A nurse leans over a small baby, being held by a man, in a small rural hospital

Energy for life – The underestimated component for good healthcare provision

Muriel Hauser, visiting research postgraduate at the Grantham Institute, considers why electricity is so important for healthcare, and how improving access to energy can improve access to healthcare for all people.  Have you ever worried that a blackout might occur when you’re in hospital? That an operation could be interrupted because of a power outage, or that it could be impossible to get an X-ray … Continue reading Energy for life – The underestimated component for good healthcare provision

Front view of Cyclists, cars and buses riding on london street

London’s air crisis: How can we bring about change?

Following massive public concern about the quality of the air we breathe, the Grantham Institute hosted a discussion that explored the challenges of cleaning up air in London and ways to bring about meaningful change. Abbie Stone, Media, Events and Outreach Officer, shares some of the key discussion points: London’s air pollution has been described as a ‘crisis’ by its own residents, and despite efforts … Continue reading London’s air crisis: How can we bring about change?

Dam spans deep river valley, with water gushing out and green-sided hills to either side

The pitfalls of hydroelectric power in drought-prone Africa

Alvaro Lara, former student on the MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance programme, considers Africa’s reliance on hydroelectric power, the impact of climate change on the water cycle and why current plans to invest in more hydroelectric projects may not be a route to energy security. For much of 2017, one of the world’s least-developed countries, Malawi in south-east Africa, experienced intermittent blackouts as a result of … Continue reading The pitfalls of hydroelectric power in drought-prone Africa

Picture of a flat roof in london, with a skylight, that has moss growing on top

Excessive heat, droughts and floods – how can ‘blue-green infrastructure’ help?

Kathryn Brown, Grantham Research Fellow and Head of Adaptation at the UK Committee on Climate Change, blogs on why we need to prepare for climate change impacts, and how bringing the natural world into our urban landscape can help us to do just this. The last few months have been fairly unprecedented in terms of weather across the UK. While some people have enjoyed basking … Continue reading Excessive heat, droughts and floods – how can ‘blue-green infrastructure’ help?

Labourer taking an afternoon nap

Feeling the heat? So is our economy!

Tarek Cheaib, former student on the Grantham Institute and Imperial College Business School MSc in Climate Change, Management and Finance, considers the impact of heatwaves on the workplace, and why they will have a big impact on the global economy.  It’s easy to see the economic impact of extreme weather events or natural disasters like wildfires or floods. In 2012, for example, Hurricane Sandy forced … Continue reading Feeling the heat? So is our economy!

Photo showing destroyed village - lots of debris, cables and collapsed houses

The future of power in Japan: Connecting life-saving disaster resilience with a low-carbon energy system

Hamish Beath, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, undertook a research placement at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. In this blog, he considers the future of Japan’s power sector, and why disaster resilience and low-carbon energy go hand in hand. At 2.46pm, on 11 March 2011, the biggest earthquake ever to hit Japan struck 80 miles off the … Continue reading The future of power in Japan: Connecting life-saving disaster resilience with a low-carbon energy system

Cordillera Blanca, Alpamayo plateau, Caraz, Peru

Tracing the white water: how vulnerable are water resources to melting glaciers?

On World Water Day 2018, a group of UK and Peruvian scientists will be visiting the glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca in Peru to build research links that will help assess the vulnerability of water resources to melting glaciers, and design adequate adaptation strategies. In this blog, Grantham Affiliate Wouter Buytaert explains why this is such a complex task.    The Nazca lines are one of Peru’s … Continue reading Tracing the white water: how vulnerable are water resources to melting glaciers?

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?

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

It’s not just the plight of the bumblebee, we need to protect all our pollinators

Kate Rowell, Grantham Institute and Imperial College Business School Master’s student studying Climate Change, Management and Finance, looks at why bees are suffering the impacts of climate change and what this means for global biodiversity and food security. What’s the problem? Three quarters of global food production relies on pollination to some degree, and for 5-8% pollination is vital. Similarly, 87.5% of the world’s flowering plants … Continue reading It’s not just the plight of the bumblebee, we need to protect all our pollinators