What are we doing about climate change?

Discovering geology – climate change

BGS is committed to research that will help produce innovative solutions aimed at slowing down the effects of a rapidly changing climate, whilst helping society to become resilient and adapt to climate change.

Research areas:

  • How can we reduce our carbon emissions through better use of our energy resources?
  • How can geoscience help society to adapt and become more resilient to environmental change?
  • How can we adapt and become more resilient to hazardous processes, such as landslides and flooding, which affect people and property?

How can we reduce our carbon emissions through better use of our energy resources?

Reducing and removing CO2 from power production, heat, transport and industry, also known as decarbonisation, is a major challenge for society. The BGS is investigating the feasibility of different technologies for decarbonisation and how society better manages natural resources.

Our research is split into several areas:

  • geo-disposal: disposal of radioactive waste, and carbon capture and storage
  • energy storage: innovative use of the underground to store energy such as compressed air
  • clean power: shallow and deep geothermal sources and the offshore siting of wind farms and tidal barrages
  • metals and materials: understanding the resources needed for a low carbon world

You may also be interested in:

Skaftafellsjökull Glacier

What causes the Earth’s climate to change?

Geological records demonstrate that there have been a number of large variations in Earth’s climate.

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Sandstone coloured red with iron oxides, indicating a hot climate at the time of deposition.

Impacts of climate change

Temperature rises can affect agriculture, sea levels and the frequency of extreme weather incidents. We can study past climate change by looking at the evidence in rocks, fossils and changes in the landscape.

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