Raffaele Bernardello

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Employment history

Feb 2017 - present: Established researcher

Earth Science Department, Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, Barcelona (Spain)

Feb 2014 - Feb 2017: Postdoctoral researcher

Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems Department, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK)

Jan 2011 - Jan 2014: Postdoctoral researcher

Department of Earth and Environemtnal Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (USA)

Aug 2010 - Dec 2010: Postdoctoral researcher

Centre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CEAB), Spanish National Research Council, Blanes, Spain

Dr. Raffaele Bernardello is an established researcher in the Climate Variability and Change (CVC) group at BSC where he co-coordinates all the activities related to global biogeochemistry, including the carbon cycle. His expertise and research interests are in the broad context of the interactions between climate dynamics and global carbon cycle. He has a wide experience in the use and development of Earth System Models, particularly on the ocean biogeochemical aspect. During his PhD (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain, 2010) he implemented a coupled physical-biogeochemical model configuration for the Western Mediterranean Sea to study the interannual variability of phytoplankton blooms and their relation to the export of organic matter. After the completion of his PhD he joined the Ocean and Climate Dynamics group at the University of Pennsylvania as a postdoctoral researcher, where he has directed his research at unveiling the complex mechanisms regulating the response of ocean carbon uptake to projected physical perturbations driven by future climate change using a climate model, with particular attention to Southern Ocean's dynamics. Bernardello then moved to the UK where he accepted a position as a research scientist within the Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Department at the National Oceanography Center (NOC), Southampton. At NOC Bernardello investigated the impact on global nutrient distributions of different parameterizations commonly used in ESMs for export and remineralization of organic matter. In 2017 Bernardello joined BSC as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow, where he worked on the assessment of the decadal predictability of biogeochemical properties in the upwelling systems of the Atlantic Ocean. As part of this work, he established a new research line at BSC on the predictability of the global carbon cycle. Over the past 5 years, the team he manages has expanded its activities into climate mitigation and carbon dioxide removal, attracting over 5 million euros in research funding. At present, Dr. Bernardello coordinates a Horizon Europe project about climate stabilization and carbon dioxide removal technologies (RESCUE-GA-101056939) and co-coordinates a national project on a related subject (CDRESM). Moreover, he is PI for BSC in the H2020 project 4C (H2020-LC-CLA-821003) focused on predictability of atmospheric CO2 in support of the Paris Agreement, and participates in 4 more European projects on ocean biogeochemistry predictability, climate mitigation and model development ( TRIATLAS; LANDMARC; OptimESM; EDITO-Model Lab), as well as one ESA project on dust deposition and ocean biogeochemistry (DOMOS). In the past, Dr. Bernardello was the PI of a Spanish project (DeCUSO-CGL2017-84493-R) dedicated at investigating the decadal predictability of carbon uptake in the Southern Ocean, and has participated in national research projects in three different countries (Spain: OAMMS-CTM2008-03983; UK: BATMAN-NE/K015613/1; USA: NOAA NA10OAR4320092). He is acting as co-chair of the ocean working group of the European community model EC-Earth and has been instrumental in the participation of EC-Earth3 in international modeling exercises (OMIP and C4MIP) that contributed to the 6th IPCC assessment report on climate.


PhD Marine Sciences (2005 - 2010) - Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. Barcelona Tech (Spain) - Centre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CEAB - CSIC), Operational Oceanography and Sustainability Unit

Thesis title: A 3D high resolution coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model for the Western Mediterranean Sea. Interanual variability of primary and export production.

