It’s a small world: How air pollution in Europe can affect rainfall in India

Grantham PhD student Dilshad Shawki explores the latest research unpicking the influence of human activity across the globe on the South Asian monsoon. Each summer the South Asian monsoon drenches the Indian subcontinent, as strong moisture-laden winds from the Indian Ocean deliver over 70% of the region’s annual rainfall in just 3 months. As such, the monsoon’s bountiful rain is crucial to the economy and … Continue reading It’s a small world: How air pollution in Europe can affect rainfall in India

UK floods: An uncertain future calls for flexible plans

Filip Babovic (Department of Civil Engineering) (@filipbabovic) looks back on the record-breaking floods experienced in the UK last December, asking whether we should expect such extreme weather to become the norm and how we can defend ourselves against future flooding. The UK has a reputation for being rainy, but last December it saw a deluge of truly epic proportions as the country was battered by … Continue reading UK floods: An uncertain future calls for flexible plans

Why a debate over who should take responsibility for climate change’s impending humanitarian disaster is proving hard to solve at COP21

Dr Gabriele Messori, Imperial physics alumnus and climate scientist writes about the contentious issue of the loss and damage caused by adverse effects of climate change. A key section in the draft agreement called ‘Loss and Damage’, has so far been one of the most debated elements of the negotiations at COP21 here in Paris, and is arguably holding up many other discussions. In the … Continue reading Why a debate over who should take responsibility for climate change’s impending humanitarian disaster is proving hard to solve at COP21

Video: Climate change and extreme weather

The AXA Futures event ‘Climate Change and Extreme Weather – How Do We Protect Communities at Risk?’ hosted by the Grantham Institute brought together leading climate change scientists and influencers to debate how to manage climate change and what COP21 should seek to achieve. World Meteorological Organisation figures show that weather and climate-related disasters have caused $2.4 trillion in economic losses and nearly 2 million deaths globally since … Continue reading Video: Climate change and extreme weather

Is climate change increasing the risk of armed conflict?

By Dr Flora Whitmarsh, Grantham Institute The recently published 2015 Global Peace Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, said that although OECD countries became more peaceful in 2014, there has been substantial increase in annual war-related deaths since 2010, and there are now more refugees than at any time since the Second World War. It is currently difficult to give a definitive answer as … Continue reading Is climate change increasing the risk of armed conflict?

Resilience to environmental hazards

This blog post by Malcom Graham, an SSCP DTP student, is part of a series on Responding to Environmental Change, an event organised by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded Doctoral Training Partnerships at Imperial (SSCP), and the University of Reading and the University of Surrey (SCENARIO). See the full list of blogs in this series here. Environmental hazards are becoming more frequent and severe, … Continue reading Resilience to environmental hazards

Moving from tactics to strategy: extreme weather, climate risks and the policy response

 By Dr Flora MacTavish and Dr Simon Buckle In the press coverage of the recent floods, there has been a lot of discussion about whether the authorities could have been better prepared or responded more effectively. The National Farmers Union has called for the reintroduction of river dredging, although experts argue that dredging may be limited in its effectiveness. Local authorities have been criticised by … Continue reading Moving from tactics to strategy: extreme weather, climate risks and the policy response

Temperature and rainfall extremes in a warming world

By Dr Flora MacTavish Governments, planning authorities, companies and individuals all need information about  the impact of climate change on extreme weather in the future. A recent paper [1] investigates changes in extremes both globally and locally. We can be relatively certain of the signature of climate change on a global or continental scale. On the other hand, estimating changes on a country-wide scale is harder … Continue reading Temperature and rainfall extremes in a warming world

Question Time and what the IPCC really said about tropical storms

By Dr Simon Buckle BBC’s Question Time on 14 November saw Lord Lawson citing the IPCC findings to support one of his arguments.  Did I dream that? Then I realised that, of course, the reference to the IPCC was incomplete and misleading so I knew I was awake and back in the strange media-distorted world of the UK debate on climate change. According to the … Continue reading Question Time and what the IPCC really said about tropical storms