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Past abrupt climate changes provide 'early warning signals' of cascading tipping points

Past tipping points triggered cascades of global climate, ecological and societal change, researchers say.

Earth’s vital signs worsen amid business-as-usual mindset on climate change

Twenty months after declaring a climate emergency and establishing a set of vital signs for the Earth, a coalition of researchers says “unrelenting business as usual” has led to alarming results.

Major research initiative to support marine economy deal with future shocks

A new research programme will investigate and strengthen the resilience, wellbeing and sustainability of UK coastal communities.

Scientists identify five new plant species in Bolivia

Scientists have identified five new plant species in the Bolivian Andes.

Red Dead Redemption 2 teaches players about wildlife

Players of the popular game Red Dead Redemption 2 learn how to identify real American wildlife, new research shows.

Marine 'identity' could boost ocean protection

Many people are so attached to the ocean that it forms a key part of their identity, new research suggests.

Plant-based proteins among food-production positive 'tipping points'

Triggering positive "tipping points" could transform the way we produce food and use the world's land, according to a new report.

Top climate scientist tells Citizen's Assembly: 'We must act now to reduce carbon emissions'

The devastation inflicted on future generations and the environment if we don’t act to reduce carbon emissions now was laid bare at Devon’s Climate Assembly this week by one of the UK’s top climate scientists.

Cornish 'doughnut economy’ requires local action

Progress towards a fair and sustainable "doughnut economy" is happening at differing rates in different parts of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, according to a new report.

University of Exeter plays a leading role in latest UK Climate Change Risk Assessment

Action to improve the nation’s resilience is failing to keep pace with the impacts of a warming planet and increasing climate risks facing the UK.

Scientists warn G7 humanitarian and economic costs of breaching 1.5C will far exceed costs of achieving it

A group of world-leading climate scientists are calling on global leaders to factor in the economic, environmental and humanitarian costs of failing to keep global warming below 1.5C this century.

'Manage tourism and nature to boost both,' report says

Tourism and the natural environment can be managed in ways that benefit both, new research reports suggest.

Culture shift needed to tackle climate crisis

Tackling the climate crisis will require embracing new ways of thinking and challenging dominant social and economic practices, a new book suggests.

Substantial carbon dioxide emissions from northern peatlands drained for crop cultivation

A new study shows that substantial amounts of carbon dioxide were released during the last millennium because of crop cultivation on peatlands in the Northern Hemisphere. 

University of Exeter to play a key role in new £20 million industrial decarbonisation centre

Researchers from the University of Exeter are involved with two projects as part of the new £20 million Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC).

Study pinpoints key causes of ocean circulation change

Researchers have identified the key factors that influence a vital pattern of ocean currents.

'Champagne' technology to capture carbon dioxide via the oceans

A new method of capturing carbon from seawater could help us tackle climate change.

African rainforests still slowed climate change despite record heat and drought

Scientists studying the impact of record heat and drought on intact African tropical rainforests were surprised by how resilient they were to the extreme conditions during the last major El Niño event.

Few realistic scenarios left to limit global warming to 1.5°C

Of the over 400 climate scenarios assessed in the 1.5°C report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), only about 50 scenarios avoid significantly overshooting 1.5°C.

Antarctic ice sheet retreat could trigger chain reaction

The Antarctic ice sheet was even more unstable in the past than previously thought, and at times possibly came close to collapse, new research suggests.

New evidence of major impacts of climate change on coral reef growth

The window of opportunity to protect the structure of the world’s coral reefs is still open but time is running out, new research shows.

Warming of 3°C could cause major jump in Antarctic ice melt

Global warming of 3°C could lead to a major jump in melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, according to a new study.

Brazilian Amazon released more carbon than it stored in 2010s

The Brazilian Amazon rainforest released more carbon than it stored over the last decade – with degradation a bigger cause than deforestation – according to new research.  

