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
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
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
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
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
Shirin Hakim and Miriam Aczel, who recently co-organised a Grantham Institute event about climate change, low-carbon transitions and security, reflect on why climate change is a security issue and the next steps for researchers and policymakers . While climate change and security have traditionally been examined in isolation, climate is increasingly entering the policy arena as a national security issue. The impacts of global warming are far-reaching. Extreme weather like droughts and flooding … Continue reading Climate change is a security issue. How can we make sure climate security receives the attention it needs?
Dr Ajay Gambhir, Advanced Research Fellow at the Grantham Institute, considers the best mindset with which to approach the climate emergency. In the last month there have been two eye-catching opinion pieces on climate change by famous, influential, though notably non-expert, commentators. The first, by celebrity historian Niall Ferguson, weighs in on Greta Thunberg. He asserts that Greta is taking climate change far too seriously. … Continue reading Pragmatic optimism, rather than complacency or despondency, is the best way to tackle the climate emergency
As global temperatures rise, so do the mental health implications. Dr Emma Lawrance, Mental Health Innovations Fellow at Imperial’s Institute of Global Health Innovation, blogs on why it’s time to take the mental health implications of climate change seriously. Mental health crisis. Climate crisis. While both are familiar phrases to anyone reading the press these days, the links between climate change and mental health remain unobvious … Continue reading Feeling anxious about climate change? You’re not the only one
Carolina Schmidt, Minister of Environment, Chile and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC at the Host Country Agreement signing ceremony (c) UNclimatechange Trish O’Beirne, student on the MSc in Environmental Technology, reflects on her experience at the UNFCCC’s Climate Change Conference in Bonn, and looks ahead to the forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP25), in Chile. Having spent most of my academic career in the happy … Continue reading Have I got the Bonn blues? Time to look forwards to COP25 in Chile
Dr Neil Jennings, Partnership Development Manager at the Grantham Institute, considers how we can frame action on climate change in terms of other public priorities. Each month, the polling organisation Ipsos MORI surveys members of the public in the United Kingdom about what they think are the main issues facing the country. Currently (July 2019), the ‘Common Market/Brexit/EU’ tops the list. However, in 2015 it … Continue reading What can the Brexit vote tell us about harnessing peoples’ enthusiasm to act on climate change?