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Coronavirus and climate change: “There is much uncertainty, and much to play for”

The Grantham Institute’s Dr Ajay Gambhir blogs on how learning from the coronavirus crisis could help place the world on a firmer footing to tackle the multiple challenges we will face this century – including climate change. Coronavirus is here. Its impact on our health systems, economies and behaviours cannot yet be understood, but analogies have already been drawn between this immediate challenge and the … Continue reading Coronavirus and climate change: “There is much uncertainty, and much to play for”

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Research in the Atlantic Ocean: Six weeks onboard the Discovery

Ophelie Meuriot, a Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership studying physical oceanography in Imperial’s Department of Earth Science & Engineering, shares her experience aboard the Royal Research Ship Discovery. Why do scientists go on research cruises? Oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth surface. They play a key role in regulating the Earth’s climate by storing … Continue reading Research in the Atlantic Ocean: Six weeks onboard the Discovery

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Women@Imperial 2020: Celebrating women at the Grantham Institute

To mark International Women’s Day and Women@Imperial week, we’re celebrating the brilliant women working in climate change and the environment at the Grantham Institute. From physicists and energy experts, to economists and entrepreneurs; hill walkers and gardeners, to climbers and crochet fiends, the office is full of inspiring women. Meet a small selection of them here: Gosia Gayer Institute Administrator Green-fingered yoga-lover who makes a … Continue reading Women@Imperial 2020: Celebrating women at the Grantham Institute

Antarctica at 200: why the ‘climate decade’ must secure the future for Antarctica

Following an Imperial Lates event focused on what the future may hold for Antarctica, Richard Knight, former student on Imperial’s MSc Environmental Technology course, blogs on how vulnerable the continent is, how its sensitivity to climate change threatens the world, and how to protect it.   This year Antarctica celebrates its 200-year anniversary, marking two centuries since it was discovered. Since then, humanity’s interests have largely shifted away from exploiting the continent’s rich aquatic life and mineral … Continue reading Antarctica at 200: why the ‘climate decade’ must secure the future for Antarctica

The graphic shows that a single journey from London to Paris by plane will cost £64, take 4 hours 40 minutes, and emit 59kg equivalent of carbon dioxide. By train, the same journey will cost £49, take 2 hours 55 minutes, and emit 2kg equivalent of carbon dioxide. Assumptions: the start and end location are the main train terminal in the centre of each city; travel costs are for the cheapest advance tickets bought in advance and include all connecting journeys; carbon emissions are calculated using UK government greenhouse gas emissions factors for short-haul flights, ferry and international rail travel. To find out more, visit www.imperial.ac.uk/stories/climate-action

Reducing demand for air travel starts at work

Laura Warwick, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership, says flying shouldn’t be the default option when it comes to international travel. Aviation is becoming an increasingly contentious issue in the UK. The government’s decision to step in to assist regional airline Flybe seems to be at odds with the UK Committee on Climate Change’s warning that continued … Continue reading Reducing demand for air travel starts at work

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

A man and his dog stand at the end of a footbridge over a flooded car park. Sign reads 'Long Stay'.

Salt marshes or sea walls? Preventing coastal flooding in the UK

Nick Reynard, Lizzie Ellison and Amy Wilson, Research Postgraduates on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, consider how nature-based solutions can help boost flood defences and tackle climate change. Climate change is causing vast glaciers to melt, a drastic rise in global sea levels and more extreme weather events. A major consequence of these changes is the increased frequency and severity of … Continue reading Salt marshes or sea walls? Preventing coastal flooding in the UK

Road leading to the horizon in the desert or similar with the word future and an arrow

Climate change: Teaching our unknowable future

Grantham Institute Lecturer Dr Joeri Rogelj says when it comes to climate change education, ‘stories about the future’ help people to come to terms with uncertain outcomes, and consistently receive great feedback from students. The impacts of climate change are happening now and our daily news is inundated with stories of record-breaking weather events and their destructive effects on people’s lives around the globe. Understanding … Continue reading Climate change: Teaching our unknowable future

Anti-fracking protesters with yellow signs saying "frack free Lancashire"

Fracking Q&A: The background, the ban and what’s coming next

Last weekend, the United Kingdom Government announced a moratorium on fracking, based on evidence from a report by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA). In this Q&A, Imperial’s Karen Makuch, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law, and Miriam Aczel, President’s Scholar at the Centre for Environmental Policy, consider what led to the ban, and what it might mean for the UK energy sector going forwards.   What … Continue reading Fracking Q&A: The background, the ban and what’s coming next

Extinction Rebellion protests at Oxford Circus. Lots of people with green XR flags.

Put your fate in your hands: Rebelling against extinction gave me hope for the future

Geraint Northwood, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, blogs on his experience with Extinction Rebellion, and how it has turned his frustration to optimism for the future. The first I knew of Extinction Rebellion was when a sort of business card was handed to me at a climate strike in Westminster, which I pretty much ignored. It had the … Continue reading Put your fate in your hands: Rebelling against extinction gave me hope for the future