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

Before the flood: protecting London’s future

Grantham Affiliate Dr Ana Mijic examines London’s vulnerability to flooding, and the infrastructure projects safeguarding the city’s future. This month saw the launch of Flood Re, a new UK government-backed scheme intended to lower the cost of insuring homes in high-risk areas against flood . Whilst the scheme will benefit thousands, as always, prevention – in the form of well though-out adaptation plans – is … Continue reading Before the flood: protecting London’s future

Picking up the pieces: studying forest fragmentation in Borneo

SSCP-DTP student Phil Chapman writes about why fragmentation is threatening tropical forests, how researchers are learning more about the problem and what it’s really like to live and work in a jungle for four months. I am now two months into my second field season in the lovely, but oh-so-very far away land of Borneo, to be precise the Malaysian state of Sabah. Full details … Continue reading Picking up the pieces: studying forest fragmentation in Borneo

Losing a bet but winning the war: fighting the deadly chytrid fungi

On World Wildlife Day, Grantham Lecturer Dr Kris Murray explains why a US ban on salamander imports is critical to stemming the spread of a new lethal amphibian disease. I‘m not usually one for gambling, and certainly not for placing bets that I genuinely hope to lose. But last year I made a bet with a colleague that I ended up losing more quickly than … Continue reading Losing a bet but winning the war: fighting the deadly chytrid fungi

How can wildlife adapt to a warmer world?

Dr Eoin O’Gorman from the Department of Life Sciences explores how species might cope with rising global temperatures. Our planet is getting warmer. That is now an undeniable fact, even by the most conservative predictions for the next century. Climate change has begun to take centre-stage in international politics, Nobel prize decision-making, and even Oscar acceptance speeches. Warmer temperatures will have numerous consequences for us … Continue reading How can wildlife adapt to a warmer world?

On the brink: 10 South American species endangered by environmental change

SSCP-DTP student Rowan Schley introduces the South American plants and animals on the verge of extinction due to climate and environmental change. If you were to travel South America from top to tail, you would witness nearly every type of habitat present on Earth: from the steamy tropical rainforests of the Amazon, through mountains, deserts, grasslands, temperate forests and eventually the fierce seas and ice … Continue reading On the brink: 10 South American species endangered by environmental change

Ask not what you can do for climate change, but what climate change can do for you

  SSCP-DTP student Arnaud Koehl argues for a better way of selling the benefits of the global climate agreement signed at the COP21 climate conference in Paris Many pundits applauded the Paris Agreement as an unprecedented diplomatic achievement. But for all its successes, to me one key ingredient was missing: the incentive to participate in costly global action. Fighting anthropogenic climate change is a collective … Continue reading Ask not what you can do for climate change, but what climate change can do for you

Welcome to the Anthropocene: can we save ourselves from extinction?

  Deborah Oakley asks whether humanity can survive the onslaught of the humans. “Humanity is no longer just another animal. In the Anthropocene, in this new world, we’re operating on a global scale; as a super organism,” said science journalist Gaia Vince, speaking at Imperial College London last month. Our impact on the natural environment is such that we’ve precipitated a new geological era, the … Continue reading Welcome to the Anthropocene: can we save ourselves from extinction?

UK floods: An uncertain future calls for flexible plans

Filip Babovic (Department of Civil Engineering) (@filipbabovic) looks back on the record-breaking floods experienced in the UK last December, asking whether we should expect such extreme weather to become the norm and how we can defend ourselves against future flooding. The UK has a reputation for being rainy, but last December it saw a deluge of truly epic proportions as the country was battered by … Continue reading UK floods: An uncertain future calls for flexible plans

World leaders are not the only champions for low-carbon living

Grantham Institute co-director Professor Martin Siegert on the inspiring role for innovation and entrepreneurship, and a new public exhibition of practical solutions for a climate change world, showing in central Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21). Reaching an international agreement about the future of carbon emissions is the central aim of around 1,000 officials meeting behind closed doors at COP21. Amongst the aims … Continue reading World leaders are not the only champions for low-carbon living