Theme 1 – Earth Systems Modelling

Our Theme 1 programme is being developed across the following three strategic areas to address high-level questions concerning the capacity of rock weathering driven by intensively managed crops to capture carbon and ultimately affect future CO2-climate trajectories, ocean-atmosphere chemistry and marine ecosystems.

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Theme 2 – Fundamental Crop Weathering Science

Our Theme 2 programme is utilising world-class controlled environment facilities in Sheffield to elucidate mechanisms and genetic controls on weathering by major warm climate crops (maize and rice) to accelerate the development of new faster weathering varieties that maximise carbon capture and protection against pests and diseases, thus reducing pesticide usage and costs.

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Theme 3 – Applied Weathering Science

Our Theme 3 programme is undertaking large-scale field trials to address questions concerning rates of rock weathering in agricultural soils under natural conditions and how feedbacks, e.g., via nutrient release and pH change, may increase food/bioenergy crop productivity and slow soil greenhouse gas emissions.

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Theme 4 – Sustainability & Society

Our Theme 4 programme is addressing the real-world feasibility of enhanced weathering through integrated assessment modelling of its environmental and socio-economic impacts, assessment of a global sustainable supply chain capable of carbon capture and storage, and developing a responsible research and innovation framework.

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Latest newsView all

COP24: Saving Ourselves with Rocks, Crops and Soils

Dec 19, 2018

Speaking at the UNFCCC COP24 Press Conference, 13th December 2018, with Stuart Scott, Executive Director of and Victoria Hurth, Associate Professor of Sustainable Business, University of Plymouth. – David Beerling, University of Sheffield presents us with his current research into how we might trap gigatons of Carbon, using rock waste from previous mining, and a technique called ‘enhanced weathering’.

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BBC News at Six

Dec 3, 2018

BBC Science Editor, David Shukman, reports on the hopes for potentially removing carbon dioxide from the air:

Scientists say it’s not enough to cut our emissions of greenhouse gases – we’ve got to draw them out of the air as well, if we’re to have any chance of avoiding the worst impacts of global warming. But how to do that? We look at the latest research.

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Climate change: Can 12 billion tonnes of carbon be sucked from the air?

Nov 29, 2018

BBC Science Editor, David Shukman, reports on the hopes for potentially removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere including research by Professor David Beerling and the team at the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation (LC3M), into how agriculture can help tackle climate change.

Prof Beerling knows that some regard this as over-optimistic but he is clear that a grand strategy is needed. 

“Once CO2 goes up into the air, it doesn’t come down unless you do something about it, and the effects last for millennia. And once the ice sheets go, that’s it,” with millions of people living on or close to coastlines at risk.

“At the moment we have no idea how to remove billions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere… it’s an enormous technological challenge that dwarfs anything we’ve seen before.”

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