Category Archives: blog

Starbons – Carbon Capture breakthrough?

Scientists from the University of York have developed an innovative new green method for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power stations, chemical works and other large scale manufacturing plants.

StarbonsThe technique. which involves making ‘Starbons’ (left) from waste biomass, including food peelings and seaweed, was first discovered 10 years ago by the York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence. They’re thought to provide a greener, more efficient and selective approach to other commercial capture techniques. Continue reading Starbons – Carbon Capture breakthrough?

Earth Day: Apples for Priestley Centre Launch

TB Rita PF
Tom Bliss (UBoC), Rita Oldenbourg (LUU Bardon Grange), Prof Piers Forster (Director of both UBoC and the Priestley Centre) and Malus Domesticus ‘Elstar’

On 22nd of April (Earth Day), UBoC were pleased to donate two apple trees for the launch of The Priestley International Centre for Climate, to be planted outside the University of Leeds School of Earth and Environment, where both institutions are based.  Continue reading Earth Day: Apples for Priestley Centre Launch

‘Land for Life’ project update

Thanks to new information from The INGA Foundation, we’ve just updated our page for this innovative and extremely worthwhile project – which is currently seeking support to help keep up with demand from local farmers:

Stopping slash and burn agriculture in Central America through innovative and sustainable farming

Across Northern Honduras, a region of critical conservation importance, slash and burn agriculture is still responsible for significant levels of deforestation. Land which has been slashed and burnt will produce a harvest for only a few years, after which the fertility of the soil is too poor to grow crops, and families have little choice but to clear more land.

        Ally cropping with Inge trees (Image from The INGA Foundation)

Sixteen years of research in Costa Rica and Honduras, led by the University of Cambridge, has produced a new agricultural system based on alley-cropping with Inga trees, which naturally fertilise the soil.

See our project page

Household Combustion Damages Global Health (UBoC Paper)

Nearly 3 billion people around the world, largely in developing countries, depend on solid fuels (wood, charcoal, coal and agricultural / animal waste) for cooking and heating at home.

The burning of these fuels usually takes place in simple stoves or on open fires with poor combustion that releases large quantities of pollutants into the air.

Until recently, the largest known impact of this was on domestic health within poor households, where indoor air quality is causing around 3 million premature deaths every year.

However, a recent study by UBoC researchers, published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, has complimented other findings which show that these emissions also make a contribution to ambient outdoor air pollution, and so will be partially responsible for hundreds of thousands of extra premature deaths around the world.

EdCat&Dom copy

UBoC authors Ed Butt, Cat Scott and Dom Spracklen

Continue reading Household Combustion Damages Global Health (UBoC Paper)

Leeds 4 Trees!

UBoC are embarking on an exciting new partnership with Leeds City Council and the Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF) centre at the University of Leeds. The Leeds4Trees partnership aims to enhance woodlands and encourage conservation both in Leeds and overseas.

Leeds4Trees will see the first “forest twinning” between the Forest of Leeds (all the Council managed woodland in the Leeds City region) and forests in the East Usambara Mountains of Tanzania. The East Usambara Mountains lie within the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, a biodiversity hotspot which has been compared to the Galapagos Islands due to the high number of species that are unique to the area.

Leeds4Trees4_lines_butterfly

Continue reading Leeds 4 Trees!

Tackling climate change by protecting rainforests

UBoC’s Dom Spracklen has a new paper in Forest Ecology and Management

Carbon storage and sequestration of re-growing montane forests in southern Ecuador

The storage and sequestration of carbon by tropical montane forests is poorly understood. Dom and his team quantified the biomass of forests in southern Ecuador and found that  accumulation rates were similar to those observed in lowland humid tropical forests. This suggests that regenerating tropical  forests do provide important carbon sequestration.

Screen Shot 2012-10-16 at 15.52.02 Continue reading Tackling climate change by protecting rainforests