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Water Degradation a Priority of International Climate Research Centre Led by TCD

29th November 2023
Prof Yvonne Buckley, co-director of Climate + based at TCD
Prof Yvonne Buckley, co-director of Climate + based at TCD

“Urgent” research into water degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss on the islands of Ireland and Britain will be led by a new 41.3 million euro climate research centre based at Trinity College, Dublin (TCD).

The Climate+ Co-Centre will initially be funded over six years by Science Foundation Ireland, the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and UK Research and Innovation.

It will also receive more than 30% co-funding from 29 industry partners, and will begin work on January 1st 2024.

The funding was officially announced by several ministers on both sides of the border at the British and Irish Intergovernmental conference at Farmleigh House,Dublin.

They included Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris, Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, and Katrina Godfrey, Permanent Secretary at Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

The centre will bring together over 60 leading researchers from 14 academic partner institutions in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Britain.

Yvonne Buckley, Professor of Zoology at Trinity, and Co-Director of Climate+, said that “we need transformative changes to all sectors of society and the economy to tackle the climate, biodiversity and water crises”.

“Climate+ includes a team of outstanding researchers across 14 different universities and research institutes,and we will combine our diverse research skills and knowledge to develop solutions for these important challenges,”she said.

“It is clear from the scientific evidence that business as usual is no longer an option, and we are delighted to be working with forward thinking and progressive industry partners who will collaborate with us on research to provide sustainable solutions for their services and products,”she said.

TCD Provost Dr Linda Doyle said the university is “committed to pursuing research across traditional disciplinary boundaries to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and water degradation, and to develop actions and solutions for a more fair, equitable, and liveable future”.

“It is clear we need new visions and evidence, nationally and internationally, to provide for truly sustainable alternative futures and spark change across society and the economy, and this new approach can make a major impact in that most important and pressing endeavour,”she said.

Professor Mark Emmerson, Queen’s University Belfast, and Co-Director of Climate+ said that the centre would “provide a mix of integrated solutions drawing on expertise from across the natural, social and physical sciences to help mitigate, and adapt to, the impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss and water quality declines”.

The Climate+ academic partner institutions are: Trinity College Dublin; Maynooth University; University of Galway; University College Cork; Dublin City University; University College Dublin; Atlantic Technological University; University of Limerick; Queen’s University Belfast; Ulster University; Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute; University of Reading; Newcastle University; UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

TCD said that industry partners include SECAD (renewable energy); Ørsted (renewable energy); FarmEye (agriculture); Natural World Products (agriculture); Anglian Water (utility).

Published in Marine Science
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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