Oceans may become a less efficient carbon sink

The world's oceans could soak up less carbon or even beginning emitting carbon in the future, a new UNESCO report warns.

Rock glaciers will slow Himalayan ice melt

Some Himalayan glaciers are more resilient to global warming than previously predicted, new research suggests.

Carbon uptake in regrowing Amazon forest threatened by climate and human disturbance

Large areas of forests regrowing in the Amazon to help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are being limited by climate and human activity.

Exeter alumnus to help restore natural ecosystems as part of pioneering internship

A University of Exeter graduate will help restore natural ecosystems as part of a “rewilding” internship.

Evolution of ocean 'twilight zone' creatures linked to global climate change

A team led by scientists from Cardiff University has, for the first time, been able to track the development of the largest and least understood habitat on Earth.

Survey finds beavers establishing strong presence in City of Perth

Beavers in Scotland are establishing a strong presence in Perth, according to researchers conducting the most comprehensive ever survey of the animal in Scotland.    

Ground-breaking beaver project launched

The Dorset Wildlife Trust has released two beavers into an enclosed site in west Dorset. This landmark project is the first of its kind for the county and welcomes beavers back to Dorset for the first time in over 400 years.

Improved model estimates impact of ozone on soy crops

The impact of ozone on soybean production can be predicted more accurately thanks to improvements to a computer modelling system.

Changing resilience of oceans to climate change

Oxygen levels in the ancient oceans were surprisingly resilient to climate change, new research suggests.

Exeter researcher awarded "frontiers of knowledge" prize for science of climate change adaptation

A University of Exeter researcher is one of three winners of this year's BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award.

Positive ‘tipping points’ offer hope for climate

Positive “tipping points” could spark cascading changes that accelerate action on climate change, experts say.

University of Exeter hosts GIS Day mapping challenge

The University of Exeter once again celebrated GIS (geographical information system) Day, this year with a 48-hour mapping challenge.

University of Exeter responds to climate crisis

The University of Exeter has created a comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions and improve the environment on its campuses and beyond.

Peatland preservation vital to climate

Preserving the world's peatlands – and the vast carbon stores they contain – is vital to limiting climate change, researchers say.

Innovative virtual field trips secure award in ‘Oscars of Higher Education’

Inspirational and innovative software that provides virtual field trips to almost anywhere in the world, developed by academics at the University of Exeter, has won a prestigious national award.

New guide on using drones for conservation

Drones are a powerful tool for conservation – but they should only be used after careful consideration and planning, according to a new report.

Scientists unravel how and why Amazon trees die

A huge new study has unravelled what factors control tree mortality rates in Amazon forests and helps to explain why tree mortality is increasing across the Amazon basin.

New research identifies ‘triple trouble’ for mangrove coasts

Some of the world’s most valuable ecosystems are facing a "triple threat" to their long-term durability and survival, new research shows.

'Remarkable' project wins Newton Prize award

A "remarkable" project that aims to bring safe and reliable energy to informal settlements in South Africa has won the Chair's Prize in the 2020 Newton Fund awards.

Sea-level rise will have complex consequences

Rising sea levels will affect coasts and human societies in complex and unpredictable ways, according to a new study that examined 12,000 years in which a large island became a cluster of smaller ones.

COVID sparks volunteering boost

Researchers working on a project across four European countries have seen a "significant rise" in volunteering and community action during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Exeter scientists support council action on low-carbon travel

Climate experts from the University of Exeter have written to Devon County Council in support of action to encourage low-carbon travel.

Exeter researchers awarded prestigious fellowships to tackle issues from food insecurity to autism

Five researchers at the University of Exeter have been awarded prestigious fellowships to tackle key issues from food and housing insecurities to autism diagnosis.

New research strengthens evidence for climate change increasing risk of wildfires

New scientific publications reviewed since January 2020 strengthen the evidence that climate change increases the frequency and/or severity of fire weather in many regions of the world.

