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Showing posts from August, 2012

Unprecedented melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Three Cabot Institute researchers provide their own insights on the highly publicised news story about the extent of melting observed on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Chris Vernon , Ph.D student in the Bristol Glaciology Centre, studying the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet Last week NASA released new images of the Greenland ice sheet generated from satellite data showing that between the 8th and 12th of July 2012 the area of the ice sheet’s surface that was melting had increased from about 40 percent to an estimated 97 percent.   On average during the summer approximately half of the ice sheet experiences such surface melting and this expansion of the melt area to include the highest altitude and coldest regions was described as “unprecedented” by the scientists at NASA.   Such widespread melting has not been seen before during the past 34 years of satellite observations and melting at Summit Station, near the highest point on the ice sheet, has not occurred since 1889 bas

Cabot office weekly roundup – 17 August 2012

What has been interesting today is watching this video by the charity Practical Action .   The charity shows us that we can have simple solutions for complex socio-environmental problems.   What we do in Cabot seems quite complex at times, trying to find complex solutions to complex problems.   We have had visitors come to Cabot and show us their simple solutions, e.g. Kevin McGuigan who saved millions of lives by demonstrating how water can be sanitised in plastic bottles left in the sun, with the sun’s UV doing all the hard work.   A very cheap, easy and effective solution to the global problem of water security.   Cabot needs to think more about these simple solutions as well as the more complex ones. Malcolm Fairbrother This week has been very exciting.   I recorded our very first podcast at Burst Radio with Dr Steve Simpson who talked about how climate change is affecting the oceans.   This will be available for download in September. A popular talk was given

Cabot office weekly roundup – 10 August 2012

Yay! The new Cabot homepage is now up and running.   Check out our new look here . We have added a couple of mingling dates to our diary.     One on 3 October for our Faculty of Social Science and Law to mingle with Cabot members across the University of Bristol.     The second mingle will be held for all Cabot members, new and old, on 10 October .     Mingles are open to all University of Bristol staff and postgraduates. We are recording our first podcast next week and will be interviewing Cabot Fellow Dr Steve Simpson on sustainable fisheries.   If you have any questions for Steve, please email or tweet your question to @cabotinstitute.

Cabot office weekly roundup – 3 August 2012

Illustration by Edel Rodriguez What has been interesting to me this week is a real shift in people’s perceptions of environmental risk, global environment change and resilience.   It is like the world has finally woken up.   Only this week climate sceptics have changed their minds and now believe climate change is man-made.   Also we are definitely facing 2 degrees of warming and reversing it is now looking highly unlikely.   By analysing current events held on the subject of climate change, it is clear that they are no longer asking what can we do to prevent it?   Climate change is happening and it is too late.   What everyone wants to know now is, how can we adapt to climate change and how can we be resilient to the global environmental and social changes which will result from at least 2 degrees of warming . This year we have some exciting speakers talking about resilience, so I know at least the Cabot community will be prepared!   The Cabot events are: Real Clothes