Global Change, defined as the global impact of local human activities of any kind on the functioning of the biosphere, is driven by a common force: growth of the human population coupled with an increased use of resources (energy, water, land, biodiversity, chemicals and key elements).
The contribution of science is central to address this challenge. Scientific research will help to better understand, forecast, and ultimately manage the risks posed by Global Change, through adaptation and mitigation measures. Global Change Research requires important transdisciplinar components as well as critical mass.
We study a wide array of mechanisms that might explain the dynamics of the ocean system (from the coast to the open ocean) as well as the terrestrial system in a context of global change, focusing mainly on the particularly vulnerable coastal areas. The variability of scales involved, from meters to thousands of kilometers and from seconds to centuries, and their nonlinear interactions, make the understanding of theses mechanisms a real internationally established challenge. We address this challenge combining theoretical, observational (in situ and remote), experimental and numerical modeling approaches, using a physical, biological and mathematical background.
The Balearic Islands are especially vulnerable to Global Change due to (a) their insularity, (b) their strong dependence of the economical and social fabric on tourism, and (c) their particular sensitivity to climate change, with fast warming rates and high drought intensity. A knowledge and science based approach is essential to guarantee real preservation and restoration of the island's’ environment in line international sustainability science principles.