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The Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation (LC3M)

This major ten year investment is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and led by Sheffield University. The Centre is investigating enhanced rock weathering as a means of exploiting natural reactions in soils to safely sequester CO2, cool the planet, and mitigate ocean acidification.  This long-term programme of research is organized across four co-ordinated themes designed to understand enhanced weathering as a ‘low tech’ strategic option for revolutionising climate change mitigation by adapting agricultural practices for delivering resource-efficient global environmental and food security.

Theme 1, earth systems modelling, addresses high-level questions concerning rates and the capacity of rock weathering driven by agroecosystems and forestry to impact future CO2-climate trajectories and ocean chemistry and marine ecosystems. Theme 2, fundamental science, elucidates key biological and physical mechanisms and drivers of rock grain weathering rates by major crop functional groups and root-associated microbiomes under current and future elevated atmospheric CO2 by utilizing world-class controlled environment facilities. Theme 3, applied science, investigates rates of enhanced weathering under natural conditions and soil-plant feedbacks on crop productivity and greenhouse gas emissions through field trials with the largest agroecosystem in the USA (corn/soybean) and oil palm agroecosystems in Malaysian Borneo. Theme 4, sustainability and society, develops a comprehensive global sustainable supply chain framework for rock weathering and understanding its role in transitioning society to a low-carbon energy system. 

The research as a whole is underpinned by a ‘responsible research and innovation’ programme dealing with public perceptions, risk, and ethics led by the Understanding Risk research group at Cardiff.

Personnel:

Cardiff University – Nick Pidgeon

External – David Beerling (Director), Jonathan Leake, Shaun Quegan, Jurriaan Ton, David Edwards, Lenny Koh (all University of Sheffield), Stephen Banwart (Leeds University), Stephen Long (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana), Rachael James (University of Southampton) and Neil Edwards (Open University)

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