following a grounded theory research approach, we identify the critical barriers to the adoption of a 'human-in-nature' view in Greek biodiversity conservation. In particular, the analysis of 63 in-depth interviews with a variety of state and non-state stakeholders acting at several governance levels revealed as main barriers the lack of an integrative perspective on humans and ecosystems, scale mismatches between social and ecological systems, the underestimation of the heterogeneity of social groups, and the understanding of the reliance on the market as the main solution to biodiversity loss.We argue that steps towards ensuring environmental justice as well as socially inclusive and adaptive governance processes should embrace an understanding of both the dynamic nature of ecosystems and the power-laden character of the socio-economic systems involved in biodiversity conservation in order to create the preconditions for the emergence of social-ecological sustainability and ultimately for a 'human-in-nature' view. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.


Wiebe P.H.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Harris R.,Plymouth Marine Laboratory | Gislason A.,Iceland Marine Research Institute | Margonski P.,Polish National Marine Fisheries Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Progress in Oceanography | Year: 2016

The ICES Study Group on Zooplankton Ecology was created in 1991 to address issues of current and future concern within the field of zooplankton ecology. Within three years it became the ICES Working Group on Zooplankton Ecology (ICES WGZE) and this unique group in the world's oceanographic community has now been active for 25 years. This article reviews and synthesizes the products, and major accomplishments of the group. Achievements of the group, including the Zooplankton Methodology Manual, the Zooplankton Status Reports, and the International Zooplankton Symposia, have had an important impact on the wider field. Among the future issues that remain to be addressed by the group are the assessment of exploratory fisheries on zooplankton and micronekton species; further development of the zooplankton time-series; compilation and integration of allometric relationships for zooplankton species, and evaluation of new methodologies for the study of zooplankton distribution, abundance, physiology, and genetics. Marine science is an increasingly global undertaking and groups such as the ICES WGZE will continue to be essential to the advancement of understanding of zooplankton community structure and population dynamics in the world's oceans. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Costello M.J.,University of Auckland | Bouchet P.,French Natural History Museum | Boxshall G.,Natural History Museum in London | Fauchald K.,Smithsonian Institution | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The World Register of Marine Species is an over 90% complete open-access inventory of all marine species names. Here we illustrate the scale of the problems with species names, synonyms, and their classification, and describe how WoRMS publishes online quality assured information on marine species. Within WoRMS, over 100 global, 12 regional and 4 thematic species databases are integrated with a common taxonomy. Over 240 editors from 133 institutions and 31 countries manage the content. To avoid duplication of effort, content is exchanged with 10 external databases. At present WoRMS contains 460,000 taxonomic names (from Kingdom to subspecies), 368,000 species level combinations of which 215,000 are currently accepted marine species names, and 26,000 related but non-marine species. Associated information includes 150,000 literature sources, 20,000 images, and locations of 44,000 specimens. Usage has grown linearly since its launch in 2007, with about 600,000 unique visitors to the website in 2011, and at least 90 organisations from 12 countries using WoRMS for their data management. By providing easy access to expert-validated content, WoRMS improves quality control in the use of species names, with consequent benefits to taxonomy, ecology, conservation and marine biodiversity research and management. The service manages information on species names that would otherwise be overly costly for individuals, and thus minimises errors in the application of nomenclature standards. WoRMS' content is expanding to include host-parasite relationships, additional literature sources, locations of specimens, images, distribution range, ecological, and biological data. Species are being categorised as introduced (alien, invasive), of conservation importance, and on other attributes. These developments have a multiplier effect on its potential as a resource for biodiversity research and management. As a consequence of WoRMS, we are witnessing improved communication within the scientific community, and anticipate increased taxonomic efficiency and quality control in marine biodiversity research and management. © 2013 Costello et al.


