MEDSEA – MEDiterranean SEa Acidification in a changing climate

The project addresses ecologic and economic impacts from the combined influences of anthropogenic acidification and warming, while accounting for the unique characteristics of the Mediterranean region.

41 months from 01/02/2011 to 31/07/2014
Funded by
  • European Commission - FP7

Coordinating organization
  • UAB - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

CMCC Scientific Leader
CMCC Project manager

General aims

The MedSeA project addresses ecologic and economic impacts from the combined influences of anthropogenic acidification and warming, while accounting for the unique characteristics of this key region. MedSeA will forecast chemical, climatic, ecological-biological, and socio-economical changes of the Mediterranean driven by increases in CO2 and other greenhouse gases, while focusing on the combined impacts of acidification and warming on marine shell and skeletal building, productivity, and food webs. MedSeA will use an interdisciplinary approach involving biologists, earth scientists, and economists, through observations, experiments, and modelling.

These experts will provide science-based projections of Mediterranean acidification under the influence of climate change as well as associated economic impacts. Projections will be based on new observations of chemical conditions as well as new observational and experimental data on the responses of key organisms and ecosystems to acidification, which will be fed into existing ocean models that have been improved to account for the Mediterranean´s fine-scale features.

These scientific advances will provide the best advice to policymakers who must develop regional strategies for adaptation and mitigation.


CMCC is the leader of WP5 : Future projections of acidification of the Mediterranean Sea.
The MedSeA project will expand projections of acidification to include the Mediterranean Sea by relying on modelling tools developed in WP5, which themselves will rely on experimental results and knowledge built in the other project Wps.
WP5 will estimate future changes in Mediterranean Sea pH, CaCO3 saturation states, and other carbonate-system and biogeochemical-ecosystem variables. Advanced ocean models, coupled with state-of-the-art biogeochemical models, will be driven with forcing fields from coupled climate models to simulate 20th century climate conditions and  future climate change scenarios.

Model projections will allow us to construct basin-scale sensitivity maps to ocean acidification, based on combined changes in key model state variables (e.g., pH, CaCO3 saturation states, O2, temperature, stratification). The analysis of these maps, integrated with information from other WPs will help us to identify the regions of the Mediterranean Sea that are expected to be more vulnerable to acidification under future climate scenarios. These maps combine effects of climate change with acidification under various scenarios of CO2 emissions and model uncertainties. To move this investigation from the level of biogeochemical response to the ecosystem level, one task is dedicated to constructing, along with natural scientists in the project, response functions of selected target species (shellfish, coralligenous organisms, jellyfish, etc.) to environmental parameters. MedSeA will take into account both simple qualitative responses and more sophisticated parameterizations from laboratory experiments. This will produce hybrid habitat suitability patterns, i.e. a range of projected variations of the stress factors for growth and functioning of the target species.

This information will be further exploited in the project  to assess socio-economic impacts associated with each considered target species, with a special focus on market species such as aquaculture mussels.

  • Mediterranean Sea System
  • Plankton Response
  • Benthic Response
  • Projections
  • Economic Effects

  • UAB - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • UPVD - Université de Perpignan
  • BIU - Bar Ilan University
  • HCMR - Hellenic Center for Marine Research
  • CMCC - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change
  • UPMC - Laboratoire d'Océanographie Villefranche
  • PML - Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • CSIC - Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avanzados
  • UOP - University of Plymouth
  • AWI - Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven
  • ConISMA - Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare
  • INRH - Institut National de Recherche Halieutique
  • NIOF - National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries
  • USS - University of Sfax
  • OGS - Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale
  • LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement

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