Madingley is a General Ecosystem Model and hopes to indirectly represent all forms of life, terrestrial and marine. Nereus Fellow Phil Underwood works with the Madingley model to validate its use as a policy tool in relation to fisheries, ecosystem health, and food security. He is working to better understand the relationship between oceanic ecosystems and human societies.
We know that fuel use contributes to climate change, but in a vicious circle, climate change could also increase fuel use in fishing. This is due to fish shifting their distributions due to warming waters. With this increased use of fuel and the increasing price, small-scale and artisanal fishers will have a harder time sustaining livelihoods and feeding their families under climate change.
You’ve seen the headlines – tuna is in trouble. “Bleak outlook for sushi favourite as bluefin tuna levels drop 97 per cent,” writes the Telegraph. CBS News says: “Sushi eaters pushing Pacific bluefin tuna to brink of extinction”. Does this mean that you should be putting down those tuna sandwiches and spicy tuna rolls? Not necessarily.
The ten most popular stories on the Nereus Program website in 2016, including on El Ninos, fishing subsidies, Brexit, science fiction prototyping, the TPP, salps, jellyfish fisheries, vaquita and the South China Sea.
Traditionally, Indigenous people have resisted research, especially quantitative research that has fed into the imposition of discriminatory socio-economic and political policies to the detriment of Indigenous communities. However, having access to a global database that quantifies fish consumption specifically by Coastal Indigenous peoples around the world, is a critical contribution to Indigenous struggle on a number of fronts.
Madingley is a global computational model. To a broad approximation, the Madingley model represents all (most) forms of life. It achieves this by using what’s called a functional-type representation. Species are aggregated in to broad categories that describe a select number of their properties, rather than everything about them. For some, this conceptual leap is too much. Why take a step towards representing all life, but miss the explicit inclusion of species? The answer lies in making the best of human knowledge, and balancing computational expense.
Mexico needs to rethink environmental protection budget cuts, prioritize ecologically-sustainable human development
By Andrés M. Cisneros-Montemayor
Mexico recently released its budget for 2017, and among the top five largest cuts were environmental protection (down by 37%), culture (-30%), and education (-11%). Political rhetoric aside, these cuts reflect a continuing view of these issues as minor, long-term, or otherwise less important or pressing. The problem is, these views also directly contradict a growing recognition in international policy of the importance of the environment, culture and education, in and of themselves, but also as part of an interdependent suite of human development goals.
“After climate change, fishing is the biggest impact humans will have on the oceans. But we have very a limited understanding of what happens beyond the horizon. It’s out of sight,” says David Kroodsma, Global Fishing Watch Research Program Manager at SkyTruth. “Global Fishing Watch allows us to see where the fishing is happening and how much. This will lead to whole hosts of answers to questions about how we manage our oceans.”
‘Aliens’, ‘jelly-balls’, ‘globs’, ‘buckets of snot’, and ‘sea-walnuts’. These are the names media have used to describe salps, as mentioned by Nereus Fellow Natasha Henschke, Princeton University, in her recently published paper “Rethinking the Roles of Salps in the Ocean”.
We know the oceans are quickly changing; we are at a point in time where very different future oceans could be laid out in front of us.
Nereus Program Alumnus Andrew Merrie, Stockholm Resilience Centre, is curious about how those futures might differ. Using an innovative method called science fiction prototyping, he’s devised a set of four radical futures for global oceans and fisheries. Two of the scenarios represent more utopian futures, the other two are more dystopian. They are written as speculative fiction in different, engaging narrative styles: a travel magazine article, an obituary, the transcript of a “TED”-like talk, and a series of recovered journal entries.