Volcán de Colima: Insights from Mexico’s fiery volcano

Jack Anderson, a Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP research postgraduate based at London’s Natural History Museum, describes his fieldwork on the highly-active Volcán de Colima in Mexico, and explains the significance of his research. As my Aeroméxico flight begins its descent into Colima, I eagerly position my phone in preparation to capture a first glimpse of its formidable volcano. I am greeted … Continue reading Volcán de Colima: Insights from Mexico’s fiery volcano

Don’t blame plastic, blame poor waste management

Grantham Affiliate Chris Cheeseman, Professor of Materials Resources Engineering at Imperial College London, considers what’s behind the plastic pollution crisis, and why designers and engineers are fundamental to developing a long-term solution. Plastics are fantastic materials. Thanks to their amazing range of properties and inherent durability they have an enormous number of applications and we, as a society, have come to rely on them. They … Continue reading Don’t blame plastic, blame poor waste management

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?

The boat in Greenland

Into the Ring of Fire: Arctic adventures to predict the impact of climate change

  Dr Michelle Jackson, Research Associate and Ecologist at Imperial College London, is working on ‘Ring of Fire’, a four-year, NERC-funded research project that investigates the impact of rising temperatures on freshwater ecosystems. Here, she discusses the challenges of fieldwork in the Arctic and the results that make it all worthwhile. Our planet is warming at an unprecedented rate. Year on year, temperature records around … Continue reading Into the Ring of Fire: Arctic adventures to predict the impact of climate change

Big oceans, big IT: Modelling plastic pollution in the ocean

Department of Physics undergraduate Thomas Stokes reflects on his recent research placement at the Grantham Institute. Approaching a new project can be a daunting prospect. This is especially true when you’re trying to model real-world systems; given how mind-bogglingly complex the ‘real world’ can be, it is easy to feel dwarfed by the problem at hand. Oceanographers, however, can’t afford such anxieties – they deal … Continue reading Big oceans, big IT: Modelling plastic pollution in the ocean

A beginner’s guide to shaping global climate policy at the World Meteorological Organization

SSCP-DTP student Stephane Mangeon (Department of Physics) explains why you can expect to hear a lot more about the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Geneva, proudly standing on the banks of the Rhone river and the stunning Lake Geneva, is famed for its banking industry and for being the home of the uber-rich. But Geneva is also an international hub for diplomacy and development, reaching broader horizons than its home … Continue reading A beginner’s guide to shaping global climate policy at the World Meteorological Organization

It’s a small world: How air pollution in Europe can affect rainfall in India

Grantham PhD student Dilshad Shawki explores the latest research unpicking the influence of human activity across the globe on the South Asian monsoon. Each summer the South Asian monsoon drenches the Indian subcontinent, as strong moisture-laden winds from the Indian Ocean deliver over 70% of the region’s annual rainfall in just 3 months. As such, the monsoon’s bountiful rain is crucial to the economy and … Continue reading It’s a small world: How air pollution in Europe can affect rainfall in India

Seven ways maths can save the world

  Can numbers, algebra and trigonometry save the planet? This was the question put to experts during a panel discussion at Imperial hosted by the Grantham Institute and the Mathematics of Planet Earth CDT. CDT students Paula Rowińska and Tom Bendall report back on seven ways that mathematicians are already working towards securing our planet’s future. From meteorology to economics, a wealth of scientific research … Continue reading Seven ways maths can save the world

Climate science: what’s the next big thing?

On 22 April, over 170 nations signed the global climate agreement drawn up in Paris in December. As we reach a turning point in global action on climate, Grantham Institute Head of Policy and Translation Alyssa Gilbert discusses the next big questions for climate research. The climate change deal forged in Paris was a triumph of science, as well as politics. But the agreement was … Continue reading Climate science: what’s the next big thing?

Why climate science needs more lunatics

Dr Jan Zika, NERC Independent Research Fellow in the Department of Physics and a Grantham Affiliate explains why we need brilliant climate scientists now more than ever before. In 1560, our moon did something that it does only every generation or so. As it circled the Earth at a stately pace of one rotation per 27 days, it found itself directly between us and the Sun. … Continue reading Why climate science needs more lunatics