Introducing the Challenge
The polar explorer Robert Swan is challenging young people to remove 326 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2025. The Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) is directly supporting school students in the UK to contribute to this reduction.
Robert Swan is an explorer and, along with his son, began an expedition to the South Pole in November 2017 with the aim of using only clean energy sources. This is the first expedition to attempt this. Find out more about their expeditions at www.2041.com
There is a large amount of evidence showing the impact of humans on the world around us. Through the MELT project students will contribute to our understanding of the environmental changes whilst having the opportunity to monitor their carbon footprint and consider ways to reduce it.
There are two aspects to the project:
- Earth Observation (EO)
Icebergs are monitored due to the threat they pose to ships but they are also of interest as they form part of the habitat for seals, penguins and others. Icebergs are produced in a natural process known as “calving” and this forms part of the life-cycle of a glacier. Satellites are used to monitor this process and in the Antarctic some dramatic calving events have been captured. This may suggest the environmental conditions within the region have changed.
Students will monitor these changes and share their findings with other scientists. Students will be collaborating with Dr Anna Hogg at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at the University of Leeds.
- Carbon Footprint
Schools are being challenged to calculate their carbon footprint using our carbon calculator. Using this information it is then possible for students to develop ways to reduce the carbon output.
Schools taking part in MELT will be collaborating with others across the UK as data on the carbon footprint will be shared.
This project is currently in the pilot phase and a will be made more widely available to schools in Spring 2018.
Through the MELT challenge we are excited to see the innovative and creative solutions proposed by students.”
Professor Becky Parker
Director, Institute for Research in Schools