The Climate Systems and Policy research cluster aims to build on research excellence in three areas: physical climate and biogeochemical processes; impacts and adaptation to climate change; and mitigation policy and science.
This is the largest of the School's research clusters and includes varied themes - such as food, water and energy - as well as policy related to any of those issues. It also encompasses hydrology and climate science.
|Physical climate and biogeochemical processes||Research focuses on improving our understanding of fundamental processes in key Earth-system tipping elements and climate change hotspots, including mineral aerosols in the land-surface-atmosphere system, biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem dynamics in tropical forest systems, processes of variability and change in African climate, changes in global and regional hydrological cycles, and climate processes in the Himalaya and Andes.|
|Impacts and adaptation to climate change||Research aims to improve the scientific basis for impacts/adaptation assessment and decision-making. This includes climate downscaling, development of novel methods for assessment of impacts of climate change, especially biodiversity and water resources, and adaptation, with a focus on robust decision-making and challenges posed by extreme events.|
|Mitigation policy and science||Attention is on more radical carbon reductions and shorter time scales, with major implications for both energy systems and management of carbon sinks, and on establishing stronger socio-political theoretical understanding of mitigation and governance at a range of scales from Earth-system to local community.|
Key research initiatives closely associated with the cluster include several national and international programmes including UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium; climateprediction.net, including weather@home and World Weather Attribution; climateeducation.net; the MaRIUS project (Managing the Risks, Impacts and Uncertainties of drought and water Scarcity); and components of major research programmes focused on Africa (e.g. CLIVAR VACS African Climate Atlas).
News and Research Highlights
- Bussi, G., Whitehead, P.G., Jin, L., Taye, M.T., Dyer, E., Hirpa, F.A., Yimer, Y.A. and Charles, K.J. (2021) Impacts of Climate Change and Population Growth on River Nutrient Loads in a Data Scarce Region: The Upper Awash River (Ethiopia). Sustainability, 13(3). 1254.
- Guo, X., Chen, R., Thomas, D.S.G., Li, Q., Xia, Z. and Pan, P. (2021) Divergent processes and trends of desertification in Inner Mongolia and Mongolia. Land Degradation and Rehabilitation.
- Stuart-Smith, R.F., Roe, G.H., Li, S. and Allen, M.R. (2021) Increased outburst flood hazard from Lake Palcacocha due to human-induced glacier retreat. Nature Geoscience, 14: 85-90.
- Adshead, D., Román García, O., Thacker, S. and Hall, J.W. (2021) Infrastructure strategies for achieving the global development agendas in small islands. Earth's Future, 9(2).
- Kew, S.F., Philip, S.Y., Hauser, M., Hobbins, M., Wanders, N., van Oldenborgh, G.J., van der Wiel, K., Veldkamp, T.I.E., Kimutai, J., Funk, C., and Otto, F.E.L. (2021) Impact of precipitation and increasing temperatures on drought trends in eastern Africa. Earth System Dynamics, 12: 17-35.