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University of Gloucestershire researchers supporting poverty alleviation

The University of Gloucestershire has been working with researchers from South Africa and Egypt to develop understanding of how new research methods to evaluate ecosystem services can help secure water and food security and therefore support poverty alleviation.

University researchers, Drs Julie Ingram and Kenny Lynch, won funding from the British Council to lead a 3-day workshop in Stellenbosch, South Africa, to equip early career researchers from the UK, Egypt and South Africa with tools for evaluating ecosystem services, which are crucial for our food and water security. Over 30 participants from Egypt, South Africa and UK took part in the workshop, which included visits to locations where the link between ecosystem services and food and water security is being actively researched.

Human impact on ecosystems, such as over-exploitation of water resources and land degradation, threatens our biodiversity and the ability to support human well-being depends largely on how the ecosystems are managed. This is the same whether in Gloucestershire or in Africa, although the consequences for poorer populations in developing countries are far more serious.

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New video on Greenhouse Gas soil monitoring

In response to the demand for a better understanding of climate change, Gasmet Technologies and researchers from the University of Helsinki have created a video to demonstrate the speed and simplicity with which Greenhouse Gas (GHG) measurements can be taken in the field.

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CO2 Modeller brings climate change and emissions targets within touching distance

Scientists and computer engineers at the University of Southampton have developed an interactive climate app - CO2 Modeller – which can fit in your pocket and help you to gauge the future effects of carbon emissions around key sensitivities of the Earth’s climate.

The new app, CO2 Modeller, provides an interactive tool to allow anyone - from members of the public to policy makers - to explore for themselves the implications of delaying emission reductions on their tablet or smartphone.

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A Story of a Greener Future – Scotland sends a message to the World Climate Change Summit

In the first consultation of its kind, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival is gathering stories, songs and dances from festival audiences in order to provide an artistic response around the theme of the ‘Tree of Life’ to what some are calling the most important event of this century – COP21 UN climate change negotiations in Paris (30th November – 11th December).

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Sempergreen® acts on high mortality rate bees and butterflies

In recent years, the global bee and butterfly populations have deteriorated at an alarming rate. One of the reasons for this is the increasing absence of nectar and pollen. Bees and butterflies play a vital role in food production and biodiversity, and more than 80% of all plants eaten by human beings all over the world depend on pollination by bees for their survival. These developments were enough reason for Sempergreen® to take action, which led to the development of the Bees & Butterflies blanket.

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Major food producers missing biggest opportunity to unearth climate risks

altMany of the world’s biggest food, beverage and tobacco brands are missing their biggest opportunity to mitigate climate risks, shows new analysis by global non-profit CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project.

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Marine travellers best able to adapt to warming waters

Marine species that already roam far and wide throughout our oceans are extending their territories further and faster in response to climate change, according to new research involving the University of Southampton and an international team of biodiversity experts.

The study found that while species that have large ranges are able to make their way to cooler waters, small-ranging species are in increased jeopardy as our planet’s oceans continue to warm.

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New report urges joined-up responses to climate change security threats

altGlobal peacebuilding charity International Alert has marked the UK launch of a G7-commissioned report on the impact of climate change on fragile states with a high-level event at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London.

The report, called A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks, was co-authored by Alert as part of an international consortium of Berlin-based think tank adelphi, the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), and the Wilson Center in Washington DC.

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Cabinet secretary recognises successful results for borders Climate Change Focus Farm

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead paid a visit to Robert and Jac Neill of Upper Nisbet Farm in near Jedburgh. He was there to thank them for their participation on the Scottish Government’s Farming for a Better Climate (FFBC) initiative, which saw the Neills reduce their business’ carbon footprint by an impressive 19% and achieve savings of just over £19,000 between 2011 and 2014.

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The Fifth Carbon Budget - Call for Evidence

altThe Committee on Climate Change is running a Call for Evidence to inform its advice on the fifth carbon budget (2028-2032) and its annual ‘state of the nation’ progress report, due respectively by the end of the year and in June.

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Newly discovered algal species helps corals survive in the hottest reefs on the planet

altA new species of algae has been discovered in reef corals of the Persian (Arabian) Gulf where it helps corals to survive seawater temperatures of up to 36 degrees Celsius - temperatures that would kill corals elsewhere.

Researchers from the University of Southampton and the New York University Abu Dhabi identified the symbiotic algae in corals from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the world’s warmest coral reef habitat.

