News

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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Job vacancy: Research Associate – LC3M Theme 1 ‘Earth Systems Modelling’

May 21, 2019

We are looking for a talented Research Associate to join our existing geochemical modelling team  to undertake (bio)geophysical reactive transport modelling of silicate mineral dissolution and the associated interactions with soils, working collaboratively with Professor David Beerling FRS  at the University of Sheffield and Professor Steve Banwart at the University of Leeds.

Applicants will have a PhD in modelling geochemical processes with PhreeqC or related platforms and outstanding expertise in using PhreeqC, and/or related aqueous geochemical modelling platforms, and other standard software packages, including MATLAB.

For more information and how to apply: www.jobs.ac.uk
Application deadline: 19th June 2019

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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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Philosophy PhD Studentship at University of Sheffield: ‘Climate Ethics and Enhanced Weathering’

Nov 6, 2018

We invite applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship in Philosophy, starting in September/October 2019, as part of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University of Sheffield. The studentship includes UK/EU tuition fees and a maintenance stipend at the standard RCUK rate for up to four years.

The student will examine ethical questions surrounding climate policy choice with relevance for research into, and deployment of, carbon dioxide removal methods including enhanced rock weathering. The project will be supervised by Dr Megan Blomfield, with a second supervisor to be assigned after selection.

For further information, including eligibility requirements, project description and how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/philosophy/prospectivepostgraduates/climate-ethics-studentship

The closing date for applications is 17:00 (GMT) on 12 June, 2019.

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Greenhouse gas removal report

Sep 12, 2018

The Royal Society, in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, has produced a report and associated summary to outline methods of greenhouse gas removal and how other influences like legislation, the environment, economics or social factors will affect their deployment. The report also considers how they might plausibly be used in the UK and globally to meet climate goals.

Methods such as growing forests, enhancing mineral weathering, and direct capture of CO2 from the air have been considered for the role they could play in counteracting hard-to-cut emissions like agriculture and air travel, and in preventing some of the more dangerous impacts of climate change.

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Farming crops with rocks to reduce CO2 and improve global food security

Feb 20, 2018

Pioneering research by LC3M suggests that adding fast-reacting silicate rocks to croplands could capture CO2 and give increased protection from pests and diseases while restoring soil structure and fertility.

The research, published 19 February 2018 in Nature Plants, examined the approach which involves amending soils with abundant crushed silicate rocks, like basalt, left over from ancient volcanic eruptions. As these minute rock grains dissolve chemically in soils, they take up carbon dioxide and release plant-essential nutrients.

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PhD Studentship at University of Sheffield: ‘Enhancing the soil carbon sink: towards defining and quantifying new stabilising mechanisms’

Nov 20, 2017

We invite applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship with the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University of Sheffield as part of the NERC funded Doctoral Training Partnership “ACCE” (Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment).

The post would suit a motivated student interested in ‘climate-smart soil’ research, with enthusiasm for a mix of laboratory and computer-based work. The student will gain excellent training in a range of cutting-edge transferable skills in soil science, including advanced spectroscopic and C-isotopic techniques.

For further information and details of & how to apply, please follow this link: Find a PhD.com

Closing date: 9th January 2018

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PhD Studentship at University of Southampton: ‘Can enhanced rock weathering be used as an effective climate change mitigation strategy?’

Nov 20, 2017

We invite applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to evaluate ERW in agricultural sites (corn/soy and oil palm) in Illinois, USA, and Malaysian Borneo respectively. The student will take part in fieldwork and quantify will the extent of CO2 drawdown by chemical weathering processes through analysis of the elemental and stable isotopic (e.g. Sr, Mg, Li) composition of stream, soil, and plant samples. The project will be supervised by Prof. Rachael James, Dr Grace Andrews and Dr Chris Pearce as part of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation (LC3M).

For full details, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit http://noc.ac.uk/gsnocs/project/can-enhanced-rockweathering-be-used-effective-climate-change-mitigation-strategy

Applications close: 5th January 2018

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The Search is on for Pulling Carbon from the Air

Dec 27, 2016

Scientists are investigating a range of technologies they hope can capture lots of carbon without a lot of cost. At the AGU17 conference in San Francisco, David Beerling, Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation, explained an agricultural technique that could quicken weathering and theoretically benefit crops as well.

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