patches of fire burn on a grassy field in a dark landscape with trees in the background

Spreading like wildfire; the double-threat of changing landscapes and climate

Wildfire is the single greatest terrestrial disturbance agent on Earth. Satellite data suggest that in an average year, wildfires burn a total area of around 3.5 million km2, an area around 15 times larger than the UK. While some of these fires are purposefully controlled or are manageable, and can have benefits for ecosystems and livelihoods, other fires burn uncontrollably, with sometimes devastating consequences for safety, livelihoods, wildlife and climate. Continue reading Spreading like wildfire; the double-threat of changing landscapes and climate

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

Small solar panel on the floor in an African village, Madagascar

Forget about power lines, Pay-As-You-Go is transforming Africa’s energy landscape

Alvaro Lara and Sidney Wakaba, students on the MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance programme, put the spotlight on electricity access for communities in rural Africa, and consider how off-grid solar systems are revolutionising Africa’s energy sector. For most people in Europe and North America, a life without electricity is difficult to imagine.  A day without charging our iPhones, grabbing something to eat from the fridge, or … Continue reading Forget about power lines, Pay-As-You-Go is transforming Africa’s energy landscape

African smallholder farmers responding to an uncertain climate future

by Dr Katrin Glatzel and Alice Marks, Agriculture for Impact With just a couple of months left till the world’s leaders gather in Paris to agree on a new international climate change agreement, the Montpellier Panel launched a report last week addressing some of the key challenges we face in helping smallholder farmers become more resilient in the face of climate change. “The Farms of … Continue reading African smallholder farmers responding to an uncertain climate future