Environmental change

Flooded street

Access news and information about environmental change. You can read our latest research outputs, features, case studies and other relevant content.  


Most recent features

Show all

Helping ecosystems by tackling taboos

Feature | 27 May 2015 | Academic, General public, International, Press/media, Schools

Focusing on purely 'win-win' scenarios in ecosystem management is tempting, but difficult trade-offs have to be negotiated, according to espa research.

Public belief in climate change reaches 10-year high

Feature | 29 January 2015 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

The british public's belief in the reality of climate change and its human causes is now at its highest since 2005, according to esrc-funded research.

Fighting poverty with forest protection

Feature | 08 July 2014 | General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Research on ecosystem services for poverty alleviation (espa) in the amazon has led to a new framework for policy analysis which could be applied to several tropical countries, including some of the world's poorest people.


Feature | 03 April 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Recent record rainfall and flooding across the uk have raised questions about how we manage our environment, deal with flooding and build a resilient infrastructure. Esrc-funded academics have been looking into how we respond to extreme weather, from ...

Ipcc report: "climate change is already happening"

Feature | 31 March 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

It’s the "most comprehensive assessment to date" of the impacts of climate change. Esrc-funded researchers have contributed to the latest report from un's intergovernmental panel on climate change (ipcc).

Growing the green economy

Feature | 03 March 2014 | Business, General public, Press/media, Schools

Economic growth in its current form is unsustainable, argues the bestseller prosperity without growth. Following publication, the book has brought a deeper understanding of the basis of prosperity to a wide range of international economic decision-ma ...

Wind power and the cost to your home

Feature | 17 February 2014 | General public, Press/media, Schools

New research into the impact of wind farms carried out by professor stephen gibbons at the esrc-funded spatial economics research centre is the first to demonstrate a link between wind farm visibility and house prices.

Sharing flood knowledge

Feature | 11 February 2014 | General public, Press/media, Schools

An esrc-funded research project is exploring the storing and sharing of flood memories, as a resource bank for communities at risk.

The threat of flooding

Feature | 10 January 2014 | General public, Press/media, Schools

Many communities are struggling to cope after recent weeks' heavy rains and extensive flooding. A number of esrc-funded research projects are exploring the impact of flooding, how to prepare for events, and how communities cope in the aftermath.

Efficient flood response – 800 years ago

Feature | 10 December 2013 | General public, Press/media, Schools

Medieval societies were surprisingly well organised to cope with natural disasters, according to recent findings from the esrc-funded earthquakes without frontiers research programme.

Case studies

Most recent case studies

Show all

Benchmarking carbon emissions for business

Case Study | 19 January 2015 | Academic, General public, Press/media

Research on carbon accounting led to the development of international benchmarks for corporate performance, more than â£500k of business investment and a spin-out company benchmarking over 1,000 companies.

Helping the environment with social marketing

Case Study | 08 August 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Using social marketing techniques, researchers at the university of exeter have influenced defra policy in segmenting audiences for behavioural change campaigns, and developed a ‘green travel’ app for holidays.

Earlier flood warnings from improved forecasts

Case Study | 25 July 2014 | General public, Policymakers

Research has helped improve the design, communication and use of state-of-the-art flooding forecasts – supporting flood planning and responses at local, national and international levels.

Supporting life after flooding

Case Study | 20 January 2014 | General public, Press/media, Schools

Research exploring people's recovery after the hull floods changed government policy and national guidelines on managing recovery after flooding and other disaster events.

Making school food sustainable

Case Study | 14 May 2013 | General public, Press/media, Public sector, Schools

Research on the procurement of school food has inspired the reform of public policy at national and local levels in england, scotland and wales.

Worldwide response to welsh carrier bag levy

Case Study | 21 December 2012 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Voluntary sector

An academic survey of the carrier bag levy in wales has caused the welsh government to redraft its advice for businesses.

Putting a price on nature

Case Study | 15 August 2010 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

A methodology for assessing the economic value of freshwater and marine environmental systems has led to a more cost-benefit based approach to implementation of the eu water framework directive in the uk.

Low carbon technology to developing countries

Case Study | 15 July 2010 | Business, General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media

Policy recommendations from the sussex energy group have shaped the uk government's position for climate change negotiations, as well as informing the chilean and indian governments on technology transfer policies.

Environmental law website

Case Study | 15 October 2009 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

A pioneering website providing public access to environment law information has been created by esrc researchers at cardiff university, working in partnership with the uk environment law association.

Calculating carbon footprints

Case Study | 15 October 2008 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Research has quantified how consumer purchasing decisions drive carbon emissions - helping to develop pas 2050, a business standard on carbon footprinting.

Press releases

Most recent press releases

Show all

Countryside bearing the burden in "big society"

Press Release | 05 November 2013 | Academic, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

Empowering local people to help out in their communities is one of the flagship policies of the government's 'big society'. However, new research suggests some communities are bearing more of the burden than others. The research will be discussed at ...