B.Sc. & M.Sc. Marine Environmental Sciences (1997 - 2003) - University of Genoa (Italy)



Open positions:

- Postdoctoral researcher - Ocean biogeochemical modeller - Apply here
- Postdoctoral position - Machine learning ocean biogeochemistry modeling - Opening soon - Check BSC job opportunities 

Ongoing projects:

Response of the Earth System to overshoot, Climate neUtrality and negative Emissions (RESCUE - GA101056939; 2022-2026 ; Coordinator) : 

The RESCUE project will improve knowledge and understanding in area c) of this call: “Climate and Earth System responses to climate neutrality and net negative emissions”, by pursuing two overall objectives: 1) Quantify the climate and Earth system responses to pathways achieving climate neutrality by Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) deployment with and without temperature overshoot, and 2) Assess the potential role of CDR in reducing net GHG emissions, as well as its potential environmental risks and co-benefits. RESCUE will expand existing knowledge on CDR methods, to design a suite of new global temperature stabilization scenarios at several target values to achieve the first objective. New model developments will deliver improved climate projections with explicit representation of CDR portfolios for these scenarios. The analyses will be devoted to finding suitable pathways to climate neutrality considering multiple aspects of the Earth system response: mean climate and extremes, sea-level rise, global carbon cycling, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Particular attention will be paid to the reversibility of induced changes by comparing scenarios with and without temperature overshoot. The second objective will be achieved by analyses assessing various factors determining overall effectiveness, impacts and co-benefits of CDR portfolios. These factors include CDR-specific CO2 uptake, CDR-induced biogeophysical climate feedbacks, CDR-derived non-CO2 radiative forcers, and the interaction between socio-economic and environmental impacts (e.g., biodiversity). Moreover, a dedicated analysis will provide key criteria for developing a monitoring system for the effectiveness of CDR portfolio deployments and their potential side effects. Stakeholders will be closely engaged throughout the project to ensure policy relevance and final update of the results which will be made freely available via existing climate services.
Climate-Carbon Interactions in the Current Century (4C - GA821003; 2019-2023; PI for BSC) :
4C addresses the crucial knowledge gap in the climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide emissions, by reducing uncertainty in our quantitative understanding of carbon-climate interactions and feedbacks. This will be achieved through innovative integration of models and observations, providing new constraints on modelled carbon-climate interactions and climate projections, and supporting IPCC assessments and policy objectives. To meet this objective, 4C will (a) provide a step change in our ability to quantify the key processes regulating the coupled carbon-climate system, (b) use observational constraints and improved processes understanding to provide multi-model near-term predictions and long-term projections of the climate in response to anthropogenic emissions, and (c) deliver policy-relevant carbon dioxide emission pathways consistent with the UNFCCC Paris Agreement (PA) goals. To achieve its goals, 4C will develop and use: state-of-the-art Earth System Models (ESMs) including biogeochemical processes not included in previous IPCC reports; novel observations to constrain the contemporary carbon cycle and its natural variability; ESM-based decadal predictions including carbon-climate feedbacks and novel initialisation methods; novel emergent constraints and weighting methods to reduce uncertainty in carbon cycle and climate projections; and novel climate scenarios following adaptive CO2 emission pathways. 4C will support two central elements of the PA. First, the PA global stocktakes, by providing policy-relevant predictions of atmospheric CO2 and climate in response to the national determined contributions. Second, the PA ambitions to keep global warming well below 2°C, by providing robust estimates of the remaining carbon budgets and available pathways. 4C will bring together leading European groups on climate modelling and on carbon cycle research, uniquely securing Europe’s leadership in actionable science needed for the IPCC assessments.
Tropical and South Atlantic climate-based marine ecosystem predictions for sustainable management (TRIATLAS - GA817578; 2019-2023; Team member):
Sustainable management of human activities affecting Atlantic marine ecosystems is critical to maintain its health and to support the blue economy of the bordering countries. TRIATLAS will contribute to this by delivering knowledge of the current state and future changes of the Atlantic marine ecosystems. We achieve this through a basin-wide approach integrating research from the North and South, that closes critical knowledge gaps in the Tropical and South Atlantic which impede an understanding of the entire basin. We bring together an interdisciplinary team of marine ecologists, physical oceanographers, climate researchers, and social scientists from 34 different institutions in Europe, Africa, and South America, together with multisectoral and regional stakeholders. We will enhance knowledge of the marine ecosystems in key areas of the Atlantic using existing and pivotal new (physical, biological, societal) observations. Earth system, ecological, and socio-economic models and observations will be used to assess the cumulative impacts of (climatic, pollution, and fishing) pressures driving fluctuations in the marine ecosystem, and the potential for tipping point behavior and regime shifts. We will develop the first predictions of the marine-ecosystem for the next 40 years for the whole Atlantic, by combining state-of-the-art climate prediction and ecosystem models, with Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, and by conducting socio-economic vulnerability assessments services, with stakeholder engagement. TRIATLAS will enhance capacity in marine ecosystems, oceanography, and climate research in countries bordering the South and Tropical Atlantic Ocean. There will be close cooperation and alignment with relevant European Commission services and the South-South Framework for Scientific and Technical Cooperation, as well as other relevant initiatives in the field. We will contribute to upscale cooperation around the Atlantic.
Optimal High Resolution Earth System Models for Exploring Future Climate Changes (OptimESM - GA101081193;  20232027; Team member):

