Global Environmental Change

Our natural environment is continuously changing; in its temperature and climate, ecosystems and landscapes, ice sheets and sea level. Human activity is dramatically altering our natural environment and there is great uncertainty around the scale and impact of these changes. This presents a profound challenge to society's capacity for adaptation and resilience.

Cabot's Global Environmental Change research theme includes over 250 researchers and students from across all faculties, who are helping to understand and tackle these issues.

Its members focus on 5 environments (land, oceans, freshwater, ice, and atmosphere), and 12 challenges:

  • Migration
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental law and policy
  • Climate change
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Ecosystem services
  • Natural resource management
  • Pollution
  • Environmental economics
  • Biogeochemical cycles
  • Future environments
  • Cognition of environmental change

This theme brings together leading academics who have written thousands of papers, advised government and industry, generated patents and contributed to the IPCC, the Paris Climate Negotiations and other major intergovernmental assessments and agreements. Their research interests span subjects and departments across the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Arts, Social Sciences and Law.

The global environmental change research community aims to:

  • Improve our understanding of environmental change including climate
  • Better project future global changes and their impact on society
  • Help to develop technological and policy tools to address global challenges and uncertainty
  • Improve our understanding of human-environmental interactions

Our research

Global change research focuses on the following areas:

Contact us

Please contact global environmental change co-theme leaders Dr Matt Rigby or Jo House with any enquiries about the global environmental change research theme.

Did you know?

The Cabot Institute held The Uncertain World Summit in October 2015 as part of Bristol European Green Capital celebrations.  The forum identified global environmental change issues that businesses, leaders, and others can solve. Visit the Uncertain World webpage.