Adaptability of large coral reefs to climate warming
Using a model and data from the field, a new study by the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) calculates the extent to which large reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef off the Australian coast will be able to adapt to ocean warming in the long term.
Many stony corals live in a symbiotic relationship with unicellular algae, which is the basis for the formation of the large coral reefs. Only the photosynthesis products of the algae provide the coral polyps with the necessary energy to build up limestone structures, some of which are meters high. However, when ocean temperatures exceed the thermal tolerance of the coral-algae community, this relationship breaks down, causing the coral to reject its symbiotic algae, bleach out, and ultimately die.
Whether corals will be able to adapt sufficiently quickly to higher temperatures is critical to the future of coral reefs. Corals can respond to global warming in a variety of ways: for example, by settling in more favorable habitats, genetically adapting, or acclimatizing.
Since most coral species are stuck to the seafloor, translocation to cooler ocean regions can only occur as free-swimming coral larvae conquer new regions. This is a very slow process that is also influenced by prevailing currents. Genetic adaptation, in which selection pressure influences the frequency of gene variants in successive generations, is also often very slow.
“We hypothesized in our study that acclimation gives corals a greater chance to adapt to global warming. In this process, an individual’s characteristics change within its lifetime in response to environmental changes.”
– Prof. Dr. Agostino Merico, scientist at the ZMT
The authors of the study developed a mathematical model that, when combined with data from field research, allowed them to estimate the rate at which coral communities might naturally acclimate to global warming. In the model, the researchers exposed three large reef ecosystems to different scenarios of low, medium and high CO2 emissions: the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and reefs of the Caribbean and the Coral Triangle in Southeast Asia.
“Previous modeling studies have not considered the possibility of acclimation,” Agostino Merico said. “In addition, little is known about the rate at which corals can acclimate. But this is an aspect that is critical for reliable predictions about the future of coral reefs as temperatures rise.” The model simulations found that coral acclimation can provide some degree of protection by delaying the decline of some reefs, such as the Great Barrier Reef. However, current acclimation rates will not be sufficient to protect corals from global warming in the long term. Model results suggest a significant decline in coral populations over an 80 to100 year period in all three marine regions, ranging from 12% to 55% depending on the region and the climate change scenario.
Corals are habitats for a variety of other organisms and provide important ecological services for millions of people – such as coastal protection, food resources or active ingredients for medicines. Their disappearance would thus have devastating consequences for humanity. “Our results underscore the urgent need for precise estimates of the ability and rate at which corals naturally acclimate. This should include laboratory experiments,” Agostino Merico says. “Global solutions to reduce emissions, management measures to minimize local threats to reefs, and human-assisted evolution remain the ultimate strategies to protect coral reefs,” the researcher adds.
Dr Klaus Endress to leave the Supervisory Board by the end of the year; Matthias Altendorf named as successor; Dr Peter Selders will become CEO
Changes will take place at the top of the Endress+Hauser Group at the beginning of 2024. As previously announced, Dr Klaus Endress will give up his responsibilities as president of the Supervisory Board. He is to be succeeded by CEO Matthias Altendorf. The new CEO of the Group will be Dr Peter Selders, the present head of the center of competence for level and pressure measurement technology. Steven Endress, currently managing director of Endress+Hauser UK, will become the second member of the family to sit on the Supervisory Board.
Klaus Endress (born 1948) has put his stamp on the development of Endress+Hauser for nearly 45 years. It was in 1979 that he joined the company his father founded. He then took over the management of the Group in 1995. In 2014, he handed over day-to-day operation of the company to Matthias Altendorf and became president of the Supervisory Board. Much of the company bears his signature to this day. He also focused in recent years on ensuring a smooth generational change within the shareholder family.
New management for the group of companies
Matthias Altendorf is slated to take over as president of the Supervisory Board on 1 January 2024. He will be proposed for election at the Annual General Meeting on 3 April 2023. According to Klaus Endress, the shareholders believe he is right person for this position: “He has known our company for 35 years and has led the Group with prudence and success for nearly a decade. Mr Altendorf also embodies the Endress+Hauser culture in an exemplary manner and stands for the values that distinguish our company.”
