Securing Global Net Zero: Universities Have Solutions

Speakers from 50 Global Universities Available for Interview.

The 50 universities across the world who form the International Universities Climate Alliance are all working on ways we can secure global net zero. The Alliance was established in April 2020 and is convened by the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

These leading climate research universities come from every continent, encompassing thousands of the world’s most accomplished climate researchers, including hundreds who have worked as authors of reports for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Here are some highlights, more details on request – and the Alliance’s executive team at UNSW Sydney is happy to broker introductions to researchers in any region: The Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific.

Media Contacts

Tamzin Byrne, Science in Public,  [email protected] Australia +61 (0)432 47 42 48 or UK +44 (0)7596 035 201 (during Sydney daylight hours)

Tanya Dellicompagni, UNSW Sydney,  [email protected] Program Manager for the International Universities Climate Alliance

Where Should I Plant My Grapes in 2100? (University of Tasmania)

At the University of Tasmania, Dr Rebecca Harris and the Climate Futures Programme can project future expected changes in regional climate until the end of the century, supporting business planning for the wine industry, ski tourism and even the City of Hobart’s plans for road resurfacing.

Zero Carbon Flight is Possible, and Could be Ready by 2030 (University of Leeds)

Liquid hydrogen and fuel cell technology are being assessed against kerosene for carbon and other greenhouse gases by Dr Alex Rap and researchers at the University of Leeds and the FlyZero project of the government and industry-linked Aerospace Technology Institute (UK).

Understanding Wildfire Management with Virtual Reality Projections (Pennsylvania State University)

Yellowstone used to see big fires every 150 years – now it’s a 30-year cycle. Virtual reality is helping Dr Erica Smithwick, Pennsylvania State University show fire managers and local people in her own state and Wisconsin that fire is a natural part of the landscape. Her work is partly powered by insights from Indigenous peoples on the use of controlled burning.

Floods, Droughts, Heatwaves, Polar Vortexes – Warming Oceans Drive Extreme Weather (University of Bergen)

The North Pole is warming more quickly than the South, and the knock-on effect to ocean currents is driving more extreme weather in Europe and North America. Professor Camille Li of the University of Bergen’s Global Climate group looks at the physics driving changes in the intensity of North Atlantic storms. The latest IPCC report links warming oceans and air to floods and droughts. The connection to heat waves is virtually certain, she says, and there are studies suggesting a possible link to outbreaks of cold air due to distortions in the polar vortex.

Understanding Heat Uptake Across the Southern Ocean (UNSW Sydney)

Global warming is already disrupting the carbon cycle over the Southern Ocean, which is responsible for absorbing about half the carbon absorbed by the global oceans. UNSW Scientia Professor Matt England says if we don’t have a deep understanding of carbon cycling in our climate system, nations might later need to update emissions treaties. We cannot assume the ocean carbon uptake of today will persist into the future.

Open-source Solutions for Direct Carbon Capture (New York University)

Direct air carbon capture could suck carbon directly from open air, rather than capturing it from flues or exhausts. Video game designer Associate Professor Matt Parker of New York University is a volunteer with and co-founder of the OpenAir Collective, which is advocating for direct capture technology and exploring open-source solutions.

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