British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists will investigate critical challenges facing the UK, thanks to new funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). A £47m investment to several UK research institutes will enable more ambitious, integrated approaches to large-scale research challenges that would not be possible for any single research centre to deliver alone.
The six projects will help society better understand coastal flooding, greenhouse gas emissions, changes in biodiversity and other critical environmental issues. BAS researchers will play key roles in three of these major projects.
Dr Iain Williams, NERC Director of Strategic Partnerships, says:
“This investment in NERC’s research centres will advance our understanding of the drivers of climatic and biodiversity changes, their impact on the UK environment and how we can mitigate and adapt to such changes. By bringing together the wide-ranging expertise and specialist facilities from across NERC’s centres, along with our key partners, these projects will power scientific discoveries that will help us adapt to, tackle or predict the impact of changes to our climate.”
Professor Geraint Tarling from the BAS Ecosystems Team, who’s the lead on the BIOPOLE project, says:
“The productivity of the oceans that supports fisheries and marine food-webs worldwide is heavily reliant on nutrients exported from polar oceans. BIOPOLE will increase our understanding of how these export processes operate and how they are likely to be affected by the rapid changes to ice and temperatures at the poles. We will tackle this problem using the latest autonomous technology, highly advanced computer models and one of the world’s most advanced research vessels, the UK’s new polar ship RRS Sir David Attenborough.”