Luis V.,Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO | Fonseca L.,Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO | Tedesco K.,Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
Oceanography | Year: 2010

As the only United Nations organization specializing in ocean sciences, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) has the responsibility to promote basic marine scientific investigations globally. IOC has always given special attention to planning and forecasting new developments in ocean sciences, taking into account both the steady evolution of knowledge and fundamental changes leading to major scientific breakthroughs. Following that tradition, and in honor of IOC's fiftieth anniversary, we focus on two distinct objectives in this article. First, we provide a glimpse of past IOC scientific achievements. Second, we share IOC's vision for a marine science strategy for the next 15 years. For that purpose, IOC has identified three critical elements that will likely provide the scientific and technical means to redefine the future of ocean sciences: (1) science drivers, (2) ocean instrumentation and technological developments, and (3) strategic frameworks for cooperation. The third element is of particular importance because research at unprecedented geographic scales is required to improve our understanding of climate change and ecosystem functioning, including biodiversity conservation and management options. Because this effort calls for extensive national and international efforts, we also discuss the role of comprehensive international core projects.


Letetrel C.,University of La Rochelle | Marcos M.,CSIC - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies | Martin Miguez B.,Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO | Woppelmann G.,University of La Rochelle
Continental Shelf Research | Year: 2010

Sea level extremes and their temporal variability have been explored based on the hourly measurements at Marseille tide gauge for the period 1885-2008. A careful quality check has first been applied to the observations to ensure consistency of the record by eliminating outliers and datum shifts. Yearly percentiles have been used to investigate long-term trends of extremes revealing that secular variations in extremes are linked to mean sea level changes. The associated decadal changes show discrepancies between mean sea level trend and extreme fluctuations, due to the influence of the atmospheric forcing. A local regression model based on the generalized Pareto distribution has been applied to derive trends in return levels. The 50-years return levels reach values between 80 and 120. cm. The most significant changes in return levels are characterized by an increase since the 1970s. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Villamor B.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Gonzalez-Pola C.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Lavin A.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Valdes L.,Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO | And 9 more authors.
Fisheries Oceanography | Year: 2011

We investigate the effect of strong meteorological perturbations in early spring on the success of mackerel (Scomber scombrus) recruitment in the N/NW Iberian area (southern Bay of Biscay) for the period 1999-2008. In 2000, the year of the most pronounced recruitment failure on record, two consecutive multidisciplinary surveys sampled hydrographic conditions and mackerel eggs, larvae and post-larvae over the main mackerel spawning grounds of the north and northwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Analysis of egg and larval abundance and birthdates based on the otoliths of mackerel juveniles caught between July and October 2000 showed that there were no survivors from the early spring spawns, indicating a massive loss of early spawning effort. Moreover, the abundance of 1-year-old mackerel estimated from an acoustic survey carried out in 2001 was the lowest observed within the 1999-2008 time series. This low or null survival from the early spawns in 2000 could be due to the meteorological and oceanographic conditions of that spring, in particular two storm events in April after a relatively calm March. The first storm event from the north caused strong local wind in the southern Bay of Biscay but a weak oceanographic response. The second storm event from the southwest was mainly felt west of Galicia and caused a notable increase in shelf currents and a shift of the hydrographical structure along the shelf. Detailed analysis of strong wind pulses in early spring within the historical recruitment record suggests that strong local turbulence generated by high wind speeds and advection of larvae caused by the enhancement of shelf currents can contribute to reduced recruitment. Our observations indicate that, in 2000, both mechanisms were present. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Valsala V.,Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology | Maksyutov S.,Japan National Institute of Environmental Studies | Telszewski M.,Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO | Nakaoka S.,Japan National Institute of Environmental Studies | And 3 more authors.
Biogeosciences | Year: 2012

Some dominant spatial and temporal structures of the North Pacific air-sea CO2 fluxes in response to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) are identified in three data products from three independent sources: an assimilated CO2 flux product and two forward model solutions. The interannual variability of CO2 flux is found to be an order of magnitude weaker compared to the seasonal cycle of CO2 flux in the North Pacific. A statistical approach is employed to quantify the signal-to-noise ratio in the reconstructed dataset to delineate the representativity errors. The dominant variability with a signal-to-noise ratio above one is identified and its correlations with PDO are examined. A tentative four-pole pattern in the North Pacific air-sea CO2 flux variability linked to PDO emerges in which two positively correlated poles are oriented in the northwest and southeast directions and contrarily, the negatively correlated poles are oriented in the northeast and southwest directions. This pattern is identified in three products, providing CO2 and pCO2. Its relations to the interannual El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and lower-frequency PDO are separately identified. A combined EOF analysis between air-sea CO2 flux and key variables representing ocean-atmosphere interactions is carried out to elicit robust oscillations in the North Pacific CO2 flux in response to the PDO. The proposed spatial and temporal structures of the North Pacific CO2 fluxes are insightful since they separate the secular trends of the surface ocean carbon from the interannual variability. The regional characterization of the North Pacific in terms of PDO and CO2 flux variability is also instructive for determining the homogeneous oceanic domains for the Regional Carbon Cycle and Assessment Processes (RECCAP). © 2012 Author(s).