Dr Peter Selders will take over the reins as CEO. The 53-year-old executive, who holds a PhD in physics, joined Endress+Hauser in 2004 and has led the center of competence for level and pressure measurement technology based in Maulburg, Germany, since 2019. “As head of Endress+Hauser Level+Pressure, he has demonstrated that he can lead and inspire people, that he lives and breathes our culture and that he is capable of successfully growing a large organization,” says Klaus Endress.
Family remains closely linked to the company
Considerable thought and extensive discussions among the shareholders, the family and the Supervisory Board went into making these decisions. “It goes without saying that the family will continue to be closely connected with the company,” emphasizes Klaus Endress. As before, it will be represented by two members on the Supervisory Board. In addition to Sandra Genge, Steven Endress will join the board on 1 January 2024. The 44-year-old grandson of the company’s founder has worked for Endress+Hauser since 2012 and served as managing director in the UK since 2016.
Even though Klaus Endress will no longer have an active role at Endress+Hauser, he will remain chairman of the Family Council, which decides on all important issues in the relationship between the family and the company. For years, a family charter has governed the shareholders’ interaction and their relationship with the company. Established institutions and regular meetings strengthen solidarity within the family and provide a path for members of the younger generations to become involved in the company.
Further succession arrangements in place
Peter Selders will be succeeded at the top of the center of competence for level and pressure measurement technology by 49-year-old Dr Dirk Mörmann, currently director of technology and member of the board of directors. The fortunes of Endress+Hauser UK will be in the hands of Iain Cropper (51) as of 1 May 2023. As a member of the board of directors, to date he has been responsible for the sales center’s operations.
Sustainable transformation of asset-intensive industries thanks to virtual twin experiences
Dassault Systèmes and IBM announced an extension of their long-standing collaboration with the signature of a memorandum of understanding combining their technologies to address the sustainability challenges affecting asset-intensive industries.
In 2022, sustainability was identified by 58 percent of Energy and Resources CEOs as their greatest challenge, with 51 percent of them also considering it as a business opportunity that will drive growth. At the same time, 44 percent of CEOs cited a lack of insights from data as a problem. (Source: IBV 2022 CEO – Energy & Resources insights)
Today companies are confronted with not only rising energy prices but also supply chain and operational disruptions. These disruptions are due to multiple factors including geopolitical situations, an aging workforce, and climate-related risks. In response to these challenges, deploying new infrastructure quickly and efficiently as well as optimizing the operations of existing assets and extending their lifecycle is crucial. A company’s ability to harness actionable, data-driven insights is key to accelerate the transformation of assets that are safer, more efficient and more sustainable.
To help companies ensure business continuity while achieving their sustainability goals, Dassault Systèmes and IBM have decided to combine Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform and virtual twin experiences with IBM’s solutions for Asset Management, Resources Optimization, Environmental Risk Management and ESG governance.
Any organization including consulting firms or engineering companies will be able to better understand existing assets and therefore provide the transformational roadmap to modernize and optimize energy grids, wind farms, airports, water distribution systems, transportation and mobility, cities and datacenters.
A virtual twin experience of an asset is a data-enriched, evolving 3D model that replicates reality with scientific accuracy and is used to test and improve the asset’s performance virtually before doing so physically. Combining virtual twin experiences of equipment, infrastructure, value networks and territories with solutions for optimizing meteorological and green IT data, for example, will help to:
- Improve collaboration and knowledge sharing between system engineering, manufacturing, and operations teams.
- Make faster, safer, and more sustainable operational decisions for assets, people, and processes.
- Integrate compliance considerations with respect to industry and environmental regulations from the engineering phase to the maintenance phase.
Over the coming months, Dassault Systèmes and IBM will work together to structure the details of their joint offering. Both companies will first target owners and operators of water / energy distribution and energy transmission projects, wind farms operators, airports and IT infrastructure projects that focus on datacenters.
Examples use cases that benefit from this collaboration in Energy and Civilian Infrastructure markets include:
- Compute and optimize global carbon footprint during datacenter operations by automating the actions that proactively deliver the most efficient use of compute, storage, and network resources.
