Latin American and French analyze how to use big data to deal with climate change in the ocean

Latin American and French analyze how to use big data to deal with climate change in the ocean



In 2003, Tara boat sailed from France to understand the impact of climate change on oceans. Organized by Fondation Tara Expéditions (FTE), the trip collected 35,000 samples that allowed the identification of 40 million genes, which are available to the scientific community. Today, the expedition is advancing along the Pacific Ocean. How to work these large volumes of data to prevent the consequences of global warming? How to use them to generate international public policies and avoid environmental damage? How to use them to balance economic and environmental sustainability in the exploitation of seas? These are some questions that more than 40 scientists from seven countries will try to answer in two meetings that will be held in Concepción from September 4th to 6th and Santiago on September 7th. This last meeting will be open to the general public and representatives from public and private sectors will join it in.

“It’s a tremendous challenge to know what we’re going to do with that data to make it useful information. That is why we need to gather perspectives from different areas of knowledge and cultural contexts,” explains Alejandro Maass, director of the Center for Mathematical Modeling of Universidad de Chile, who organizes the events.


From September 4th to 6th, the Millennium Institute of Oceanography in Concepción will host The Tara Oceans program: structuring of international scientific cooperation with South America multidisciplinary workshop. More than 40 specialists in fields such as molecular biology, bioinformatics, and genomic research will review the progress of the scientific cooperation project on ocean plankton promoted by FTE and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) with six countries. Chile, Argentina, and Brazil among them.

This initiative empowers new PhD researchers to develop indicators and instruments to improve ocean and resource management. Its objective is to use data generated by Tara Oceans to understand how communities of marine microorganisms are organized. They seek to apply this knowledge in solving problems Southern Cone seas face.


In an event open to the public on September 7th at 2:00 p.m., Universidad de Chile, the French Embassy, the Senate’s Commission for the Challenges of the Future, Science, Technology and Innovation and FTE organize Global Challenges for The ocean sciences and international politics today regional seminar.

The meeting will be held at the Gorbea Auditorium of the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (Beauchef 850, Santiago). It will bring together scientists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, and Peru. They will dialogue with authorities, parliamentarians, businessmen, and attendants around scientific and technological advances to solve the problems of the ocean.

The conversation will address the work carried out by Tara Pacific with Latin American researchers. The group is studying the evolution of the sea considering both climate change phenomenon and the economic exploitation. The attendants will analyze the challenges of the fishing industry in a context where several recent critical events have occurred, like the closures of males, hake and crazy; massive whaling of whales in the north, or the red tide in 2016.

Molecular biologist scientific director of the Tara Oceans expedition between 2009 and 2012 Eric Karsenti will join in the seminar. He won the gold medal of the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in 2015, one of the highest honors In the world of sciences in France.

“We are carrying out ‘citizen science’. We want citizens to participate in this conversation involving scientists, authorities and also to them,” explained Maass. “We want to incorporate their points of view and generate enriching dialogues.”

More information and free registration

Posted on Aug 22, 2017 in Frontpage, News