Understanding a changing planet

Cross disciplinary research challenge:

Understanding and managing uncertainty to improve resilience and adaptation to environmental threats.



Our environment and society are now threatened by unprecedented changes resulting from human activities as well as facing natural hazards such as volcanic eruptions or climatic extremes. Adapting to and mitigating these changes require us to understand the pressures we face and predict their effects and that of our mitigation measures.

Research focus:

Our research is focused on understanding how our planet functions and particularly how it responds to change, including:

  • pollution
  • climate change
  • land use change;
  • changes in population

We recognise the need to balance disciplinary and interdisciplinary research that addresses the physical, chemical, biological and social aspects of environment change. We work together to contribute to finding sustainable approaches to resilience and adaptation.

We have a particular interest in new approaches and tools for understanding change including:

  • catchment and atmospheric modelling 
  • new methods of monitoring and measurement
  • understanding earth processes
  • the human dimensions of applying knowledge to inform policy
  • understanding changing patterns of resource demand and social justice