Van on Yellowknife Ice Road, Northwest Territories, Canada

Getting renewable electricity to Canada’s remote communities

Alvaro Lara, a student on the MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance programme, considers the challenges faced by off-grid communities in Canada, why climate change threatens their status quo, and how renewables could hold the key to a reliable power supply. Colville Lake is about as remote as you can get in Canada. Located 50km north of the Arctic circle and with a population of only … Continue reading Getting renewable electricity to Canada’s remote communities

What to do with all the carbon dioxide?

Research Postgraduates Clara Heuberger and Clea Kolster, who recently attended the UNFCCC’s 23rd Conference of the Parties in Bonn, consider the significant potential of  carbon dioxide removal technologies, and the barriers they face.  A recent report published by the UN highlighted that, last year, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at record speed, hitting a level not seen for more than three … Continue reading What to do with all the carbon dioxide?

Kamchatka, on road to the fieldwork site

Ring of Fire: the future of ecological climate change research?

‘Ring of Fire’ is a four-year research project that investigates how rising temperatures of global warming could affect freshwater ecosystems. A team of scientists are visiting five high-latitude sites where geothermal activity generates a temperature gradient across freshwater streams. The streams are used as ‘natural laboratories’ to investigate how global warming could impact everything from gene expression to whole ecosystem processes, in systems that are experiencing … Continue reading Ring of Fire: the future of ecological climate change research?

Can tackling antimicrobial resistance help end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity?

Healthy People, Healthy Planet is a challenge team formed by students from the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) Doctoral Training Partnership. Following an event earlier this year, team member Hiral Shah discusses how antimicrobial resistance is intrinsically linked to other global problems, and why tackling it is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were developed … Continue reading Can tackling antimicrobial resistance help end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity?

Downing Street Sign City of Westminster London, UK

The Clean Growth Strategy – a turn in the right direction for a low carbon future

Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation at the Grantham Institute, mulls over the government’s Clean Growth Strategy and looks ahead to the next steps. Good things come to those who wait. After nearly a year of anticipation, the UK Government finally launched its Clean Growth Strategy on 12 October. Was it worth the wait? It certainly shows commitment to green growth, embedding climate change … Continue reading The Clean Growth Strategy – a turn in the right direction for a low carbon future

Our "commute to work". A 7.5km hike across mudflats, wetland, ice and rivers

Ring of Fire: how biofilms will help us understand the impacts of climate change

‘Ring of Fire’ is a NERC-funded research project that, over the course of four years and five geothermal sites in the Arctic Circle, investigates the impact of rising temperatures of global warming on freshwater ecosystems. Danielle Harris has just returned from an eight-day fieldwork trip in Svalbard, where she scrubbed nearly 300 rocks to see how temperature affects the community composition of biofilms, and the … Continue reading Ring of Fire: how biofilms will help us understand the impacts of climate change

Plastic waste floating in a canal in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

When it rains it pours: How can cities save the ocean from plastic pollution during heavy rainfall?

Charles Axelsson, a PhD researcher at Italy’s Ca ‘Foscari University, studied his Master’s at Imperial College London, where he worked closely oceanographer and climate scientist Dr Erik Van Sebille. In this blog, he considers the impact of urban plastic pollution on marine environments, and how policy and local action can help coastal cities save the ocean from plastic. We are a planet of urban, coastal … Continue reading When it rains it pours: How can cities save the ocean from plastic pollution during heavy rainfall?

Graphic showing a plane flying with a "Business as usual" banner

What does business-as-usual mean today?

Energy models are a vital tool to help predict what the future energy system could look like. Conventionally, such models are based on business-as-usual scenarios – points of reference informed by historical norms. However, the energy transition is already underway: basing future energy models on such scenarios could be highly risky. Following an energy modelling workshop with academics, industry leaders and policymakers, research postgraduates Jonathan … Continue reading What does business-as-usual mean today?

China is entering a new era of climate change mitigation and environmental protection

Professor Yufeng Yang from the Energy Research Institute (ERI) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, joined the Grantham Institute as a Research Fellow in June 2017. For the next few months, he will be working here on global energy governance and energy storage, in close collaboration with Neil Hirst, Senior Policy Fellow for Energy and Mitigation. In this blog, he considers the … Continue reading China is entering a new era of climate change mitigation and environmental protection

Solar heat water heater and chimney

Could solar-thermal be the solution for low-carbon heating?

Well-established solar heat technologies could be playing a key role in creating a sustainable future energy system and meeting an increasing global demand for energy, according to our latest briefing paper. “Solar-thermal and hybrid photovoltaic-thermal systems for renewable heating” looks at the continuing potential of this technology and what stands in the way. Dr Alexander Mellor, Research Associate in the Department of Physics and co-author of … Continue reading Could solar-thermal be the solution for low-carbon heating?