News

Landmark carbon study led by new charity, The Carbon Community

May 27, 2021

We’re excited to share this landmark field trial in Wales which aims to uncover a new reforestation approach involving co-deployment with enhanced rock weathering to accelerate carbon sequestration in trees and soil to tackle the climate crisis.

The study is designed and run in partnership with leading scientists from ETH Zürich Crowther Lab; Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University of Sheffield; The Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London; and The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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Enhanced mineral weathering in agriculture to capture greenhouse gases

May 26, 2021

A team, led by Professor David Beerling at the University of Sheffield, is coordinating a large multi-partner research project to assess the feasibility of using enhanced mineral weathering to capture greenhouse gases and enhance UK food and soil security.  IOM3 is a partner of the Expert Advisory Group.

Beerling says, “I’m delighted that UKRI have funded our greenhouse gas removal demonstrator project investigating all aspects of enhanced weathering, from science to society. This promising approach may have the advantage of simultaneously delivering co-benefits for UK crop production and soil health. We look forward to building our understanding of the role it may play in helping the UK Government reach net-zero by 2050.”

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UK invests over £30m in large-scale greenhouse gas removal

May 25, 2021

Professor David Beerling will lead a new £4.7M UK collaborative Greenhouse Gas Removal Demonstrator which aims to assist the UK in getting to net-zero by 2050, utilising agriculture and crushed rocks via three large scale field trials and targeted public engagement research.

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Agriculture, the Land and the Environment – Planet Philadelphia

Mar 29, 2021

How can the use of our land, particularly for agriculture, help with environmental protection and climate change?

Listen to the interview with LC3M Director, Professor David Beerling, on Planet Philadelphia’s environmental radio show.

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Innovative agricultural technologies could help meet food security and climate change emergencies

Mar 16, 2021

Scientists have proposed a range of technological options for sustainable, productive and resilient agriculture, which provide multiple routes for removing CO2 from the atmosphere to directly mitigate climate change. 

The team, led by Professor David Beerling, Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University of Sheffield and Professor Steve Long, at the University of Illinois, proposed transformations of land management and agronomic practices including innovative amendments to soils, crop management and land use to promote atmospheric CO2 removal.

The research, published in Nature Plants, proposes that innovative technologies and new crop varieties, with increased photosynthesis and resource-use-efficiency, can maximally exploit agronomic practices and soil amendments to enhance carbon storage as well as food crop yields.

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Legume trees key to supporting tropical forest growth

Mar 10, 2021

Researchers have found that nitrogen-fixing legume trees can support themselves and surrounding trees not only with increased access to nitrogen, but with other key nutrients through enhanced mineral weathering. The team, led by the University of Sheffield and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, have published their findings in the journal PNAS which provide new insights into the role of nitrogen-fixing trees in safeguarding the function of tropical forests within the biosphere.

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Climate news quiz: Rock dust and heat-ready cities

Jul 29, 2020

Test your knowledge about ways the climate is changing.

Time to see if you’ve been paying attention to The Washington Post’s climate-related coverage. If you have, this quiz should be an easy A.

 

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‘Climate urgency’ may dampen public acceptance of carbon dioxide removal technologies

Jul 28, 2020

Researchers from the Understanding Risk research group at the School of Psychology have carried out a pioneering study to gauge UK and US public acceptance on the use of carbon dioxide removal technologies to tackle climate change.

The study is in response to the suggestion that the UK must deploy novel approaches to removing C0from the atmosphere if it is to meet its commitment of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Novel approaches include the use of carbon dioxide removal technology such as enhanced terrestrial weathering for which public and societal acceptance is critical.

Principal investigator for the study, Professor Nick Pidgeon of the School of Psychology said: “I have worked for almost 20 years on the difficult challenge of how to engage publics ‘upstream’ with novel and emerging environmental technologies about which they may know very little, and in order to promote more socially sensitive environmental science and policy. It is therefore very pleasing to see the methodological and intellectual foundations of that work reflected in the outcomes of this important research effort to develop novel ways of addressing climate change”.

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Volcanoes can help to combat climate change

Jul 27, 2020

Spreading volcanic rock dust on farmland sounds a highly unlikely way to help to combat climate change, but studies show crushed rocks can soak up carbon dioxide from the air, and as an added benefit may also boost crop yields.

Volcanic basalt rock is one of the most common rocks in the world. As the rock weathers naturally it absorbs carbon dioxide, turns into carbonate that eventually ends up as limestone and permanently locks away the carbon. Grinding the rock up into dust simply increases its surface area and accelerates the natural process of absorbing CO2.

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This Solution to Runaway Emissions Starts With Crushed Rocks

Jul 14, 2020

The idea, often referred to as “enhanced rock weathering” (ERW), is among a handful of negative-emission technologies beginning to gain traction as the world struggles to lower greenhouse gases. The idea is simple: Grinding up certain types of rock and spreading them across a large land area can accelerate the Earth’s natural rate of carbon absorption.

Prior to our work, the evidence [on ERW] was scattered,” says David Beerling, Director of Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University of Sheffield. “Our study is the first detailed, comprehensive analysis of what it might deliver for carbon capture if deployed at scale.

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