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’?

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

Our "commute to work". A 7.5km hike across mudflats, wetland, ice and rivers

Ring of Fire: how biofilms will help us understand the impacts of climate change

‘Ring of Fire‘ is a NERC-funded research project that, over the course of four years and five geothermal sites in the Arctic Circle, investigates the impact of rising temperatures of global warming on freshwater ecosystems. Danielle Harris has just returned from an eight-day fieldwork trip in Svalbard, where she scrubbed nearly 300 rocks to see how temperature affects the community composition of biofilms, and the … Continue reading Ring of Fire: how biofilms will help us understand the impacts of climate change

Temperature and rainfall extremes in a warming world

By Dr Flora MacTavish Governments, planning authorities, companies and individuals all need information about  the impact of climate change on extreme weather in the future. A recent paper [1] investigates changes in extremes both globally and locally. We can be relatively certain of the signature of climate change on a global or continental scale. On the other hand, estimating changes on a country-wide scale is harder … Continue reading Temperature and rainfall extremes in a warming world