Category Archives: blog

Wild Crocodile raises cash for Africa

Or rather; Jonathan ‘Jonnie’ Wild’s Carnivorous Crocodile raises money for African rainforests  – while entertaining and educating children about conservation.

Our founder and chair, although perhaps better known as the former Boss of Bettys (he’s the great nephew of Frederick Belmont, founder of the famous tea rooms), has in fact been writing stories ever since his own children were small. When on holiday, he would get up early every day, and write 500 words to read to them each evening. And when he retired from running the Bettys and Taylors Group (BTG) in 2011, he began to develop his skills as a writer, and to target them towards his conservation work.

It was in fact his children who’d inadvertently led to him becoming a conservationist in the first place. Continue reading Wild Crocodile raises cash for Africa

Christ Church goes Carbon Neutral via Malawi

Christ Church, High Harrogate, is the oldest church in town – dating back to the 1830s.

In 2016, it began an active programme of improving its sustainability and environmental performance. One major focus was reducing its carbon footprint as its contribution toward limiting climate change.

The existing 35 year old boiler and hot water heating system was replaced by a modern energy efficient system; loft insulation was brought up to current standards and a rolling programme to replace existing lights with low energy LED lights was instituted. These steps are expected to reduce the church’s carbon footprint by over 25%. Continue reading Christ Church goes Carbon Neutral via Malawi

Understanding the climate impact of natural atmospheric particles

An international team of scientists, led by UBoC scientists at the University of Leeds, has quantified the relationship between natural sources of particles in the atmosphere and climate change.

Their study, published recently in Nature Geoscience, shows that the cooling effect of natural atmospheric particles is greater during warmer years and could therefore slightly reduce the amount that temperatures rise as a result of climate change. Continue reading Understanding the climate impact of natural atmospheric particles

Trees for Bradford

UBoC are delighted to have facilitated a generous donation by the Yorkshire-based Safestyle UK  to a planting project at Dealburn managed by our partners Trees For Cities.

Stephen Birmingham, Safestyle UK’s CEO said; “As an environmentally conscious company we are passionate about looking for ways we can help support the environment as well as benefiting the local community. We’re really excited about our partnership with UBoC and Trees For Cities which will help to reduce pollution and bring people together through community planting events.”

Continue reading Trees for Bradford

How smoky are peat fires?

Deforestation in Equatorial Asia has been increasing in recent decades, as oil palm plantations spread out into the tropical forests of Borneo and Indonesia [1]. And as UBoC PhD student Laura Kiely has found from her research, while loss of habitat from this encroachment is often shown in the media, deforestation can have other, less well known impacts on the air quality and climate.

Fires are used to clear land for plantations, and the land is then drained, so it becomes more susceptible to future fires. [2]

Continue reading How smoky are peat fires?

Terrific Scientific Trees: The Results!

Terrific Scientific was BBC Learning’s science project for 2017.

In May, UBoC and LEAF hosted the Trees experiment, in which children from the UK’s 25,000+ primary schools found out why trees are important for the climate, oxygen, biodiversity, flood prevention, air quality and more – and then surveyed the trees that grow in or around their school.

King Edward’s School, Bath

Continue reading Terrific Scientific Trees: The Results!

Impacts of Future Bioenergy on Global Land Use Change and the Climate

Bioenergy is expected to play a key role in the global energy mix over the next century. This is due to its potential for providing energy security and the advantages it has as a land-based mitigation strategy.

However, there are large uncertainties with regards to deployment levels of bioenergy and its impact on the land system. Bioenergy deployment could potentially reach around 324 EJ/year by 2100 which could correspond to an increase of up to 550 million ha of cropland used for second generation energy crops, equivalent to 35% of current total cropland. The introduction of another large land use sector could further accelerate deforestation and biodiversity loss, and may in fact increase GHGs. It is therefore important to assess the impacts that large-scale energy crop cultivation could have on global land use change (LUC), the emissions it produces from deforestation and its impact on climate change.

Figure 1 Schematic diagram of biogeochemical and biogeophysical effects of land use change for bioenergy crop plantations and the impacts of these effects on near surface air temperature (TNS).

Continue reading Impacts of Future Bioenergy on Global Land Use Change and the Climate