The University of Haifa is partnering with the UAE and Germany to battle climate change in our oceans.
It signed a five-year research initiative at the UN’s annual climate conference COP27 last week to investigate the consequences of climate change and pollution in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf.
Together with the United Arab Emirates University and the Germany-based GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, it will develop strategies to prevent the further deterioration of marine ecosystems in the region.
Researchers will use advanced ocean-observation technologies like novel cameras, chemical sensors, and underwater vehicles to predict future ocean responses to climate change and pollution.
They’ll go on to develop models to determine what the future will look like for the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf.
Global oceans are increasingly facing a wide range of pressures related to climate change and pollution. The Eastern Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf are severely impacted by issues including ocean warming, expansion of sea-water desalination plants, exploitation of deep-sea energy resources, intensive shipping, expanding tourism, and geopolitical turmoil.
Despite all this, there is no deep understanding of the consequences of these pressures on the marine ecosystems.
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The new agreement is an expansion of the existing partnership between the University of Haifa and GEOMAR. Earlier this year, they launched a five-year joint program to design an early-warning model system for what climate change in the Mediterranean tells us about future conditions in oceans worldwide.
The UAE University’s entrance into the project, as well as the initiative’s addition of the Arabian Gulf as part of its research, will further enhance understanding of the region’s marine systems and cultivate greater ties between the participating countries.
“Our new trilateral collaboration represents a crucial step in the framework of the national and regional leadership of University of Haifa on environmental and marine sustainability,” said University of Haifa President Prof Ron Robin.
“It will not only expand the existing partnership between GEOMAR and University of Haifa, but more broadly strengthen regional and international cooperation.
“The project will contribute significantly to the understanding of marine systems and will build bridges between these three nations. We feel that we have made history, as well as progress toward a more sustainable future.”