Philanthropy at UEA to fund vital research in sea level rise


    A donation this year of US $1 million thanks to Norfolk resident Sir Anthony Habgood, former Chairman of RELX PLC and of the Court of Bank of England – will support UEA’s climate change experts to understand the potential impact of rising sea levels and climate change on our coastal communities.

    As we observe large ice sheet melt in Greenland and Antarctica, concerns about the wide-ranging effects of climate change are growing. The impact of rising sea levels on our famously flat East Anglian landscape is predicted to be dramatic, posing a very real threat of widespread flooding and coastal erosion for our waterlogged landscape.

    Left to Right: Prof David Maguire, Sir Anthony Habgood, Prof Robert Nicholls, David Ellis
    Left to Right: Prof David Maguire, Sir Anthony Habgood, Prof Robert Nicholls, David Ellis

    More research urgently needed

    Locally, this sea-level rise and climate change are also influencing water levels along the East Anglian coast and into all our estuaries, including the Norfolk Broads and up to Norwich. Vital research is needed now to help us understand what higher sea levels will mean to East Anglia – and coastal communities worldwide – and how we might mitigate risks to safeguard our region for future generations to come.

    This generous donation will endow the Sir Anthony Habgood Professor of Coastal System Dynamics in Climate Change at UEA to explore the potential impact of sea level rise on our economy and environment, looking at how we might respond and adapt to secure a safe and sustainable future for us all.

    Harnessing UEA’s powerful expertise

    UEA has been at the forefront of climate change ever since our Climatic Research Unit was established in 1972. Our pioneering research has been informing policy and decision-makers for over half a century. Our climate change experts play a leading role in producing global temperature figures and our Leverhulme PhD programme is training a new generation of climate thought leaders. We have worked with councils and partners to develop a 25-year environmental plan to mitigate the impact of climate change on water security and sea-level rise in the region.

    According to experts across the world, we’re approaching a tipping point. Decisive action must be taken to follow the Paris Agreement and limit temperature rise to below 2°C. If we fail to do so, rising sea levels threaten to impact coastal communities across the globe.

    Through the power of philanthropy, Sir Anthony has committed to harness the powerful expertise of UEA’s climate change specialists to address the major challenges of sea-level rise and climate change for the East Anglian coast and coastal areas around the world.

    We look forward to bringing you updates on this exciting project as it develops.

    Find out more about our pioneering climate change research

    If you would like to find out more about UEA’s work in climate change and opportunities to get involved, please contact the Development Office:

    Contact the Development Office