Infrastructure decisions now a matter of 'life and death'

Press Release | 28 October 2013 | Academic, Policymakers, Press/media

Carbon-neutral planning and design needs to be embedded in infrastructure decisions now if we are to achieve a low carbon economy within 30 years, claims keith clarke cbe. Mr clarke will make this claim in a debate to be held during the economic and ...

Wind turbines evoke a variety of emotional responses

Press Release | 22 October 2013 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

People’s attitudes towards wind turbines are more complex than a simple case of love-or-hate, a social science researcher is discovering. Visitors gazing at turbines in the welsh countryside experience a wide range of emotions, from memories of you ...

Enjoying the great outdoors – nature's own stress buster

Press Release | 26 July 2013 | Academic, General public, Partnerships, Policymakers, Press/media

Nature has beneficial effects that help us cope with stress at work, according to new research funded by the economic and social research council (esrc). The research highlights the power of the 'great outdoors' to improve both physiological and psyc ...

Relu director wins prestigious international award

Press Release | 29 January 2013 | Academic, Business, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector, Voluntary sector

On 28 january 2013 rural economy and land use (relu) programme director philip lowe was awarded the bertebos prize for his significant contributions to sustainable rural development and land use management.

What natural disasters can teach us

Press Release | 01 November 2012 | Academic, General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media, Voluntary sector

Learning about surviving disasters has resulted in a unique bank of research data which provides insights into what makes an effective community response at this critical time. Community responses are key to helping children and young people who surv ...

Smart cities: bridging physical and digital

Press Release | 26 October 2012 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

One of the challenges we face is how to best design and change cities into smart intelligent and sustainable environments. Researchers will explain how new technology can make our cities more habitable, and help the people who live in them understand ...

Green partnerships between community groups and local councils

Press Release | 10 August 2012 | Academic, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector, Voluntary sector

Powerful new partnerships with the common aim of achieving a more environmentally and economically sustainable future can be forged by community action groups and local authorities - which often regard each other with mutual suspicion and mistrust ac ...

Uk cyclists take different paths

Press Release | 19 June 2012 | Academic, Business, General public, International, Partnerships, Policymakers, Press/media

Vast differences in cycling cultures have been found in uk cities; for some cycling is a traditional transport accessible to all while for others it is a new edgy, urban subculture according to recent findings from a research project funded by the ec ...


Most recent grants

Show all

Smart data analytics for business and local government

Professor Vania Sena | Environmental Informatics | 31 January 2014

The esrc data research centre for smart analytics is a collaborative project between the universities of essex (lead partner), east anglia, and kent; its objectives are to  provide a facility where big data from businesses and local government a ...

Urban big data

Professor Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah | Human Geography | 30 January 2014

The urban big data research centre (ubdrc) will provide a unique facility for researching complex and cross-cutting urban issues such as transport, employment, migration, housing, education and social exclusion. The centre will bring together an inte ...

Exploring and explaining the role of disadvantage in crime causation

Professor Per-Olof Wikstrom | Criminology | 16 January 2014

The overall aim of this reseach is to produce a comprehensive study and analysis of the link between social disadvantage and crime in adolescence and young adulthood. In this research we aim to apply and further develop new theory and innovative meth ...

Collecting new time use resources (cntur)

Professor Jonathan Gershuny | Economic Sociology | 01 January 2014

This consists of a package of research and research-resource provision activities, comprising: a new uk national time diary study using the conventional methods proposed in the eurostat harmonised european time use study (hetus) guidelines for time ...

Life study: phase 1

Professor Carol Dezateux | Demography (General) | 01 January 2014

The life study is designed to investigate influences operating in early life, which have implications for the health, well-being and development of children and the adults they will become. The life study will develop a rich resource of longitudinal ...

Predicting urban food insecurity under climate change in brazilian amazonia

Dr Luke Parry | Modelling methods | 01 January 2014

Governments have recognised the need to reduce the societal impacts of climate change by improving the adaptive capacity of poor, marginalised populations to severe weather events. Extreme events such as droughts cause significant economic losses, an ...

Households, retailers and food waste transitions

Dr David Evans | 31 December 2013

This research and knowledge exchange project will generate new perspectives on the causes and management of food waste. In order to explore the ways in which the challenge of food waste reduction is being framed, interpreted and responded to, 20 in-d ...


Most recent outputs

Show all

Key findings - res-360-25-0068

Brigitte Nerlich | 13 January 2015 | Science and Technology Studies | End of Grant Report

Key findings - res-360-25-0068

Key findings - res-167-25-0700

Barbara Harriss-White | 13 January 2015 | Area & Development Studies | End of Grant Report

Key findings - res-167-25-0700

Key findings - esk0076101

Nicola Dempsey | 13 January 2015 | Environmental Planning | End of Grant Report

Key findings - esk0076101

Key findings - esk0074401

Frances Bowen | 13 January 2015 | Sustainability Management | End of Grant Report

Key findings - esk0074401

Key findings - esk0056261

Alex Hughes | 13 January 2015 | Human Geography (General) | End of Grant Report

Key findings - esk0056261