Autonomous underwater vehicles are rapidly becoming the tool of choice for marine observations. Ocean gliders offer new opportunities for observing the marine environment in a multi-disciplinary and cost-effective way.
Meet the convenors of Master’s courses & programmes relating to environmental & development issues. Speakers include convenors from the African Climate & Development Initiative, Environmental & Geographical Sciences, Environmental Humanities South, African Centre for Cities, Environmental Law, Environmental Health, Oceanography and Biological Sciences.
UCT’s Oceanography department recently participated in an Interdisciplinary Research Cruise to the Marginal Ice Zone of Antarctica. On board was artist and African Climate & Development Initiative communications coordinator Katrine Claassens who is having an exhibition of paintings based on the cruise.
What are the growth and structural implications of the transition to a low-emission and climate-resilient economy? How can governments create conditions to drive such a transition, and how can they ensure that climate-friendly growth policies provide a major boost to short-term growth while increasing longer-term resilience? What development pathways will get us to the Paris Agreement outcomes? How do investment flows, in particular, investment in infrastructure, need to change to get us there?
This course aims to familiarise participants with the environmental assessment tool known as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), some of its diverse uses, the ISO norms, the science behind some of its key impact categories (beyond carbon and water), its use to support decision-making in product systems, process systems or in policy-making. Further to allow the participants to develop skills and insights in the important steps of goal and scope definition, inventory modelling, data quality assessment, choice of impact assessment categories, interpretation and uncertainty propagation, partly by working with LCA software and databases.
With the concentration of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere now exceeding the symbolic mark of 400 parts per million, this presentation will detail what we understand of the response of the natural carbon reservoirs – the ocean and the terrestrial biosphere – to changes in atmospheric CO2. The natural reservoirs absorb more than half of the CO2 emitted to the atmosphere each year on average. Process understanding is now sufficient to account for most of the observed mean, trend and interannual variability of the CO2 sinks. However there is a large gap in our understanding of how the sinks respond to sub-decadal climate variability.
Seminar focus: Towns and cities in Africa are subject to a range of natural hazards such as storms, earthquakes and floods. Understanding how risk might be expressed differently in different parts of a city generally requires detailed spatial data on the hazard and the elements exposed.