Skip to main content

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!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bristol Future’s magical places: Sustainability through the eyes of the community

“What is science? Why do we do it?”. I ask these questions to my students a lot, in fact, I spend a lot of time asking myself the same thing.

And of course, as much as philosophy of science has thankfully graced us with a lot of scholars, academics and researchers who have discussed, and even provided answers to these questions, sometimes, when you are buried under piles of papers, staring at your screen for hours and hours on end, it doesn’t feel very science-y, does it?

 As a child I always imagined the scientist constantly surrounded by super cool things like the towers around Nicola Tesla, or Cousteau being surrounded by all those underwater wonders. Reality though, as it often does, may significantly differ from your early life expectations. I should have guessed that Ts and Cs would apply… Because there is nothing magnificent about looking for that one bug in your code that made your entire run plot the earth inside out and upside down, at least not for me.

I know for myself, I…

The Diamond Battery – your ideas for future energy generation

On Friday 25th November, at the Cabot Institute Annual Lecture, a new energy technology was unveiled that uses diamonds to generate electricity from nuclear waste. Researchers at the University of Bristol, led by Prof. Tom Scott, have created a prototype battery that incorporates radioactive Nickel-63 into a diamond, which is then able to generate a small electrical current.
Details of this technology can be found in our official press release here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2016/november/diamond-power.html.
Despite the low power of the batteries (relative to current technologies), they could have an exceptionally long lifespan, taking 5730 years to reach 50% battery power. Because of this, Professor Tom Scott explains:
“We envision these batteries to be used in situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries. Obvious applications would be in low-power electrical devices where long life of the energy source is needed, such as pacemakers, satellite…

Dadaism in Disaster Risk Reduction: Reflections against method

Reflections and introductions: A volta The volta is a poetic device, closely but not solely, associated with the Shakespearean sonnet, used to enact a dramatic change in thought or emotion. Concomitant with this theme is that March is a month with symbolic links to change and new life. The Romans famously preferred to initiate the most significant socio-political manoeuvres of the empire during the first month of their calendar, mensis Martius. A month that marked the oncoming of spring, the weakening of winter’s grip on the land and a time for new life.
The need for change Having very recently attended the March UKADR conference, organised by the Cabot Institute here in Bristol, I did so with some hope and anticipation. Hope and anticipation for displays and discussions that conscientiously touched upon this volta, this need for change in how we study the dynamics of natural hazards. The conference itself was very agreeable, it had great sandwiches, with much stimulating discussion …