New Centre to Monitor Effects of Droughts, Floods and Land Use Change

Universityof Leicester scientists in the UK have launched a new centre which aims to predict the effects climate change and land use change will have on landscapes. The Centre for Landscape and Climate Research will measure the effects of climate change on ecosystems around the world as well as assessing the impacts of severe droughts and flooding.

The centre will use satellite data to study water cycle changes around the world. The researchers hope to research both global trends and local issues, and aim to provide recommendations to policy-makers including local authorities and the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Professor Heiko Balzter, the centre director, from the University’s Department of Geography, says: “In this research centre I hope to provide a research focus that brings together physical scientists, geologists, climate scientists, ecologists, hydrologists, social scientists, computer scientists and mathematicians. The problem we are studying is very complex, and needs experts from a wide range of disciplines to understand it.”

Dr Virginia Nicolas-Perea, Research Manager for the centre, says: “Researching the water cycle is very important because it affects our way of life. There have been a lot of problems with droughts and flooding recently. This summer has been one of the wettest ever, and last winter was one of the driest winters ever.”

She adds: “We have noticed a gap in research on the water cycle, and wanted to have the opportunity to use the satellite data to monitor climate effects – not just here in Leicester but everywhere in the world.”

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