CAN YOU HELP US CREATE A CLIMATE OF CHANGE?

Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our planet. In the past few years, we have seen its devastating impact across the world, from wildfires and extreme weather, to loss of biodiversity and saying goodbye to Canada’s last intact ice sheet.

The most recent crisis, COVID-19, is also rooted in our relationship with the natural world, and has revealed just how interconnected we all are, how problems on the other side of the globe are also our problems, and that it is only through working together that we can make a difference.

We are at a critical point in our fight against climate change; this decade must be the decade of action. And we need your support.

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THE UEA CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION PLAN

Our researchers here at UEA were among the first to prove that the world is warming. Now, we are creating a practical action plan to tackle our climate emergency.

We understand that the most effective way forward is to share knowledge, collaborate and work towards shared goals. So we are gathering a team of experts from across different fields to do just that.

Together, we will establish an Observatory for Climate Recovery, directed by a world-leading climate scientist, where we will exploit the huge amounts of data needed to understand climatic trends and take action. Our experts will focus on gathering, tracking and analysing data – whether from container ships, submarine explorations, satellites or the phones in our pockets. Building on the existing expertise in the UEA Tyndall Centre, we’ll look at ways that human behaviour can be adapted where possible, and mitigated where not.

We will create a brand new Ecosystems Research Centre. The health of our planet is very much dependent on the health of our ecosystems. Water, land, trees – they all play an important role in storing carbon and the better we can understand the pressures they face the better chance we have of counteracting their decline.

We will develop a new online platform to support informed decision-making: ScienceBrief. ScienceBrief will collate peer-reviewed research, evidence and data on climate science, and other scientific challenges, which will then be translated by an outstanding team of analysts and science communicators for use by decision-makers across the world. 

Finally, we will focus on the place where climate change is manifesting itself most dramatically: in the polar regions, through the UEA Polar Initiative.

Over the past 40 years, the sea-ice cover in summer has shrunk by more than half, with climate models predicting that the remaining half could disappear by 2050. The interaction between sea ice and the air above it plays a crucial role in determining the composition of our atmosphere and the exchange  of greenhouse gases. And sea ice is host to an array of unique microorganisms which underpin entire food chains and ecosystems. Researchers at UEA’s specialist laboratory, the Roland von Glasow Air-Sea-Ice Chamber, are attempting  to unravel the mechanisms behind sea ice loss to better understand its role as  a driver of climate change, as well as its impact on delicate polar ecosystems. 

As part of UEA’s Polar Initiative, our researchers are also pioneering state- of-the-art autonomous vehicles to capture the data needed to understand glacier erosion. The Thwaite’s Glacier  in West Antarctica, for example, is on the brink of collapse and has the potential to cause a portent sea level  rise. With 40% of the world’s population living within 100km of the ocean, even small sea level rises could threaten homes, infrastructure, economies,  and lives.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

To support and deliver these new activities we will need to fund two new Professorial Chairs, several senior scientists and a number of new PhD studentships. We are therefore aiming to raise £8 million over the next five years to make UEA’s Climate Change Action Plan a reality.

Our target is ambitious, but if we are to make a difference to climate change we need to recognise the scale of the work needed and rise to the challenge.

To make this achievable we are urgently inviting partnerships, donations and sponsorship from alumni, philanthropists, charities, trusts and corporations from all over the world. 

To discuss our ambitious plans or to make a gift to support our action plan, please get in touch at giving@uea.ac.uk

You can also make a donation online today.  

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Watch UEA's Climate of Change video