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

ACCE DTP fully funded studentship: FACE-ing the future: the world’s first CO2 enriched enhanced weathering field trials.

Nov 1, 2021

We’re setting up the world’s first Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment for studying enhanced rock weathering (ERW) with soybean and maize crops in the USA in collaboration with University of Illinois partners and we’re looking for a highly motivated student with interests in climate change mitigation, crop science, molecular biology and geochemistry to join this us on this unique and exciting opportunity to evaluate how future CO2 concentrations affect key soil microbial and plant processes driving the efficiency of ERW under in situ field conditions.

The successful candidate will gain excellent training in a range of cutting-edge transferrable skills in geochemistry, mineralogy and bioinformatics and will be embedded within our vibrant research group with outstanding facilities and expertise, working closely with the British Geological Survey.

The student will visit our FACE trials in the USA where we are growing N2-fixing C3 soybean successively for two years followed by the C4 maize for one year in six 9-m diameter FACE rings, three with elevated CO2 and three controls. Each ring is split into two with half receiving basalt and the other representing a no-basalt control. Additionally, within each ring, we will bury replicated mesh bags containing crushed basalt that will be recovered after years 1, 2, and 3 from beneath the crops, together with flash-frozen soil and root samples. Working as part of a wider project team, the student will use a suite of geochemical and mineralogical techniques to determine grain-scale weathering and N-cycling, and couple this to the functional soil metagenome and root transcriptional responses. The goal is to understand how CO2 enrichment accelerates carbon removal in croplands at the genomic level.

For full details and how to apply follow this link. Application deadline: 14th January 2022.

 

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ACCE DTP fully funded studentship: Quantifying air quality and indirect climate feedbacks of land-based greenhouse gas removal strategies.

Nov 1, 2021

We’re looking for a highly motivated student with interests in climate change mitigation, ecosystem processes and atmosphere-biosphere-climate interactions to join our vibrant research groups at the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation (Sheffield) and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (Edinburgh).

The 2021 IPCC report recognises urgent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and large-scale CO2 removal (CDR) are urgently required to mitigate climate change. Land-based CDR strategies include afforestation/reforestation (AR) and enhanced rock weathering (ERW), but widespread implementation of these approaches will have consequences for air quality, and indirect climate feedbacks that have so far been overlooked.

An exciting feature observed from co-deployment of ERW within a pioneering large-scale (25,000 trees) AR field trial in Wales (https://www.carboncommunity.org/carbon-projects) is that ERW affects soil nitrogen cycling (Beerling et al, 2018) and increases leaf nitrogen content of deciduous and evergreen trees, leading to potential changes in biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted by the trees. This in turn affects the production of other atmospheric pollutants, e.g. ozone and secondary organic aerosols, which are harmful to human and crop health, and climate.

The successful applicant will gain excellent training in a range of cutting-edge transferrable skills in measuring and modelling atmospheric pollutants and greenhouse gases and forest management in the context of climate change issues.

For full details and how to apply follow this link. Application deadline: 14th January 2022.

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Pop-Up University: Solving Earth’s climate emergency by farming with rocks!

Sep 15, 2021

Join Amy Lewis and researchers from the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation, based in the Faculty of Science for a series of live experiments showing how rock dissolution (weathering) can help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Rock dissolution occurs naturally when rocks interact with water and this is important to help slow climate change.

Meet the researchers who are working to speed up rock weathering – see live experiments and view rocks under the microscope.

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