quick scan
WI-WE Progress
Progress: 100.00%   WWI-WE Version: 6
0 mandatory questions pending
19 questions total
19 questions answered
19 questions completed
0 questions pending
Popular WI-WE Tags

Mapping Weak Signals

Inspired by: FP7 » Emergence of Mediterranean Sea acidification studies

version: 6 / updated: 2011-02-09
id: #1645 / version id: #1382
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Rafael Popper
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Rafael Popper
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 6 - Environment (including Climate Change)

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

Pressures on environment and climate

Optional reference/s to FP7 project/s

Use the following format: Project Acronym (Project Reference No.). Use commas if more than one project is associated to this Wild Card, for example: ALFA-BIRD (213266), SAFAR (213374), LAPCAT-II (211485)
MEDSEA: MEDiterranean Sea Acidification in a changing climate (265103) Touratier, F. and Goyet, C. (2011), Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp.1-15.

Signal's headline

(max. 9 words)
Emergence of Mediterranean Sea acidification studies

Signal's description

(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Weak Signal (approx. 150 words)
Increases of atmospheric CO2 and associated decreases in seawater pH and carbonate ion concentration this century and beyond are likely to have wide impacts on marine ecosystems including those of the Mediterranean Sea. Consequences of this process, ocean acidification, threaten the health of the Mediterranean, adding to other anthropogenic pressures, including those from climate change. Current interdisciplinary approaches involving biologists, earth scientists, and economists, through observations, experiments, and modelling, will provide science-based projections of acidification under the influence of climate change as well as associated economic impacts. These scientific advances should provide the best advice to policymakers who must develop regional strategies for adaptation and mitigation.


Mediterranean sea, climate change, acidification, environmental impact, economy, marine biology, industrial regulation


(max. 250 characters)
Estimations of the Mediterranean Sea acidification show that, since the industrial era until the 2000s, all waters (even the deepest) have been acidified by values (ranging from −0.14 to −0.05 pH unit) higher than elsewhere in the open ocean.

Signal's first apperance


Signal's potential evolution

It could lead to...
issue type of issue/development potential impact on society timeframe for the issue to become at least 50% probable
#1 Acidification is not new itself, but so far the problems have not been on the scale of oceans and large seas. new/emerging
very harmful
#2 The environmental impact of industry & agriculture will need new methods with a focus on the international and trans-boundary scale. re-emerging
#3 This shows the continuation of attempts towards integrated governance across mega-regions continuation
#4 Threats to wildlife and fishing activities continuation
very harmful
#5 Improved environmental monitoring. continuation
very beneficial
#6 The acidification may bring a rapid end to the southern EU fishing industry. discontinuation
very harmful

Under what assumption the Weak Signal might evolve.

Business as usual: political uncertainty and instability with focus on economic growth.


please specify
please select
Level 1: important for a particular country Countries with Mediterranean coast
Level 2: important for a particular world region Mediterranean basin
Level 3: important for the European Union

Filters preventing the signal's monitoring

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
scientific filters (knowledge/technology access)
political filters (party or ideological interests)

Comments on selection:

there will be strong economic & political pressures to avoid public access to information, or for strong & transparent regulation of industry, agriculture & urban infrastructure

Key driving forces of this signal

Please use these boxes to provide up to 2 drivers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
Driver 1 Driver 2
Economic economic development & industrialization
Environmental advances in environmental monitoring, modelling & regulation

Major risks & opportunities associated to the signal

Please choose the most appropriate timeframe option(s) to which you would like to provide inputs.
Risks Opportunities
before 2015 the southern EU fishing industry may suddenly collapse
between 2015-2025 new forms of cross-boundary governance
between 2025-2050 marine ecosystems may die off

Potential stakeholders' actions

short-term actions
(after 2015)
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) develop new forms of cross-boundary governance & regulation
Business actors (incl. SMEs) identify risk management & total asset valuation in the light of risk
Academic/Research sector set up continuous monitoring & modelling framework

Signal's relevance for European Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Coexistence and conflicts
Crime and terrorism
Diseases, health and well-being
Food security and diet
Sustainability and climate change
Water security/vulnerability

Signal's relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology
Environment (including Climate Change)
Social Sciences and Humanities
Regional development

Pan-European strategies influencing the signal

please justify:
particularly relevant
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology

Research-friendly strategies potentially improving understanding of the signal

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here
please justify:
particularly relevant
Overcoming sub-criticality and systemic failures
To be subcritical means that the effort in a particular field or subfield lacks resources, equipment or a sufficient number of researchers to achieve a desired goal
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.

Signal's relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
Environmental research is ongoing and could be enhanced, through techniques such as remote sensing, climate modelling, trade assessment, agricultural modelling, and economic development scenarios. However it is not enough to deliver the scientific results to ‘policy-makers’: the socio-political challenges are huge, particularly for a community with many problems, which is only partly in the EU. Real progress is likely to be through participatory foresight methods which reach beyond the pure science towards a more integrated approach to policy and society.