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Monitoring greenhouse gases from biofuel crops

Global issues such as climate change and energy security have driven rapid growth in renewable energy production - wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, hydro, biofuels etc. However, logically, each of these methods should deliver a net benefit in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, so researchers in the United States have employed portable FTIR analysers to study the GHG emissions of biomass production processes. “It would be futile to manufacture biofuels in an attempt to mitigate climate change if the production process created more GHGs than were saved by using biofuels instead of fossil fuels,” says Dr.Joe Storlien from the Texas A&M University Department of Soil & Crop Sciences.

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Ancient marine algae provides clues of climate change impact on today’s microscopic ocean organisms

A study of ancient marine algae, led by the University of Southampton, has found that climate change affected their growth and skeleton structure, which has potential significance for today’s equivalent microscopic organisms that play an important role in the world’s oceans.

Coccolithophores, a type of marine algae, are prolific in the ocean today and have been for millions of years. These single-celled plankton produce calcite skeletons that are preserved in seafloor sediments after death. Although coccolithophores are microscopic, their abundance makes them key contributors to marine ecosystems and the global carbon cycle.

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The ‘microbial garden’ taking the shine off glaciers

The first study of the ecological diversity of an entire glacier has found that microbes can drastically reduce the reflectivity of the surface and have a non-negligible impact on the amount of sunlight that is reflected back into space.

The research, led by the University of Leeds and published today [12 June] in the journal FEMS Microbiology Ecology, will help improve climate change models that have previously neglected the role of microbes in darkening the Earth’s surface.

Observing how life thrives at extreme cold temperatures also has important implications for the search for life on distant worlds, such as Jupiter's icy moon Europa.

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Climate meeting generates optimism for a final agreement

Picture of sunrise over Bonn for Your Expert Witness storyJune saw two weeks of meeting in Bonn to pave the way for a final international agreement on climate change in Paris next year. Despite early disappointment at the small number of environment ministers attending – despite an undertaking given in Warsaw last year for ministers to attend – the communique issued on 15 June was upbeat.

It stated: “The positivity around the past two week’s meetings culminated at the close when governments asked that the elements of a draft treaty be made available by July in advance of the next meetings in Bonn in October.”

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Renault has reduced its carbon footprint by 10% in three years

By making a public commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 10% between 2010 and 2013, and by meeting that objective, the Renault group has achieved an automotive industry first.

The policy is part of the Group’s determination to reduce the greenhouse gases (and CO2 in particular) emitted by its products and activities and to play an active part in the fight against global warming potential worldwide.

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BBC staff criticized for ‘Blinkered Broadcasting on Climate’.

altAt 8.30am on Wednesday 26th March, activists from Climate Rush will redecorate the main visitors’ entrance to Broadcasting House, Portland Place.

Members of the environmental action group will divide the iconic entrance in two and invite the BBC’s staff to choose which entrance they walk through, and so which organization they work for. The options are: ‘Blinkered Broadcasting on Climate’ or ‘Best Broadcaster on Climate’.

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Climate Engineering – What do the public think?

altMembers of the public have a negative view of climate engineering, the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the environment to counteract climate change, according to a new study.

The results are from researchers from the University of Southampton and Massey University (New Zealand) who have undertaken the first systematic large-scale evaluation of the public reaction to climate engineering.

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Marine reserves enhance resilience to climate change

altA new study, led by a University of Southampton scientist, highlights the potential for fish communities in marine reserves to resist climate change impacts better than communities on fished coasts.

The study, which is published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, involved an Australian research team from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Marine and Atmospheric Research.

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Climate Center urges industry to get ahead of the curve of coming F-Gas changes

Climate Center, the UK’s leading supplier of cooling equipment is urging customers not to wait for the impending review of F-Gas regulations to review refrigerant options.

The European Commission is finalising new controls on the use of very high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants, with new European-wide regulations expected to be introduced in 2014.

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We take the science seriously in tackling climate change, says Minister

Climate change experts met in Cardiff this week to discuss Wales’s approach to managing climate change.

The event, hosted by the Welsh Government and sponsored by the Minister for Natural Resources, Alun Davies, brought together independent and internationally renowned scientists from the Met Office, the Climate Change Consortium of Wales and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Resource following the recent publication of a comprehensive assessment of global climate change by the UN.

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