Climate pledges ‘like tackling COVID-19 without social distancing’

Current global pledges to tackle climate change are the equivalent of declaring a pandemic without a plan for social distancing, researchers say.

University of Exeter nominated for four “Oscars of higher education”

The University of Exeter has been nominated for four “Oscars of higher education” which honour the best teaching and research in the country.

£1.2 million grant for researchers tackling flood and landslide hazards

A project to reduce risks related to landslides and floods has received £1.2m funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Ocean carbon uptake widely underestimated

The world's oceans soak up more carbon than most scientific models suggest, according to new research.

Glacial lakes 50 per cent bigger since 1990

The amount of water in glacial lakes worldwide has risen by about 50 per cent since 1990, researchers say.

Little Miss Homeless out to raise awareness

A book about Little Miss Homeless has been created to raise awareness of women's homelessness. 

Software firm highlights Exeter 'success story'

The University of Exeter has been chosen as a "customer success story" by a global software company for inventive use of technology called GIS (geographical information system).

New research highlights ‘challenging nature’ of vested interests in the energy transition

Pioneering new research has highlighted some of the political difficulties with the UK’s energy transition, in particular around vested fossil fuel interests.

Exeter project on Newton Prize shortlist

A project jointly led by the University of Exeter has been shortlisted for a prestigious prize worth up to £500,000.

Government says beavers can stay in their Devon home

After years of uncertainty, England’s first wild breeding population of beavers for 400 years has been given the permanent right to remain in their East Devon river home.

Small trees offer hope for rainforests

Small trees that grow up in drought conditions could form the basis of more drought-resistant rainforests, new research suggests.

How governments actively resist a World Heritage ‘In Danger’ listing

 A study published today finds that governments worldwide have repeatedly resisted the placement of 41 UNESCO World Heritage sites on a list of “World Heritage In Danger”.

Waste industry under pressure during COVID-19 outbreak

The impact of COVID-19 on the UK waste sector will be investigated in a new project led by the University of Exeter.

Palm trees most abundant in tropical forests in the Americas

Palm trees are more than five times more numerous in tropical forests in the Americas than in comparable Asian and African forests, a new study shows.

Exeter in global top five for research on green space and public health

The University of Exeter has leapt into the top five institutions in the world for research output on the links between green space and public health.

‘Gatekeepers’ of biodiversity hotspots facing COVID crisis

Impoverished communities and diverse ecosystems in Colombia are under threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers say.

Awards for Exeter climate scientists

Two Exeter climate scientists have received prestigious awards from the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS).

Innovation by ancient farmers adds to biodiversity of the Amazon, study shows

Innovation by ancient farmers to improve soil fertility continues to have an impact on the biodiversity of the Amazon, a major new study shows.

Less than a quarter of Cornwall’s voluntary sector operating as usual amid COVID-19 crisis

Cornwall’s voluntary organisations have been adapting services to support more vulnerable people for longer during the Covid-19 crisis.  

Story explores complex tale of Colombian forests

The impact of social and political systems on Colombian forests is explored through a short story from a collaboration between Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Hay Festival.

Warm springs increase risk of severe summer droughts

Warm and sunny springs – like the one just seen in the UK – can create conditions that pave the way for severe summer droughts, a new study has shown.

Rivers help lock carbon from fires into oceans for thousands of years

The extent to which rivers transport burned carbon to oceans – where it can be stored for tens of millennia – is revealed in new research.

Climate could cause abrupt British vegetation changes

Climate change could cause abrupt shifts in the amount of vegetation growing in parts of Great Britain, new research shows.

Tropical forests can handle the heat, up to a point

Tropical forests face an uncertain future under climate change, but new research published in Science suggests they can continue to store large amounts of carbon in a warmer world, if countries limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Chemical composition of bedrock limits vegetation growth in karst regions, research shows

Scientists have revealed the critical role that the chemical composition of bedrock plays in limiting vegetation growth in some of the world’s most barren and rocky terrains.

