Methanol: Fuelling the future

There’s been a lot of talk about a hypothetical hydrogen economy, but what if methanol was the fuel of choice? SSCP-DTP student Alexandra Hicken discovers how methanol can be produced sustainably in the last blog in our sustainability series. Much research has been carried out into the possibility of using hydrogen for the generation and redistribution of energy under a system called the hydrogen economy. Despite … Continue reading Methanol: Fuelling the future


How much CO2 can trees take up?

In the fourth post in our sustainability series, SSCP-DTP student Rebecca Thomas considers the role of the biosphere as a carbon sink, and assesses whether planting trees can really offset carbon emissions. The terrestrial biosphere (land based vegetation) is often considered to have benefited from climate change over the last 50 years (an argument that is used by a number of climate skeptics). Trees, after … Continue reading How much CO2 can trees take up?

Sustainability with a pinch of salt

As part of our ongoing sustainability series, SSCP-DTP student Malcolm Graham explains how new research is protecting coastal groundwater from contamination. “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink” Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) The right of all humans to safe drinking water is a key focus of the Sustainable Development Goals to be agreed at COP21 in Paris this year. Groundwater currently provides the main source for … Continue reading Sustainability with a pinch of salt

Is there a sustainable future for tropical forests in south-east Asia?

In the second of our series of posts on sustainability, SSCP-DTP student Philip Chapman investigates how land use change threatens tropical forests in south-east Asia. The ever-expanding global population is already placing an intense strain on natural resources, and one of the major facets of this is land-use change. Loss of natural habitats to human land-uses, particularly agriculture, is predicted to be the major driver of biodiversity loss in the … Continue reading Is there a sustainable future for tropical forests in south-east Asia?

Measuring sustainability in our oceans

In the first of our series of blogs on sustainability, SSCP-DTP student Michael Burgass explores how we can measure ocean health. Oceans contain 99% of the space occupied by life on our planet, hold 97% of the planet’s water, produce more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and regulate the earth’s climate. More than 40% percent of the world’s population lives within 100 km … Continue reading Measuring sustainability in our oceans