Science and the Parliament 2007
The SCI-FUN team helped the School of GeoSciences to host a display at this year's Science and the Parliament event at Our Dynamic Earth, organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Stuart Simmons, Business Development Executive with the School, writes about the event:
"Energy and Climate Change", the theme of Science and the Parliament 2007, is at the heart of the School of GeoSciences' research focus into the 21st century. The School's participation provided the ideal platform to communicate to both Government and Industry the world-leading and interdisciplinary academic capabilities within the School.
Using carbon, often described as the currency of Climate Change, the School addressed three interrelated research areas:
Hydrocarbon recovery: maximising the North Sea potential to provide secure energy resources;
Carbon monitoring: using the School's airborne platform to sense Carbon exchange between the land and atmosphere;
- Carbon Capture and Storage: Techniques to capture carbon from power stations and to assess underground aquifers for long term storage of carbon dioxide.
With the collaboration with Industry and Government, key research challenges will be addressed, and will aid society's transition to a low carbon economy, which accommodates economic growth, as well as ensuring energy security, while causing minimal environmental damage.
Colin Graham, Professor of Experimental Geochemistry, adds:
The Earth operates as a system controlled by the interactions between the oceans, atmosphere, biosphere and the solid earth. Research in the School of GeoSciences is investigating the transfer of carbon between the Earth’s systems, and specifically the generation of CO2 from fossil fuels, its measurement (together with other greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere, and its capture, storage and monitoring in subsurface reservoirs.
This work, which formed the central theme of the School’s exhibit at the annual Science and the Parliament meeting, is part of the research programmes of the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (SAGES), the Edinburgh Collaborative of Subsurface Science and Engineering (ECOSSE) and the Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage (SCCS).
The ABACUS consortium (Arctic Biosphere Atmosphere Coupling at Multiple Scales) also demonstrated in the exhibit how the warming and drying of peat in Arctic regions enhances the release of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The communication of the outcomes of this science to the Scottish public and to its young people is being carried out by co-exhibitors SCI-FUN and SESEF (the Scottish Earth Science Education Forum), whose Scotland-wide outreach activities are based at the University of Edinburgh.
The conference and exhibition presented an excellent opportunity for this consortium of researchers and science communicators to profile its work, and provided a very successful focal point of the exhibition judging by the level of interest it attracted.