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

Managing UK agriculture with rock dust could absorb up to 45 per cent of the atmospheric carbon dioxide needed for net-zero, research shows

Apr 25, 2022

Adding rock dust to UK agricultural soils could absorb up to 45 per cent of the atmospheric carbon dioxide needed to reach net zero, according to a major new study led by scientists at the University of Sheffield.

The study, led by Dr Euripides Kantzas, a senior research associate in the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University, provides the first detailed analysis of the potential and costs of greenhouse gas removal by enhanced weathering in the UK over the next 50 years.

Professor David Beerling, Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University of Sheffield and senior author of the study, said: “Our analysis highlights the potential of UK agriculture to deliver substantial carbon drawdown by transitioning to managing arable farms with rock dust, with added benefits for soil health and food security.”

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Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Working Group III Contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report

Apr 4, 2022

The Working Group III report provides an updated global assessment of climate change mitigation progress and pledges, and examines the sources of global emissions. It explains developments in emission reduction and mitigation efforts, assessing the impact of national climate pledges in relation to long-term emissions goals.

“The new W.G.III IPCC report considers the carbon dioxide removal technologies required for the world (& UK) to reach net-zero. These technologies include enhanced weathering with the potential for carbon removal + increased food & soil security” Professor David Beerling, Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation & co-author to Chapter 12 ‘Cross-sectoral perspectives’ of this vitally important report.

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BBC World Follow the Food: ‘Turn back the climate clock on food production’

Mar 15, 2022

Researchers from the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation, Carl Bernacchi and Lisa Ainsworth at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, discuss with BBC World Follow the Food how basalt could “turn back the climate clock on food production.”


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