Two research projects, which join several German and Chinese partner institutions, were launched into action with a kick-off meeting in Guangzhou, China, from December 4 to 8, 2017. They are supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research with a total of 1.25 Mio. Euros and aim at recognising the fingerprint of megacities in the marine sediments of Chinese marginal seas. On the German side, both projects are coordinated by the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW). In the face of a worldwide increase of megacities, the research results will be of great interest not only for Chinese decision makers.
The largest cities of the world can be found in China. When the number of inhabitants exceeds 10 million, those cities are referred to as ‘megacities’. There are plans underway to create even larger conurbations with 10 times as many citizens by merging already existing megacities. Examples are the region at the mouth of the Yellow River in Eastern China and the Guangzhou / Hong Kong region in the South at the Pearl River mouth.
Here, more than 100 million people will inhabit an area 100 times as big as London in one huge conurbation. How will the effluents of such immensely big cities, which carry various problem substances such as pharmaceuticals and microplastic particles, impact receiving waters, rivers, and coastal seas? How will the on-going fast population growth further influence the pollution of these waters?
Those are central questions of the two joint projects MEGAPOL (short for “Megacity’s fingerprint in Chinese marginal seas: Investigation of pollutant fingerprints and dispersal”) and TRAN (short for “Temporal pattern of anthropogenic and natural particles at the slope of South China Sea”) coordinated by IOW.
The project MEGAPOL will focus on the Pearl River mouth area in the South China Sea as well as the Yellow River delta in the Bohai Sea. With an interdisciplinary approach the project aims at understanding the anthropogenic environmental change in these coastal waters and how its impact spreads into deeper oceanic regions.
Both study areas are ideal model systems – not only because of the neighbouring megacities, but also because they provide a good opportunity to study exchange processes between land and ocean in very sensitive marine ecosystems and the changes in the physical driving forces behind these processes such as monsoon, marine currents as well as impacts of climate change.
The TRAN project augments the scientific angle of MEGAPOL as well as its infrastructure by deploying a contamination free mooring at the northern continental slope of South China Sea in the area affected by the Pearl River plume. Put into position in spring 2018, the mooring will record the temporal patterns of anthropogenic and natural particles. The key challenge is to construct and install the complex 2000 metre device with its numerous instruments in a way that guarantees a reliable distinction between the two particle types. During an expedition with the German research vessel SONNE in summer 2019 the mooring will be hauled in for a first sample and data recovery.
An intensive exchange between the German and Chinese scientists as well as a close cooperation regarding the field work are an integral part of both projects. Chinese MEGAPOL partners are the Second Institute of Oceanography SOA in Hangzhou, the National Marine Environmental Monitoring Centre in Dalian, the Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, CAS, the Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey. Besides IOW, which heads the investigations, the German project partners are the University of Hamburg with its institutes of Oceanography and for Geology as well as the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht’s Institute of Coastal Research.
Prof. Dr. Joanna Waniek (IOW), head coordinator of both projects, is very pleased by the kick-off meeting’s outcome: “We prepared the first joint expedition in September 2018 and determined cruise routes as well as sampling methods.” Her colleague, Prof. Zhou Meng of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, who coordinates the Chinese project tasks, adds: “We scheduled the measurements in the Pearl River estuary and made detailed plans for the exchange and the training of our PhD students.” “The planning is ambitious but we all are very much looking forward to the scientific and the cultural challenges,” says Joanna Waniek.
All participants expect that the close German-Chinese cooperation will bring additional momentum and synergies to the joint research. Joanna Waniek: “In Germany, our cities are growing as well and the pressure of human impact on coastal seas is rising. We therefore should regard the anthropogenic fingerprints, which we expect to find in the sediments of South China Sea, as strong warning signals.”
Prof. Dr. Joanna Waniek | +49 (0)381 5197 300 | Joanna.email@example.com
Press and Public Relations at IOW:
Dr. Kristin Beck | Phone: +49 (0)381 – 5197 135 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Barbara Hentzsch | Phone: +49 (0)381 – 5197 102 | email@example.com
IOW is a member of the Leibniz Association with currently 91 research institutes and scientific infrastructure facilities. The focus of the Leibniz Institutes ranges from natural, engineering and environmental sciences to economic, social and space sciences as well as to the humanities. The institutes are jointly financed at the state and national levels. The Leibniz Institutes employ a total of 18.100 people, of whom 9.200 are scientists. The total budget of the institutes is 1.6 billion Euros. (http://www.leibniz-association.eu)
Dr. Kristin Beck | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Clear as mud: Desiccation cracks help reveal the shape of water on Mars
20.04.2018 | Geological Society of America
Hurricane Harvey: Dutch-Texan research shows most fatalities occurred outside flood zones
19.04.2018 | European Geosciences Union
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy