News

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.

 

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Can rock dust be a climate fix for agriculture?

Sep 2, 2021

Scientists are dusting crop fields with pulverized rocks to supercharge the chemical process that grabs carbon from the air and sequesters it in the soil. All while increasing crop yields.

Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation director, David Beerling, who is five years into a decade-long effort to investigate enhanced weathering on croplands, published a paper in Nature that demonstrated the potential of the method. He and colleagues found that if China, India, and the United States applied rock dust to all of their agricultural lands, 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide could be removed from the atmosphere.

Read More

How Adding Rock Dust to Soil Can Help Get Carbon into the Ground

Sep 2, 2021

Researchers are finding that when pulverized rock is applied to agricultural fields, the soil pulls far more carbon from the air and crop yields increase. More studies are underway, but some scientists say this method shows significant benefits for farmers and the climate.

Leverhulme Centre director David Beerling, who is five years into a decade-long effort to investigate enhanced weathering on croplands, published a paper last year in Nature that demonstrated the potential of the method. He and colleagues found that if China, India, and the United States applied rock dust to all of their agricultural lands, 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide could be removed from the atmosphere.

The research results so far are significant enough that the IPCC mentioned enhanced weathering in its most recent report, listing the method of spreading ground-up rocks on soils as a way to capture more carbon and stimulate cropland productivity.

Read More

Power to the people

Sep 1, 2021

Dr. Emily Cox, an expert on public perceptions of CO2-removal technologies, suggests that to meet our decarbonisation goals, CO2 removal technologies are needed at scale. Targets are no longer enough – we need significant financial support, as well as mechanisms that can systematically build trust and dialogue across all parts of society.

An incredible community is working to meet the challenge and, despite the pandemic, we have an extremely strong public mandate for climate action in the UK. That said, Emily is concerned because the UK is currently falling far short of its own targets. Featured in Geoscientist: the magazine of the Geological Society of London.

Read More

Geological solutions for carbon dioxide removal

Sep 1, 2021

To meet targets set in the Paris Agreement, we must stop emissions and actively strip carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Professor Rachael James , Dr. Christina Larkin and colleagues discuss two geological techniques – enhanced rock weathering and carbon mineralisation – that show promise for CO2 removal. Featured in Geoscientist: the magazine of the Geological Society of London.

Read More

BBC Radio Four ’39 Ways to Save the Planet’ – Magical Rockdust

Aug 25, 2021

Discover how sprinkling rockdust on farm fields could help capture more carbon reported by the BBC Radio Four series ’39 Ways to Save the Planet’ featuring LC3M partner Rachael James, Professor of Geochemistry within the School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, based at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton.

Read More

Jurassic era CO2 claim belongs with the dinosaurs

Jul 1, 2021

THE STATEMENT
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.

THE VERDICT
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.

Read More

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.

Read More
« Older posts