Theme 1 – Earth System Science 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

PhD opportunity: ‘Can enhanced weathering provide an effective climate change mitigation strategy?’

Nov 25, 2019

Anthropogenic inputs of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere are the primary cause of global warming. New techniques and technologies are urgently required to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels and achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting the post-industrialisation increase in global temperature to 1.5°C.

Enhanced Weathering (EW) is a geoengineering strategy proposed to help facilitate this by accelerating the rate of natural chemical rock weathering that regulates Earth’s atmospheric CO2 levels over long (million year) timescales. Although EW has been tested in laboratories and on small scales, its effectiveness at sequestering significant quantities of CO2 over human timescales has yet to be determined. This PhD project will provide important new constraints on the effectiveness of EW for mitigating climate change, through a series of field experiments in the USA and Malaysia.

For more details and how to apply go to: noc.ac.uk. Deadline for applications: 3rd January 2020. Funded by the NERC INSPIRE DTP programme and hosted by the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, this project will run in conjunction with the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation (LC3M).

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PhD opportunity: ‘Adventures in carbon neutral farming: mitigating potent greenhouse gas emissions from soils with rock dust.’

Nov 25, 2019

The United Nations (2018) 1.5 Degree Global Warming Special Report concluded that avoiding ‘dangerous’ climate change means deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategies is now an essential step alongside reducing carbon emissions. Land-based enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is a prime UN-recognized CDR strategy potentially feasible at large-scale with managed croplands and forestry plantations [see Beerling et al. (2018) Nature Plants, 4, 138-147]

An exciting, novel finding from ERW field trials has been that addition of crushed basalt to soils reduces emission of nitrous oxide (N2O), which could represent an important climate mitigation co-benefit of ERW. This PhD project will investigate the hypothesis that amending agricultural soils with basalt reduces soil N2O fluxes for a range of soils representing different UK land uses (arable, pasture, plantation forestry).

For more details and how to apply go to: FindAPhDApplication deadline: 8th January 2020.
This PhD project is part of the NERC funded Doctoral Training Partnership “ACCE” (Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment). The successful candidate will be embedded within vibrant research groups in the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation (LC3M), Sheffield, and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Edinburgh.

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Farming with rocks – using agriculture to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

Oct 8, 2019

Prof. Evan DeLucia presenting ‘Farming with rocks – using agriculture to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere’ at the Plants, People, Planet Symposium in September 2019.

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