Autumn Seminar Series


You can register for one or all of the seminars in our  Eventbrite page.

4 October: Dr Ekaterina Landgren, Univ of Colorado at Boulder

Title: Modelling Misperception of Public Support for Climate Policy: a Networks Approach

Abstract: Mitigating the consequences of climate change and reducing political polarization are two of the biggest problems facing society today. These problems are intertwined, since meeting international climate-mitigation targets requires implementing policies that accelerate the rate of decarbonization, and these policies can succeed only with widespread bipartisan support. Since the late 1980s, climate change has become a strongly polarizing issue in the United States. However, overall support for climate policy is high, with 66-80% of Americans supporting climate policies. Curiously, 80-90% of Americans underestimate public support for these policies, estimating the prevalence of support to be as low as 37-43%. The implications of such widespread misperception range from individual behaviors to legislative outcomes. Supporters of climate policy are more likely to self-silence if they believe their peers do not support it, and politicians are less likely to promote policies they believe to be unpopular. Here we present an agent-based social-network model of public perception of support for climate policy grounded in previous empirical studies and opinion surveys. We address the question of opinion misperception through an exploration of network structures and mechanisms of assessment of others’ beliefs.

18 October: John Taylor, Dept of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Giant Kelp

Title: Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal: potential, progress, and challenges

Abstract: There is a growing consensus that on top of deep and rapid emissions reductions, carbon dioxide will need to be removed from the atmosphere in order to avoid the worst scenarios associated with climate change. The ocean represents a large carbon reservoir and physical and biological processes sequester carbon on long timescales. Several strategies have been proposed to remove carbon from the surface ocean and hence from the atmosphere. In this talk, I will review some of these strategies, discuss work underway in this area at the Centre for Climate Repair, and speculate on the challenges, impacts, and potential for ocean CDR.

Nov 15: Shaun Fitzgerald & Hugh Hunt, Dept of Engineering & Centre for Climate Repair

Title: Refreezing the Arctic

Abstract: This seminar will discuss the different potential approaches we are investigating to help reduce the rate of ice loss in the Arctic and ideally even refreeze it whilst actions to reduce greenhouse gas levels are scaled up. We will explain the current research being undertaken on Marine Cloud Brightening in Cambridge in collaboration with partners from TU Delft and Southern Cross University. The Cambridge work includes modelling and laboratory experiments, which are complemented by the observational data from Delft and the field experiments in Australia. We will also look at the potential for Ice Thickening in the Arctic. The work thus far has focused on modelling and laboratory experiments, but we will also share some of the initial field experimental work being undertaken by collaborators from Real Ice.