OptimESM will develop a novel generation of Earth system models (ESMs), combining high-resolution with an unprecedented representation of key physical and biogeochemical processes. These models will be used to deliver cutting-edge and policy-relevant knowledge around the consequences of reaching or exceeding different levels of global warming, including the risk of rapid change in key Earth system phenomena and the regional impacts arising both from the level of global warming and the occurrence of abrupt changes. OptimESM will realise these goals by bringing together four ESM groups with Integrated Assessment Modelling teams, as well as experts in model evaluation, Earth system processes, machine learning, climate impacts and science communication. OptimESM will further develop new policy-relevant emission and land use scenarios, including ones that realise the Paris Agreement, and others that temporarily or permanently overshoot the Paris Agreement targets. Using these scenarios, OptimESM will deliver long-term projections that will increase our understanding of the risk for triggering potential tipping points in phenomena such as, ice sheets, sea ice, ocean circulation, marine ecosystems, permafrost, and terrestrial ecosystems. OptimESM will further our understanding of the processes controlling such tipping points, attribute the risk of exceeding various tipping points to the level of global warming, and develop a range of techniques to forewarn the occurrence of tipping points in the real world. Artificial Intelligence (AI-) methods for statistical downscaling will be developed and applied to improve our understanding of the effect of long-term global change and tipping points on regional climate, particularly extreme events.
New knowledge and data from OptimESM will be actively communicated to other disciplines, such as the impacts and policy research communities, as well as the general public. This knowledge will provide a solid foundation for actionable science-based policies.

Underlying models for the European DIgital Twin Ocean (EDITO-Model Lab - GA101093293; 2023-2025; Team member):
EDITO-Model Lab will prepare the next generation of ocean models, complementary to Copernicus Marine Service to be integrated into the EU public infrastructure of the European Digital Twin Ocean that will ensure access to required input and validation data (from EMODnet, EuroGOOS, ECMWF, Copernicus Services and Sentinels satellite observations) and to high performance and distributed computing facilities (from EuroHPC for High Performance Computing and other cloud computing resources) and that will be consolidated under developments of Destination Earth (DestinE). The objective is to make ocean knowledge available to citizens, entrepreneurs, policymakers, decision-makers and scientific experts alike, thus enabling them to become partners in knowledge generation, explore desirable futures and develop ocean management scenarios (and assemble their own twins), with the overarching goal of ensuring a safe, healthy and productive ocean. As an interactive and user driven initiative, EDITO-Model Lab will deliver a Virtual Ocean Model Lab including (1) a core model suite including global high resolution models and coastal configurations, (2) downstream user toolkits and (3) a developer’s toolkit for a sustainable ocean.
The Virtual Ocean Model Lab will be an interactive and co-development environment to operate models. The core model suite will be based on modelling and simulation software, artificial intelligence algorithms and specialised tools to form a new service capacity for accessing, manipulating, analysing and understanding marine information. Intermediate and downstream stakeholders will find digital tools, data and information for ‘focus applications’ that refer to the Mission Lighthouses and the sustainable Blue economy, including ‘what-if scenarios’ to find solutions to natural and man-induced hazards. EDITO-Model Lab will be delivered in 36 months by a consortium of 14 authoritative partners, covering ocean knowledge, modelling and technological expertise.


