Wildfire is the single greatest terrestrial disturbance agent on Earth. Satellite data suggest that in an average year, wildfires burn a total area of around 3.5 million km2, an area around 15 times larger than the UK. While some of these fires are purposefully controlled or are manageable, and can have benefits for ecosystems and livelihoods, other fires burn uncontrollably, with sometimes devastating consequences for safety, livelihoods, wildlife and climate. Continue reading Spreading like wildfire; the double-threat of changing landscapes and climate
Nick Reynard, Lizzie Ellison and Amy Wilson, Research Postgraduates on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, consider how nature-based solutions can help boost flood defences and tackle climate change. Climate change is causing vast glaciers to melt, a drastic rise in global sea levels and more extreme weather events. A major consequence of these changes is the increased frequency and severity of … Continue reading Salt marshes or sea walls? Preventing coastal flooding in the UK
People protesting in Santiago with colourful flags and political slogan. Credit: Carolina Cuadros Karina Corada Perez, Research Postgraduate at Imperial’s Centre for Environmental Policy, blogs on how the UN Climate Summit, COP25, has already shone a spotlight on social crises and environmental injustices – and what she thinks governments around the world can do to change the economic systems that are unsustainable for human life. On Friday … Continue reading COP25 – the world must wake up to environmental inequality
Grantham Institute Lecturer Dr Joeri Rogelj says when it comes to climate change education, ‘stories about the future’ help people to come to terms with uncertain outcomes, and consistently receive great feedback from students. The impacts of climate change are happening now and our daily news is inundated with stories of record-breaking weather events and their destructive effects on people’s lives around the globe. Understanding … Continue reading Climate change: Teaching our unknowable future
Last weekend, the United Kingdom Government announced a moratorium on fracking, based on evidence from a report by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA). In this Q&A, Imperial’s Karen Makuch, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law, and Miriam Aczel, President’s Scholar at the Centre for Environmental Policy, consider what led to the ban, and what it might mean for the UK energy sector going forwards. What … Continue reading Fracking Q&A: The background, the ban and what’s coming next
The Grantham Institute’s Dr Andreas Kafizas blogs on how light-activated paint and coatings can help tackle air pollution, and whether or not they are effective. Air pollution is a public health emergency. Imperial research shows that poor air quality in London leads to around 1,000 hospital admissions for asthma and serious lung conditions every year. For the UK as a whole, it is estimated that … Continue reading Painting over the cracks – a short-term fix for air pollution?
Watercolour painting of krill bioluminescence. (c) Wikimedia commons Imperial’s Dr Emma Cavan, lead author of a recent Nature Communications paper on the role of krill in influencing the environment, and the University of Tasmania’s Professor Steve Nicol, author of ‘The Curious Life of Krill’, blog on why krill are so much more than they seem. Krill – a crustacean that looks a bit like a … Continue reading 9 things you need to know about krill and why they are essential to the health of the ocean
Geraint Northwood, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, blogs on his experience with Extinction Rebellion, and how it has turned his frustration to optimism for the future. The first I knew of Extinction Rebellion was when a sort of business card was handed to me at a climate strike in Westminster, which I pretty much ignored. It had the … Continue reading Put your fate in your hands: Rebelling against extinction gave me hope for the future
Neil Grant, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, blogs on why avoiding a tonne of carbon dioxide today is not the same as removing a tonne of carbon dioxide tomorrow. In 2019, public concern about climate change increased dramatically, and pressure is growing on world leaders to take decisive action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Experts are warning that, with the world significantly off-track to … Continue reading Reducing carbon emissions: don’t wait until tomorrow
Shirin Hakim and Miriam Aczel, who recently co-organised a Grantham Institute event about climate change, low-carbon transitions and security, reflect on why climate change is a security issue and the next steps for researchers and policymakers . While climate change and security have traditionally been examined in isolation, climate is increasingly entering the policy arena as a national security issue. The impacts of global warming are far-reaching. Extreme weather like droughts and flooding … Continue reading Climate change is a security issue. How can we make sure climate security receives the attention it needs?