Bernal M.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Bernal M.,Rutgers University | Stratoudakis Y.,Instituto Nacional Of Recursos Biologicos Inrb Ipimar | Wood S.,University of Bath | And 4 more authors.
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2011

Assumptions of daily spawning synchronicity and estimation of egg mortality for Atlanto-Iberian sardine are revised in the context of daily estimators of egg production. An extensive database of ichthyoplankton surveys from 1985 to 2008, aggregated at different levels, is used, a set of mortality models is derived, and a comparison among them is carried out using standard statistical techniques. Analysis of the database shows Atlanto-Iberian sardine to be a late-evening spawner, in agreement with previous knowledge, but suggests a lengthier daily period of spawning. Comparison among the set of mortality models used suggests that estimates of mortality from single surveys for Atlanto-Iberian sardine are often unreliable, and that the mean estimates obtained after aggregating data from various years are statistically significant, more robust, and in line with existing information gathered from the literature. © 2011 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford Journals. All rights reserved.


Bernal M.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Bernal M.,Rutgers University | Stratoudakis Y.,Instituto Nacional Of Recursos Biologicos Inrb Ipimar | Wood S.,University of Bath | And 3 more authors.
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2011

A spatially and environmentally explicit egg production model is developed to accommodate a number of assumptions about the relationship between egg production and mortality and associated environmental variables. The general model was tested under different assumptions for Atlanto-Iberian sardine. It provides a flexible estimator of egg production, in which a range of assumptions and hypotheses can be tested in a structured manner within a well-defined statistical framework. Application of the model to Atlanto-Iberian sardine increased the precision of the egg production time-series, and allowed improvements to be made in understanding the spatio-temporal variability in egg production, as well as implications for ecology and stock assessment. © 2011 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford Journals. All rights reserved.


Costello M.J.,University of Auckland | Appeltans W.,Flanders Marine Institute VLIZ | Appeltans W.,Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO | Bailly N.,Aquatic Informatics | And 10 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2014

Scientists should ensure that high quality research information is readily available on the Internet so society is not dependant on less authoritative sources. Many scientific projects and initiatives publish information on species and biodiversity on the World Wide Web without users needing to pay for it. However, these resources often stagnate when project funding expired. Based on a large pool of experiences worldwide, this article discusses what measures will help such data resources develop beyond the project lifetime. Biodiversity data, just as data in many other disciplines, are often not generated automatically by machines or sensors. Data on for example species are based on human observations and interpretation. This requires continuous data curation to keep these up to date. Creators of online biodiversity databases should consider whether they have the resources to make their database of such value that other scientists and/or institutions would continue to finance its existence. To that end, it may be prudent to engage such partners in the development of the resource from an early stage. Managers of existing biodiversity databases should reflect on the factors being important for sustainability. These include the extent, scope, quality and uniqueness of database content; track record of development; support from scientists; support from institutions, and clarity of Intellectual Property Rights. Science funders should give special attention to the development of scholarly databases with expert-validated content. The science community has to appreciate the efforts of scientists in contributing to open-access databases, including by citing these resources in the Reference lists of publications that use them. Science culture must thus adapt its practices to support online databases as scholarly publications. To sustain such databases, we recommend they should (a) become integrated into larger collaborative databases or information systems with a consequently larger user community and pool of funding opportunities, and (b) be owned and curated by a science organisation, society, or institution with a suitable mandate. Good governance and proactive communication with contributors is important to maintain the team enthusiasm that launched the resource. Experience shows that 'bigger is better' in terms of database size because the resource will have more content, more potential and known uses and users of its content, more contributors, be more prestigious to contribute to, and have more funding options. Furthermore, most successful biodiversity databases are managed by a partnership of individuals and organisations. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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