Climate and sustainability at CSE

Climate and Sustainability at the College of Science & Engineering

The pressures of environmental change give us new responsibilities as scientists, mathematicians and engineers.  The links from this page take you to examples of the huge effort underway in the College to tackle the emerging problems and to understand how our environment interacts with us.  We hope this will stimulate you to deepen your understanding of what’s possible and, perhaps, to join us in making a positive change to our relationship with our planet.

Climate

Image of ECCI

ECCI is an inclusive hub for researchers, policy makers, businesses, students and educators. As such the ECCI community includes agencies who work to tackle climate change and experienced climate practitioners working on externally funded challenge driven projects.

Centre of expertise to tackle forest challenges

The centre works with a wide range of partners to provide the critical interdisciplinary knowledge to deliver sustainable landscape management and policy development, with an emphasis on forested landscape mosaics.

The Edinburgh Earth Initiative is our response to the climate crisis. Drawing on strengths from across the University and working with our global partners, we will deliver ambitious solutions for a future that effectively manages and mitigates the effects of climate change.

The Earth and Planetary Science Research Institute is united by a desire to understand the physical processes, properties and history of the planet on a fundamental level, which continue to shape the world in which we live.

City homepage  - see and do

The Geography and the Lived Environment Institute is comprised of geographers and environmental scientists who study the social, cultural, political, economic and physical processes that create and reshape the world.

Planet Earth photographed from space, with lights from Europe visible

The Global Change Research Institute is a grouping of over 200 researchers whose overarching mission is to understand past, present and future changes in the Earth system, and to inform mitigation strategies for future change.

The Science for Sustainability Hub

The Science for Sustainability Hub spans disciplinary boundaries and nucleates activity across research, industry, government and civil society to pioneer technological solutions and build a new vision for an equitable, inclusive and sustainable future for people and the planet.

Woman sitting on wall overlooking large city

Through teaching programmes, research and collaboration with businesses and administrators, CFI will co-create a powerful network of experts who can tackle issues from different and unconventional perspectives, gathering many hands to solve the problems arising from the complexity of infrastructure systems.

Student conducting a fires safety engineering experiment

The ERPEs world-leading and internationally recognised researchers push boundaries to create innovation, producing novel products, companies and technologies that have established Edinburgh as a research hub driving societal change.

The ARCHER2 supercomputer is an HPE Cray EX supercomputer. It will provide a step-change in performance for climate researchers, allowing them to run larger, more complex simulations than ever before.

Planet Earth

The Centre for Adapting to Changing Environments (ACE) is a leading centre in multidisciplinary research bringing together the diverse expertise needed to address how populations can adapt to our rapidly changing world.

Oceans

Conceived for cutting edge academic research into wave and tidal current interactions,  and also used to help fixed and floating offshore wind and the marine operations that support all offshore renewables.

In 2020 St Abbs Marine Station signed a five-year partnership with the University of Edinburgh to ensure more sustainable use of the seas and marine ecosystems. As partners, we will address a range of scientific and societal challenges and enhance interdisciplinary marine research, teaching and innovation.

Video: Atlantic adventures with ATLAS
Academics unplugged ATLAS talk

Between 2016 and 2020 the ATLAS project worked across the North Atlantic to improve our understanding of complex deep-sea ecosystems in a changing ocean. Watch Professor Murray Roberts' talk on 'understanding deep-sea ecosystems at ocean basin scale'.

Energy

Carbon Capture and Storage girls

SCCS is the largest Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) research group in the UK, providing a single point of coordination for CCS research, from capture engineering and geoscience to social perceptions and environmental impact through to law and petroleum economics.

Hellisheidi geothermal powerplant in Iceland, shot in evening sun in spring. Pipes leading to the power plant in the distance

The Institute for Energy Systems, is one of seven multi-disciplinary research institutes within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. Led by Professor Vengatesan Venugopal there are seven integrated research areas involving 26 academic staff, 28 research staff and around 70 postgraduate students.

CRUK chemistry lab

The ECFP mission is to advance formulation and composite design and manufacture through scientific understanding of complex fluids. We endeavour to improve product performance, introduce innovation and help companies switch to more sustainable resources and more efficient processes.

Fastblade turbine

FASTBLADE is an industry-academic partnership between Babcock International Group (Babcock) and the University to build a 75 tonne structural reaction frame. It will initially be used for lifetime fatigue testing of renewable energy tidal turbine blades, using pioneering technology which will be the first of its kind in the world.

Education

Education and training

From MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) to degrees, we have a wide variety of options if you are looking to study in the area of climate and sustainability:

Full list of our sustainability-related university programmes

Climate Solutions MOOC

Learning for a Sustainable Future MOOC

Climate Change: Carbon Capture and Storage MOOC

Observing Earth from Space MOOC

Nitrogen: A Global Challenge (English) MOOC

Sustainable Global Food Systems MOOC

COP26

Find out how we were involved in the COP26 climate conference.

Event Graphic for Realising a Compassionate Planet

This groundbreaking event brought compassion science into dialogue with climate science. 

This event discovered how collaborative provision of green jobs, skills, and careers can realise our shared climate goals, while driving economic renewal, equality and inclusion across the African continent. 

This event looked at how green education, training and employment can deliver an equitable transition to net zero. 

Impact

Six years ago, Professors Gabi Hegerl and Simon Tett’s work to prove human-caused greenhouse gasses are warming our planet underpinned the 2015 Paris Agreement. Today they argue we still aren’t doing enough to adapt to climate change.

Tidal turbine from above in the sea

Tidal turbines produce green, cheap and plentiful energy from an abundant source. A new partnership can test in a few months how new designs will fare across decades in raging seas. The data-driven approach could provoke a sea change for the industry.

A photo of the Red-lipped Batfish.

The health of the world’s oceans might be high on the political agenda, but how do we maintain their wellbeing with so much still unknown about them? Edinburgh researchers have been instrumental in a major project that has shone a light into the depths of the Atlantic.

Food production is under strain as demand grows, especially in areas buffeted by climate change. Data from satellites – combined with more earthly information – can help feed the world.

Further Information and Links