Cabot Institute blog

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Friday, 13 July 2012

Cabot office weekly roundup – 13 July 2012


I was on holiday last week in Cornwall when the Met Office gave a red weather warning for rain in the South West, saying there was immediate danger to lives.   Luckily I wasn’t too affected, it just meant more indoor pursuits than outdoor but it made me think more about the extreme weather events we are seeing globally this year.  Drought and heat in the United States, stupid amounts of rain in the UK and Russia and other extreme events elsewhere, shown very well by this map published by UNEP.  And funnily enough, while I was sitting in my caravan, rain pouring down, I thought of work.  The people I work with are trying to better understand the global environment, trying to find new ways to reduce environmental risk to lives and find ways to better adapt to the changing environment.  That red weather warning made me realise the importance of the work that Cabot does.

Returning to work this week I was bombarded by news and events that we have been a part of or will be a part of in the future.  And the future is very exciting!

Lauren Gregoire
In the last couple of weeks we have had the amazing Lauren Gregoire and her team, who have found out the cause of rapid sea level change in the past, which increases our understanding of the nature of ice sheets and climate change for the future. 

Professor Paul Reid found that the rate of cloud droplet growth can be strongly dependent on the composition of the aerosol, which is really important for understanding trends in past global climate and predicting future climate change. 


Chris Deeming
Dr Chris Deeming has been awarded an ESRC Future Research Leaders Grant for a project titled 'New cultural contradictions in modern consumer societies: A political economy perspective using multilevel analysis'.  This research will help to raise public and government understanding and awareness of the impacts of consumption in modern consumer societies and will feed directly into policy.

We have had our volcanologists on the BBC’s Volcano Live series. Cabot scientists featured include Dr Jeremy Phillips and Dr Alison Rust (Earth Sciences), and Dr Adam Crewe (Civil Engineering) amongst others, and topics include Why Do Volcanoes Erupt? (Episode 1), Volcanic Hazards and Flows (Episode 2), Earthquakes and their Simulation (Episode 3), and Supervolcanoes (Episode 4).  Also prominently featured was the volcano field research of Professor Jon Blundy and his team (Earth Sciences).   

Some of our researchers have also received almost a million pounds for a study into forecasting and coping with volcanic eruptions. 

Going back to my realisations in the caravan in Cornwall, I know that the Cabot Institute is going to be doing some amazing work and will have its own realisations of global importance in the very near future. Go team Cabot!

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