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Walker Update 9th September 2021

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the Walker Update, bringing you up to speed with the latest developments from the Walker Institute and the wider climate science field. We’ve been busy with projects, developing and rolling out courses, and communicating our research - read on to find out more!

One community:

  • We are delighted to announce that the new FutureLearn online course Tackling the Climate Crisis Together is now available (from 13 September).  We have designed the course to provide participants with the confidence to talk about the impact of climate change and feel empowered to act.  It is principally aimed at 16-18 year olds but is open to anyone from around the world who wants to learn more about the impact of climate change. 

    Course Participants will 'shadow' students as they interview University of Reading researchers to find out how climate change impacts our health, the food we eat, biodiversity and the towns and cities we live in.  

    Many of the topics have been drawn from concerns highlighted in the Mock COP declaration.  The course also explains the key mitigation and adaptation strategies and international agreements in place, the role of governments, the power of the individual and what learners can do about the climate crisis.  Find out more on our blog here. 

Committed to making a meaningful difference in people’s lives: 

  • Many people still do not understand the issue or feel able to respond to the climate emergency adequately, including the very young people who will be most affected.  To help address this the University of Reading, working with the Office for Climate Education, Royal Meteorological Society, Met Office, EAUC and Ashden, is running an Climate Education Summit on 15 September 2021.  The summit will bring together young people, scientists, teachers and educationalists, policymakers and campaigners to create a new, nationwide action plan for better climate education in schools and colleges. The focus will be on climate education for children aged eight to 18. Find out more, sign up for your free place, ask questions and make comments here

By shaping a climate resilient future together:

  • With the clock ticking down to COP26 later this year, we have hosted a video panel discussion on net zero targets and their place in mitigating global climate change. Chaired by Walker researcher Ross Fairgrieve, the event engaged three climate change experts: Dr Simon Evans, deputy editor and policy editor of the Carbon Brief covering climate and energy policy; Marcia Rocha, Policy Analyst and Scientist at OECD currently working on a project on Losses and Damages from Climate Change; and Stefán Smith is Associate Professor in Energy Systems and the Built Environment, at the University of Reading and Co-Investigator at the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS). Find out more and see a recording of the discussion on our blog here.
  • Registration is now open for the European Space Agency & European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ESA-ECMWF‘Machine Learning for Earth System Observation and Prediction’ virtual workshop 15-18 November.  More details and free registration here. The workshop aims to demonstrate where and how fusion between traditional Earth System Observation and Prediction (ESOP) techniques and new machine learning / deep learning (ML/DL) methods reached a remarkable impact but also identify the remaining issues to be further explored. After the first three days covering the state-of-the-art, the working groups will work in parallel to discuss the limitations of the current status and suggest how to advance, extracting more value from this powerful fusion. The output of the workshop is in the form of working group reports, to be summarised in a technical memorandum or a paper.  

What happened across the world this week?
Please click on this link to access the Global Hazards Weekly Bulletin produced by Prof Virginia Murray and her team at PHE, and archived by Prof Richard Allan. It contains a weekly summary of global hazards, including recent developments of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Last week's bulletin can be found here.

All the best!
The Walker Institute Team