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Andy Russell's weather and climate blog

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The Anthropocene

There’s some press today about the recommendation for the declaration of a new epoch – the Anthropocene – by the International Geological Congress. The basic argument is that humans have changed the Earth system to such an extent that it is identifiable in the geological record. The evidence presented ranges from the impacts of nuclear test and global...

Back to Kazakhstan – a British Council Institutional Links project workshop

One of the other things that’s been keeping me busy recently – I mentioned being busy with the BSc degree I’ve been developing in my last post – is my British Council Institutional Links project. (I guess I’m trying to make excuses for not blogging much recently!) The project research team looking pretty cool over in Kazakhstan in August 2016. I’ve...

BSc Environmental Sciences at Brunel University – a new course for September 2017

I’ve been busy over the last year! We decided that the time was right for Brunel University to develop a new degree in Environmental Sciences and I put myself forward to lead it – I’d refreshed a few of our MSc degrees recently so thought the time was right to take on a bigger challenge. And it was hard work… but a lot of fun too. The team that developed...

30th Anniversary of Farman et al. (1985) – the ozone hole paper

It’s been 30 years since Farman et al. published their paper on the ozone “hole”. (Well, I’m a day early but who posts on Saturdays, eh?) It had a huge impact: it’s been cited nearly 3,000 times and accelerated the negotiations that resulted in the Montreal Protocol, which helped phase out the chemicals that were damaging the ozone layer. Those chemicals...

Electoral reform in the UK?

We had a General Election in the UK this week. We use a first-past-the-post system in our General Elections, which isn’t particularly representative. I’m not going to say too much about this but I thought it was interesting to see how many votes each party received in relation to the number of parliamentary seats they got… Party Seats Votes Votes per...

British Council Institutional Links project – Environmental Health in Kazakhstan

I recently found out that I’d been successful with Newton-Al Farabi Institutional Links grant. Go me! It should be really interesting and will involve a lot of collaboration with a couple of universities out in Kazakhstan. I’ll also be working with a larger team here at Brunel than I normally would. I’m sure there’ll be more posts here once the project...

Health risks on the Antarctic Peninsula – what’s happening with the ozone hole, UV exposure, environmental change and funding for Antarctic science?

I recently had a paper published in Antarctic Science – I don’t think that it’ll set the world on fire but it was quite interesting in how it came about so I thought I’d write a blogpost about it. The study The measurements for the study were taken by a team who sailed across the Drake Passage and then then spent some time on and around the Antarctic...

How to stay below 2°C…

A quick post to draw attention to the Global Calculator, which is an excellent and simple tool looking at how different actions will change greenhouse gas emissions out to 2100. The tool is from DECC and I think that’s it’s a follow up from something they launched a few years ago (but I don’t remember being particularly impressed with that first version). In...

News Year’s Honours: Eric Pickles still sucks; and well done Tim Palmer!

I just had a quick look through the New Year’s Honours list and was surprised and happy to see quite a few (6 or 7) people with a link to flood management, including a few from the Environment Agency. I thought that this was significant as it wasn’t that long ago that Eric Pickles (the Communities Secretary) was questioning the EA’s expertise, which...

Is the public debate on climate change turning a corner?

When I started this blog in late 2009, things were not good with climate change in the media: the UEA/climategate emails had just been leaked and COP15 in Copenhagen didn’t go so well. A couple of years before that, though, I felt that there was quite a lot of optimism. IPCC AR4 and the Stern Review had made a real splash. It felt like there could be...

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