Cartoon depicting a climate summit, with a speaker talking the benefits of climate action, and an audience member dismissing action

6 things we learned from the authors of the 1.5°C Report

Following the Europe-wide launch of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C at Imperial, chapter lead-authors Professor Myles Allen from the University of Oxford and Imperial’s Dr Joeri Rogelj, gave their personal take on the report at a joint event between Grantham Institute and the Royal Meteorological Society. So, what did we take away from this conversation about how to avoid the worst … Continue reading 6 things we learned from the authors of the 1.5°C Report

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

Picture of a flat roof in london, with a skylight, that has moss growing on top

Excessive heat, droughts and floods – how can ‘blue-green infrastructure’ help?

Kathryn Brown, Grantham Research Fellow and Head of Adaptation at the UK Committee on Climate Change, blogs on why we need to prepare for climate change impacts, and how bringing the natural world into our urban landscape can help us to do just this. The last few months have been fairly unprecedented in terms of weather across the UK. While some people have enjoyed basking … Continue reading Excessive heat, droughts and floods – how can ‘blue-green infrastructure’ help?

Hyde Park, with parched ground and people sunbathing

Summer temperatures 2018 – the ‘new normal’?

There can be no doubt that the summer of 2018 has been remarkable both in the UK and across the world. Following an appearance on BBC Newsnight, in which the presenter Emily Maitlis asked if current temperatures can be considered the ‘new normal’, Professor Stephen Belcher, Chief Scientist at the Met Office, and Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Chair of the Grantham Institute, give their perspective … Continue reading Summer temperatures 2018 – the ‘new normal’?

The energy conundrum: Bringing carbon under control and reversing rising emissions

Neil Hirst, Senior Policy Fellow at the Grantham Institute and author of The Energy Conundrum, Climate Change, Global Prosperity, and the Tough Decisions We Have to Make, considers the outlook for global energy and how to bring rising carbon emissions under control. Twenty-five years ago, the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty was set up to tackle the causes of global … Continue reading The energy conundrum: Bringing carbon under control and reversing rising emissions

Plane at cruising altitude against blue sky

Aviation, heavy industry and energy: 3 sectors ripe for a tech revolution

The technologies of a zero-carbon future, according to Research Postgraduate Jonathan Bosch, co-author of a report for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on key technological innovations for a low-carbon economy. There’s too much carbon! United States aside, climate scientists and policy makers don’t argue much these days about the pressure to take steps to safeguard the prosperity of the earth for future … Continue reading Aviation, heavy industry and energy: 3 sectors ripe for a tech revolution

Scaffolding on Big Ben, London, with a view of a lamppost in the foreground

It is time be more ambitious – the UK’s Climate Change Act needs strengthening

Joanna Haigh, co-director of the Grantham Institute — Climate Change and the Environment, and John Krebs, emeritus professor of zoology at the University of Oxford and former member of the UK Committee on Climate Change, consider why the UK needs a more ambitious Climate Change Act.  The UK’s Climate Change Act is a pioneering and far-sighted piece of legislation, ushered in ten years ago by a remarkable cross-party … Continue reading It is time be more ambitious – the UK’s Climate Change Act needs strengthening

Canada shown on a cheap globe

Canada and climate change: the transition to a low-carbon economy is a golden opportunity

Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation at the Grantham Institute, heads to the “energy engine” of Canada to talk climate change, cleantech and collaboration. This week I am heading to Canada, where I grew up, for the first time in six years. I am very excited about returning to Canadian soil (er, or snow), and particularly interested to meet a range of people involved … Continue reading Canada and climate change: the transition to a low-carbon economy is a golden opportunity

Headshots of some leading ladies in climate change and environmental science at Imperial - Helen ApSimon, Ana Mijic, Jenny Nelson, Clementine Chambon, Joanna Haigh, Jess Wade

Leading ladies in climate and environmental science, and why their profile counts

To mark International Women’s Day, archivist Anne Barrett, author of “Women At Imperial College Past Present and Future”, and Alice White, Wikimedian in Residence at the Wellcome Library, have organised a Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thon’ at Imperial College London to create and improve Wikipedia pages about women in science. In this blog, equality advocate Dr Jess Wade, Research Associate in Physics, explains the rationale behind the project, … Continue reading Leading ladies in climate and environmental science, and why their profile counts

Graphic showing a thermometer rising, with a 2 written at the top to imply a 2 degree temperature rise

The lower the climate sensitivity the better – but what we need is zero carbon

Following the publication of a paper presenting a new narrower estimate of “equilibrium climate sensitivity” – a measure of how future greenhouse gas emissions could alter the climate – Professor Joanna Haigh, co-director of the Grantham Institute, explains the implications of climate sensitivity and why it should be interpreted carefully. What concerns me about a recent paper published in Nature is the interpretation of its … Continue reading The lower the climate sensitivity the better – but what we need is zero carbon