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Royal Holloway Academic leads the Fight Against Climate Change

Last month saw a two day conference, Greenhouse gases in the Earth system: Setting the agenda to 2030 organised by one of Royal Holloway’s leading Earth Scientists, discussed the use of long-term monitoring to assess the effects of greenhouse gases on our planet

The conference aimed to debate “the use of long-term monitoring to understand greenhouse gases in the Earth System.” Claiming that “new scientific advances promise regional audit of emissions, assessment of uptakes, and better understanding of controlling and feedback processes,” the event assessed the implementation of these new techniques in order to build the agenda for the next two decades.

The two day conference took place at the Royal Society in London between the 22nd and 23rd of February, and was chaired and partly organised by Professor Euan Nisbet, of the Earth Sciences Department at Royal Holloway. Alongside Dr. Ed Dlugokencky of the Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder Colorado, Professor Nisbet showed that atmospheric levels of Methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than Carbon Dioxide, have significantly risen over the past three years.

A further aim of the meeting was also to discuss the need to improve the monitoring of greenhouse gases in order to set targets for the future. Although every country is now required to report their emissions, the discrepancy between the amount of pollution reported and the actual level of emissions in the atmosphere is an issue that needs to be addressed.

During his presentation with Dr. Dlugokencky, Professor Nisbet explained how greenhouse gas emissions are monitored by ground-based systems and the improvements that need to be made in order to produce more reliable emission figures in the future.

Green issues remain an extremely contentious contemporary issue however Royal Holloway has recently been involved in a number of activities that aim to minimise the impact of our modern lifestyles on the environment. RHUL Islamic Society presented Ready? We’ll make you steady. GO GREEN on 25th February, was as a ‘unique event’ designed to “raise awareness of the state of the environment today.” Furthermore a short docudrama, The Age of Stupid, was shown to a large number of students in the Windsor Auditorium last term. Exploring the impact of our current attitude towards the environment on the future, the film is part of the ongoing 10:10 campaign. With a continuing poster campaign informing students how they can help save energy as well as this and next year’s SU sabbaticals dedicated to raising awareness of climate change issues, Royal Holloway is begging to take all important steps towards becoming a much greener university

For more information on the Department of Earth Sciences visit: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Earth-Sciences/, while information on the Royal Society can be found at http://www.royalsociety.org.

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