Skip to main content

Five ambitious research ideas that respond to the challenge of climate change have secured a total of £200,000 in the first round of King’s Climate & Sustainability Seed Fund, to help to surface fresh thinking and attract external research funding for climate and sustainability across King’s.

The projects will each build momentum towards larger programmes that address urgent global challenges. They range from greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, to tackling adaptation to a changing climate, focusing on some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.

The proposals were selected for their potential to lead on to larger research programmes that are not only important, but also novel and distinctive.

Water and Energy Security from Artificial Ice Reservoirs

Dr Tom Matthews and Dr George Adamson, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy As global warming leads to the loss of glacier mass, regions dependant on glaciers for freshwater must adapt to significant changes. Building on the interdisciplinary strengths of the King’s Water Centre and King’s Climate Hub, Dr Tom Matthews and Dr George Adamson (Department of Geography) will consider the physical and socialscience landscape for Artificial Ice Reservoirs (AIRs) and how they might address water insecurity and support global transitions to net zero. This research has the potential to be scaled up to address resource security for millions of people worldwide.

Dr Tom MatthewsDr George Adamson
Ice reservoirs image

Extreme heat events, urban heat island mitigation and mental health: a proof-of-concept modelling framework to inform policy and practice

City heatwave

Professor Andrea Mechelli, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience The UK is experiencing more frequent and more intense heatwaves, with 40°C being recorded for the first time in several locations in 2022. Emerging evidence suggests that these extreme heat events can have profound effects on mental health. Professor Andrea Mechelli (Department of Psychosis Studies) will work on the relationships between extreme heat events, urban green spaces and mental health in cities, initially using London as a case study. The work will build on existing expertise in the use of linked geospatial and mental health data and machine-learning analytics to quickly connect climate and mental health data.

Professor Andrea Mechelli

Modelling cryogenic liquids towards net-zero aviation

Dr Mashy Green and Dr David Moxey, Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences Cryogenic fluids, in particular liquid hydrogen, will form an integral part of engineering solutions for future net zero aviation. But scientific knowledge of the behaviour of these fluids is limited, and it is difficult to model the conditions found in cryogenic tanks in storage and transportation. Dr Mashy Green and Dr David Moxey (Department of Engineering) will work with collaborators in the USA to decompose the properties of cryogenic fluid flows into unique physical phenomena that can be captured through small and medium scale experiments. This initial work with build an open dataset and support further work on modelling the complex physics required to design and safely operate cryogenic storage vessels suitable for future carbonfree aviation.

Dr Mashy GreenDr David Moxey
Net zero aviation

Exploring digital health promises and practices through a sustainability lens. Implementing sustainability in decision-making

Digital healthcare

Dr Gabrielle Samuel, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy The use of digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is growing rapidly. But the infrastructure and software involved have important environmental impacts, which in turn have detrimental health implications – particularly affecting people in low-to-middle income countries. Dr Gabrielle Samuels (Department of Global Health & Social Medicine) will work with international collaborators to understand how different health systems tackle the complex assessments of positive and negative impacts needed, decide on balance and priorities, and reflect the needs of different stakeholders. She will then move on to create better methodologies and guidelines.

Dr Gabrielle Samuel

Just Transitions and power shifts: capital, labour and energy in the North Sea region

Dr Tomas Maltby, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy The North Sea region is undergoing a significant economic, industrial and cultural shift, as oil and gas are replaced by renewable energy sources like offshore wind and tidal energy. Despite ambitious climate and energy goals, Norway and the UK/Scotland are the top oil and gas producers in Europe. Dr Tomas Maltby (Department of Political Economy) will explore the effects of a rapid shift in energy politics in the North Sea, as energy transition policies are implemented in the UK and Norway. The project will examine changes in the political context of net zero strategies, just transition deals and sustainable development goals.

Dr Thomas Maltby
North sea oil and gas