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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Externally Funded Research

We are expanding our enhanced weathering research with large-scale UK field trials, public engagement and knowledge transfer and building links with other carbon sequestration programmes, as listed here.

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Latest newsView all

Jurassic era CO2 claim belongs with the dinosaurs

Jul 1, 2021

A Facebook user claims atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were 30 times higher during the Jurassic Period than at present, going on to suggest current levels of the greenhouse gas are lower than ever.

CO2 levels in the atmosphere during the Jurassic Period were not 30 times higher than at present, as the Facebook post claims, and current CO2 levels are not at an all-time low.

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How battered rainforests recover

Jun 28, 2021

Former forest areas can regenerate with the help of soil bacteria. Even in poor soil, the microbes apparently provide enough nutrients to stimulate plant growth again.

All over the world, an abundance of leguminous tree species grows in tropical forests…but how do legumes manage to obtain the necessary minerals?

In search of microorganisms that release mineral nutrients, scientists led by Dimitar Z. Epihov, University of Sheffield, and Sarah A. Batterman, University of Leeds, analyzed the DNA isolated from soil samples. As reported in the Proceedings of the American National Academy of Sciences, microbes that are able to free phosphorus from its binding to oxidized iron populate the root space of legumes in remarkably large numbers.

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LC3M Students discuss climate goals with the public at HUG festival

Jun 26, 2021

LC3M PhD Students, Derek Bell and Daniel Evans presented and answered questions from the public at the HUG Green Arts Festival held in Leek, Staffordshire on 26th June 2021. The festival hosted a variety of fun family based activities and booths meant to attract the public to the beauty of the Peak National Park and connect around climate change. An educational seminar was held by members of the University of Sheffield and the University of Nottingham, which included:
  • The UK’s energy requirements and the challenges associated with adopting renewables (Associate Professor Robin Irons, Univ. Nottingham)
  • CO2 capture and enzyme mediated methanol generation (Jennifer Hancock)
  • Enhanced rock weathering’s potential for carbon sequestration in the UK (Derek Bell)
  • Nitrogen fluctuation on grasses following basaltic rock and biochar amendments (Dan Evans)
The seminar also held a “question time” where the public had some thoughtful insights, which in some cases led to good natured debate.
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