Connecting the community with Climate Science

LJMU celebrated Climate Week 2015 with an event at Manchester Museum which saw over 1,200 people get together with academics and students from the University, British Antarctic Survey, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the University of Manchester to investigate the latest challenges to the environment.

The Climate Science Challenge used a range of hands-on activities and experiments to explore climate change issues. Visitors were able to investigate a wide number of topics which relate to climate change across the globe. 

They could blow into small bottles of water and see the acidity of the water changing; build working wind turbines to discover the impacts of renewable energy; look at microscopic pollen grains and foraminifera to understand some of the evidence used to reconstruct past environments; and dress up as an Antarctic explorer and get into a tent. Alongside this, award winning documentaries from the Connect4Climate Action4Climate film competition were shown. All films can be viewed here

The different activities allowed the visitors, children and adults alike, to really understand the processes and work scientists do which underlie the common climate change headlines.

Dr Tim Lane, LJMU Geography Lecturer, who co-organised the event with Dr Kathryn Adamson from Manchester Metropolitan University said:

"The Climate Science Challenge at Manchester Museum allowed academics to engage with the public. It was an opportunity for us to showcase some of the research we do at LJMU, and discuss some of the issues it highlights with the public. Many of the people we spoke to were unaware how science research is undertaken and were interested and excited to find out more."

Image of scientists with children at museumFeedback at the event included:

I was surprised by…. the level of activities eg, pitched at all age groups including adults -
When I get home I am going to…to talk about Co2
My favourite thing today was… making rain, watching tornado
When I get home I am going to… research Antarctica
When I get home I’m going to… look up giant dragonflies

Dr Lane’s research focuses on the behaviour of ice sheets and ice caps, using a combination of field and laboratory techniques including: geomorphology, sedimentology, Lake Core analysis, and surface exposure (cosmogenic nuclide) dating. Through this work we can gain understanding of both how and why ice masses have changed in the past and can better understand what may happen to ice sheets and glaciers in the future. He helps to run Climatica, a climate science and public interaction initiative developed by postgraduate researchers. The site offer short articles about climate change and the Earth system, written by the scientific experts (from postgraduate researchers to professors) to the general reader.

Climatica page:

Pictured (right): scientists explain climate change at Manchester Museum

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