Look beyond rainforests to protect trees, scientists say

Temperate and tropical dry forests – not just rainforests – are home to thousands of unique tree species, a new study reveals.

 

‘Near-unlivable’ heat for one-third of humans within 50 years if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut

Areas of the planet home to one-third of humans will become as hot as the hottest parts of the Sahara within 50 years, unless greenhouse gas emissions fall, according to research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Unsustainable soil erosion in parts of UK

New research demonstrates unsustainable levels of soil erosion in the UK.

‘Uplifting’ project nourishing Amazon people and soil

Thousands of trees have been planted in former rainforest land in the Amazon, nourishing the soil and providing impoverished Brazilians with food and increased incomes.

Plant root hairs ‘unrecognized heroes’ that hold the soil together, research shows.

The tiny hairs found on plant roots play a pivotal role in helping reduce soil erosion, a new study has found.

Electric cars better for climate in 95% of the world

Fears that electric cars could actually increase carbon emissions are unfounded in almost all parts of the world, new research shows.

Tropical forests’ carbon sink is already rapidly weakening

The ability of the world’s tropical forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere is decreasing, according to a study tracking 300,000 trees over 30 years, published today in Nature.

Ocean changes almost starved life of oxygen

Chemical changes in the oceans more than 800 million years ago almost destroyed the oxygen-rich atmosphere that paved the way for complex life on Earth, new research suggests.

Nine new staff join Global Systems Institute

A University of Exeter research institute has been boosted by the arrival of nine new staff.

Trial finds benefits to people and wildlife from beavers living wild in English countryside

A major five-year study into the impacts of beavers on the English countryside has concluded that the water-living mammals can bring measurable benefits to people and wildlife.

Power of older people could save villages

Older people could hold the key to revitalising rural communities, researchers say.

People power key to new wildlife havens

People power will be the driving force behind new wildlife havens in three Cornish towns.

Climate scientist receives prestigious ERC funding award

One of the University of Exeter’s most talented climate researchers has received a significant funding boost from the European Research Council (ERC), it has been announced.

Arctic sea ice can’t ‘bounce back’

Arctic sea ice cannot “quickly bounce back” if climate change causes it to melt, new research suggests.

Atlantic circulation collapse could cut British crop farming

Crop production in Britain will fall dramatically if climate change causes the collapse of a vital pattern of ocean currents, new research suggests

Plant life expanding in the Everest region

Plant life is expanding in the area around Mount Everest, and across the Himalayan region, new research shows.

Nine climate tipping points now “active”, warn scientists

More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active”, a group of leading scientists have warned.

Meeting the challenges facing fisheries climate risk insurance

Insurance schemes with the potential to improve the resilience of global fisheries face a host of future challenges, researchers say.

University experts feature in prestigious ranking of world’s most influential scientists

Leading climate, environment and health academics from the University of Exeter have been recognised as being amongst the world’s most influential researchers, according to a prestigious new ranking.

Satellites are key to monitoring ocean carbon

Satellites now play a key role in monitoring carbon levels in the oceans, but we are only just beginning to understand their full potential.

Exeter scientist up for award alongside Greta Thunberg

An Exeter scientist has been nominated for a climate communication award – alongside environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

Climate change could drive British crop farming north and west

Unchecked climate change could drive Britain’s crop growing north and west, leaving the east and south east unable to support crop growing, new research suggests

Widespread drying of European peatlands in recent centuries

Many of Europe’s peatlands are currently the driest they have been in the last 1,000 years, new research shows.

Bean tree plan to protect Amazon

Amazon deforestation could be slowed by planting bean trees that would keep soils fertile and help smallholders make a living.

Bid to reconstruct richness of prehistoric oceans

Scientists are reconstructing the world’s “pristine” prehistoric oceans.

‘Great West’ can lead world in tackling climate change

The ‘Great West’ can lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change.

New international project will investigate hidden costs of floods communities

The University of Exeter will lead an international project to investigate the hidden impact of adaptation measures designed to protect flood-prone communities worldwide.