- Enhance airport operations by leveraging asset health and maintenance information, along with global meteorological and forecasting data
- Combine optimization and simulation capabilities to improve the placement of physical assets for wind farms.
- Optimize utilities operations and renovations including electrical transmission, water supply and sanitation
“There is no better time to revitalize the IBM Dassault Systèmes long-term Partnership, as solving sustainability challenges requires collaboration across an advanced ecosystem of business partners. We are convinced that enriching virtual twins with real world data will enable companies to improve their operational efficiency and reduce their environment impact especially in asset intensive industries,” commented Ana Paula de Jesus Assis, Chair & General Manager, EMEA, IBM. “Throughout our own history, IBM has sought to be at the forefront of making our world a better place and our 2030 Net-Zero ambition confirms our commitment. We are developing a comprehensive and differentiated portfolio of sustainability software and consulting services, in concert with our ecosystem of partners.”
“IBM has long been a valued partner of Dassault Systèmes, and we share a deep commitment to accelerating the sustainable transformation of industries. This next step aims to help our customers reduce their environmental footprint in sectors that are urgent priorities in the context of today’s energy crisis,” said Florence Verzelen, Executive Vice President, Industry, Marketing and Sustainability, Dassault Systèmes. “The combination of IBM’s sustainability software and expertise with our 3DEXPERIENCE platform, sustainability portfolio and virtual twin experiences can offer unparalleled ways to address systemic challenges in achieving net zero ambitions and driving the circular economy.”
H2 learning centre
Enapter and its partners today launched a project to create Southeast Asia’s first green hydrogen learning centre, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Initiated with a contract signing ceremony and visit to the Phi Suea House hydrogen showcase, the project will be a partnership between Enapter, the German state-owned organisation GIZ, and Chiang Mai University’s Energy Research and Development Institute of Nakornping (ERDI).
The green hydrogen knowledge hub in Chiang Mai will consist of a training centre developing and offering hands-on courses using state-of-the art technology, and a unique green hydrogen demonstration site. By training project developers, integrators and other energy professionals, the centre will enable the growth of hydrogen infrastructure in the region, promote regional cooperation and help position Chiang Mai and Thailand as pioneers in modular hydrogen system technology.
Green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy sources, has emerged as one of the most promising alternatives to fossil fuels. Thailand has set ambitious decarbonisation goals and sees hydrogen as a key element in achieving these targets, with this cooperation between the Thai and German public and private sectors set to play a role in supporting Thailand’s national goals.
The project is being implemented via the International Hydrogen Ramp-up Program (H2Uppp), an initiative carried out by the GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). It builds on the progress made thanks to the Phi Suea House in Chiang Mai, a multi-house residence that in 2015 became the world’s first self-sustaining development powered by a clean energy system based on hydrogen energy storage. The European Commission in 2021 named it as one of 32 “Hydrogen Valley” large-scale hydrogen flagship projects around the world.
Phi Suea House was developed by Enapter CEO Sebastian-Justus Schmidt to showcase combined solar and green hydrogen tech feasibility – and has evolved into a hub of hydrogen activity and a technology prototyping sandbox. It will be part of the partnership to set up the knowledge centre.
Sebastian-Justus Schmidt – “Every new technology first goes through a learning phase. The doubts that arise at the beginning can be reliably dispelled with education and knowledge transfer. This project will act like a green hydrogen lighthouse for the region and make Thailand, and especially Chiang Mai, known as a knowledge centre in hydrogen, even beyond the country’s borders.”
Simon Rolland, Energy portfolio Programme Director, GIZ – “Today marks a defining moment in our pursuit of a greener and more sustainable future. The establishment of the green hydrogen knowledge hub in Chiang Mai is a clear demonstration of our unwavering commitment to clean energy and sustainable development. This project will not only provide a training ground for future project developers, but also serve as a model that showcases the viability of green hydrogen systems. With the combined efforts of CMU, Enapter, and GIZ, we are bringing together a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will make Chiang Mai a hub for innovation throughout Southeast Asia.”
Prof.Pongruk Sribanditmongkol,M.D., Ph.D., President, CMU – “This is crucial in addressing the issue of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are proud to be a part of this important initiative and look forward to working together to make a positive impact on the environment.”