Major Research Themes
In recent years the spectre of anthropogenic climate change has thrust climate science into the centre of current political and public debates. Climate science is now directly informing policies on how we fuel our economy, which will affect all our lives. The department of Geography at Sussex contributes to this agenda through research to improve our understanding of fundamental climate processes within the Earth System and climate impacts on our life support systems.
- Climate change and the global water cycle
- The role of mineral dust aerosols in the climate system
- The role of terrestrial ecosystems in the climate system
- Human dimensions of climate change
The Climate Team in Geography at Sussex
Climate change is an issue which spans the scientific, socio-economic, political and policy domains. In recognition of this the University of Sussex in investing in an on-going multi-disciplinary climate initiative. This includes
- Climate science research programme in the department of Geography
- Climate and energy policy in the Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU)
- The Climate Change and Development Centre at IDS
Focus on Africa
Much of our work focuses on the climate of Africa, where we have many years of research experience. African climate is important for a number of reasons.
(i) Within the tropics Africa is the dominant land mass and includes the world's largest desert and second largest rainforest. Understanding climate processes over this vast hot, landmass and the adjacent oceans provides a fascinating scientific challenge.
(ii) Climate and local livelihoods are closely intertwined in Africa, where much of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture.
(iii) Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change.
As such, our work interfaces with the human dimensions of climate and we work closely with the Institute for Development Studies (also located on the Sussex campus) on climate and development issues, through the Climate Change and Development Centre.
PhD research topics
- Understanding changes to seasonality in climate change projections
- Constraining uncertainty in climate change projections
- Mineral dust and biomass aerosols in the Africa Climate System
- Land-atmosphere feedbacks in a warming climate
- Quantifying climate change impacts on water resources and agriculture