Devon's Net-Zero Task Force hits the ground running at its first meeting

The first step in Devon’s journey towards carbon neutrality was taken today when Devon’s Net-Zero Task Force met for the first time.

Food proves to be the magic ingredient in changing Cornish lives

New research from the University of Exeter shows that the Food for Change programme, which uses growing, cooking and trading activities to inspire change, is making a huge difference to people’s lives across Cornwall.

Scientists strengthen cooperation, U.K. now shares responsibility with Norway for developing ocean greenhouse gas measurements

The U.K. will join hosting the Ocean Thematic Centre within ICOS, a European research infrastructure measuring greenhouse gases on the atmosphere, land and oceans. Long-term measurement of the seas is important since the oceans take up about one quarter of the carbon dioxide humans release to the atmosphere, reducing the rate of climate change.

Impact of climate change on global banana yields revealed

Climate change could negatively impact banana cultivation in some of the world’s most important producing and exporting countries, a study has revealed.

Rainforests can only absorb CO2 as long as nutrient stores last

How much carbon dioxide can tropical rainforests absorb?

Gulf between UK fracking industry and public opinion laid bare as less than 1 in 10 people say regulation of shale gas extraction is too strict

A major new public attitudes survey on fracking shows people have low trust in the energy companies involved and want decisions taken at a local level.

Sustainable land management key to reducing Amazon wildfires, study shows

The unrelenting deforestation of the Amazon region could lead to a dramatic increase to the risk of destructive wildfire outbreaks, research has shown.

Explore nature’s mysterious hidden worlds

Delve into the hidden world of microorganisms, discover the strange creatures that lurk in the deep ocean and the frozen continent, and be amazed by secretive glowing animals at this year’s Science in the Square.

Plate tectonics may have driven “Cambrian Explosion”, study shows

The quest to discover what drove one of the most important evolutionary events in the history of life on Earth has taken a new, fascinating twist.

Universities have alerted us to the scale of the climate crisis – now they must lead in showing society how to solve it

Calum Harvey-Scholes, research associate in Energy Policy at the University of Exeter, writes for the Conversation UK

Armed conflict risks could be heightened by future climate impacts, study shows

Climate change could heighten the risk of future outbreaks of armed conflict and civil war, a study has said.

Exeter climate scientist appointed MBE

A leading climate scientist has been appointed MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Rapid retreat of Arctic coastline revealed in images from the air

Extreme erosion of Arctic coastlines in a changing climate – up to a metre a day – has been revealed with drone surveys.

Fishing among worst jobs for health

People working in the fishing industry have among the poorest health of all workers in England and Wales, new research suggests.

Climate emergency debated at University of Exeter

Hundreds of people gathered to discuss climate and environmental issues at the University of Exeter last night.

Why my fears about climate change made me cross the line that separates academia from activism

James Dyke, Senior Lecturer in Global Systems at the University of Exeter, writes for the Conversation UK 

Call for evidence on climate change extended

The Committee on Climate Change has extended the deadline on a call for evidence to identify relevant published information about the risks and opportunities facing the UK from climate change.

Are winter wildfires actually due to climate change?

Professor Richard Betts, Chair in Climate Impacts at the University of Exeter and Head of Climate Impacts Research at the Met Office Hadley Centre, writes for the Conversation UK

Natural resources valued differently by men and women, study shows

Men and women value, access and use resources from the natural environment in distinct and different ways, a new study has shown.

Faster CO₂ rise expected in 2019

With emissions already at a record high, the build-up of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere could be larger than last year due to a slower removal by natural carbon sinks.

Small trees are among the oldest in Congolese rainforest

Forest giants have long been considered the oldest trees in tropical forests, but new research shows small trees can also be very old, and can even grow older than the big ones.

Local focus could help tackle global problems

People’s love for their local areas could be harnessed to tackle global environmental problems, researchers say.