Döscher, R., Acosta, M., Alessandri, A., Anthoni, P., Arsouze, T., Bergman, T., Bernardello, R., Boussetta, S., Caron, L.-P., Carver, G., Castrillo, M., Catalano, F., Cvijanovic, I., Davini, P., Dekker, E., Doblas-Reyes, F. J., Docquier, D., Echevarria, P., Fladrich, U., Fuentes-Franco, R., Gröger, M., v. Hardenberg, J., Hieronymus, J., Karami, M. P., Keskinen, J.-P., Koenigk, T., Makkonen, R., Massonnet, F., Ménégoz, M., Miller, P. A., Moreno-Chamarro, E., Nieradzik, L., van Noije, T., Nolan, P., O'Donnell, D., Ollinaho, P., van den Oord, G., Ortega, P., Prims, O. T., Ramos, A., Reerink, T., Rousset, C., Ruprich-Robert, Y., Le Sager, P., Schmith, T., Schrödner, R., Serva, F., Sicardi, V., Sloth Madsen, M., Smith, B., Tian, T., Tourigny, E., Uotila, P., Vancoppenolle, M., Wang, S., Wårlind, D., Willén, U., Wyser, K., Yang, S., Yepes-Arbós, X., and Zhang, Q.: The EC-Earth3 Earth system model for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6, Geosci. Model Dev., 2022, 15, 2973–3020, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-15-2973-2022.

Falls, M., Bernardello, R., Castrillo, M., Acosta, M., Llort, J., and Galí, M.: Use of genetic algorithms for ocean model parameter optimisation: a case study using PISCES-v2_RC for North Atlantic particulate organic carbon, Geosci. Model Dev., 2022,15, 5713–5737, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-15-5713-2022.

Galí, M., Falls, M., Claustre, H., Aumont, O., and Bernardello, R.: Bridging the gaps between particulate backscattering measurements and modeled particulate organic carbon in the ocean, Biogeosciences, 2022, 19, 1245–1275, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-19-1245-2022.

Tsujino, H., Urakawa, L. S., Griffies, S. M., Danabasoglu, G., Adcroft, A. J., Amaral, A. E., Arsouze, T., Bentsen, M., Bernardello, R., Böning, C. W., Bozec, A., Chassignet, E. P., Danilov, S., Dussin, R., Exarchou, E., Fogli, P. G., Fox-Kemper, B., Guo, C., Ilicak, M., Iovino, D., Kim, W. M., Koldunov, N., Lapin, V., Li, Y., Lin, P., Lindsay, K., Liu, H., Long, M. C., Komuro, Y., Marsland, S. J., Masina, S., Nummelin, A., Rieck, J. K., Ruprich-Robert, Y., Scheinert, M., Sicardi, V., Sidorenko, D., Suzuki, T., Tatebe, H., Wang, Q., Yeager, S. G., and Yu, Z.: Evaluation of global ocean–sea-ice model simulations based on the experimental protocols of the Ocean Model Intercomparison Project phase 2 (OMIP-2), Geosci. Model Dev., 2020, 13, 3643–3708, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-13-3643-2020.


Bahamon, N.; Aguzzi, J.; Ahumada-Sempoal, M.Á.; Bernardello, R.; Reuschel, C.; Company, J.B.; Peters, F.; Gordoa, A.; Navarro, J.; Velásquez, Z.; Cruzado, A. Stepped Coastal Water Warming Revealed by Multiparametric Monitoring at NW Mediterranean Fixed Stations. Sensors 2020, 20, 2658. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092658

