What will we do to ensure future generations have a livable climate? Now that the University of Exeter has declared an Environment and Climate Emergency, we are faced with the challenge to reduce carbon emissions and/or offset carbon emissions we are unable to reduce. I proposed that we use our considerable research expertise in forests and carbon cycling and teaching to develop our own University of Exeter Carbon Offset Fund (UECOF).
Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, has issued a statement that the university has declared an Environmental and Climate Emergency. Under this declaration, the university will implement major changes in teaching, research, operations, and individual practices to reduce our carbon footprint. The Exeter Carbon Observatory can help to address the climate emergency by building regional capacity to educate, working with the public, and advancing research in the role of forest regrowth in removing carbon from the atmosphere. The statement from Professor Sir Steve Smith can be found here and below:
Geography, University of Exeter, now offers a Masters by Research programme that includes a variety of topics and research projects spanning vegetation and carbon cycling, soil, oceans, ice, rivers, and human geography. Options are available to do research on regional forests through the Exeter Carbon Observatory (contact Dr Ted Feldpausch).
The study of regional forests and climate change through the Exeter Carbon Observatory is not restricted to temperate forests. Southwest England hosts one of the few tropical forests in the UK in the Eden Project Tropical Biome, with vegetation representing South America, Africa, Asia, and other tropical and subtropical regions.
I am currently a week into my data collection in Stoke Woods. The aim of my project is to calculate the above and below-ground biomass of three mixed broadleaf stands varying in ages (1862, 1916 and 1979).
The data collection involves different techniques to estimate the 4 main sub components (above-ground tree biomass, litter layer, coarse woody debris and soil organic carbon) in order to estimate the total biomass for each stand.
Last week the sun came back to welcome the implementation of the first ExCO field site!