Sanders RJ, Henson SA, Martin AP, Anderson TR, Bernardello R, Enderlein P, Fielding S, Giering SLC, Hartmann M, Iversen M, Khatiwala S, Lam P, Lampitt R, Mayor DJ, Moore MC, Murphy E, Painter SC, Poulton AJ, Saw K, Stowasser G, Tarling GA, Torres-Valdes S, Trimmer M, Wolff GA, Yool A and Zubkov M. Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage (COMICS): Fieldwork, Synthesis, and Modeling Efforts. Front. Mar. Sci. , 2016, 3:136. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00136
Cardoso-Mohedano, J.G., Bernardello, R., Sanchez-Cabeza, J.A., Paez-Osuna, F., Ruiz-Fernandez, A.C., Molino-Minero-Re, E., Cruzado, A. Reducing nutrient impacts from shrimp effluents in a subtropical coastal lagoon. Science of the Total Environment, 2016, 571, 388-397. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.140.
Bernardello R, Serrano E, Coma R, Ribes M, Bahamon N. A comparison of remote-sensing SST and in situ seawater temperature in near-shore habitats in the western Mediterranean Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser, 2016, 559:21-34. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11896
Cabré, A., Marinov, I., Bernardello, R., and Bianchi, D.: Oxygen minimum zones in the tropical Pacific across CMIP5 models: mean state differences and climate change trends, Biogeosciences, 2015, 12, 5429–5454, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-5429-2015.


Cardoso-Mohedano, J.G., Bernardello, R., Sanchez-Cabeza, J.A., Molino-Minero-Re, E., Ruiz-Fernandez, A.C., Cruzado, A. Accumulation of conservative substances in a sub-tropical coastal lagoon. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2015, 164, 1-9, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2015.06.022

Ahumada-Sempoal, M.A., Flexas, M.M, Bernardello, R., Bahamos, N. Cruzado, A., Reyes-Hernandez, C. Shelf-slope exchanges and particle dispersion in Blanes submarine canyon (NW Mediterranean Sea): A numerical study. Continental Shelf Research, 2015,  109, 35-45, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2015.09.012.

Bernardello, R., Marinov, I., Palter, J.B., Galbraith, E.D., Sarmiento, J.L. Impact of Weddell Sea deep convection on natural and anthropogenic carbon in a climate model. Geophysical Research Letters, 2014, 41, doi:10.1002/2014GL061313.

Cardoso-Mohedano, Bernardello, R., Sanchez-Cabeza, J.A., Ruiz-Fernndez, A.C., Alonso-Rodriguez, R., Cruzado, A. Thermal Impact from a Thermoelectric Power Plant on a Tropical Coastal Lagoon. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 2014, 226, doi:10.1007/s11270-014-2202-8.

Bernardello, R., Marinov, I., Palter, J.B., Sarmiento, J.L., Galbraith, E.D., Slater, R.L. Response of the Ocean Natural Carbon Storage to Projected Twenty-First-Century Climate Change. Journal of Climate, 2014, 27, 2033-2053, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00343.1.

de Lavergne, C., Palter, J.B., Galbraith, E.D., Bernardello, R., Marinov, I. Cessation of deep convection in the open Southern Ocean under anthropogenic climate change. Nature Climate Change, 2014, 4, 278-282, doi:10.1038/nclimate2132.
Ahumada-Sempoal, M.A., Flexas, M.M., Bernardello, R., Bahamon, N., Cruzado, A. Northern Current variability and its impact on the Blanes Canyon circulation: A numerical study. Progress in Oceanography, 2013, 118, 61-70, doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2013.07.030.
Bernardello, R., Cardoso-Mohedano, J.G., Bahamon, N., Donis, D., Marinov, I., Cruzado, A. Factors controlling interannual variability of vertical organic matter export and phytoplankton bloom dynamics a numerical case-study for the NW Mediterranean Sea. Biogeosciences, 2012, 9, 4233-4245, doi:10.5194/bg-9-4233-2012.
Bahamon, N., Aguzzi, J., Bernardello, R., Ahumada-Sempoal, M. A., Puigdefabregas, J., Cateura, J., Muoz, E., Velsquez, Z., Cruzado, A. The new pelagic Operational Observatory of the Catalan Sea (OOCS) for the multisensor coordinated measurement of atmospheric and oceanographic conditions. Sensors, 2011, 11(12), 11251-11272, doi:10.3390/s111211251.