Schools help climate change research in National Science Week and Festival of Social Science

This is an archived press release

Friday 20 February 2009

20 February 2009

Schools help climate change research in National Science Week and Festival of Social Science


Climate change research - checking moisture levels on Kinder Scout
s of secondary school pupils from across the Pennines will take to the hills during National Science and Engineering Week (March 6-15) in an innovative climate change research programme.

Organised by the Peak District National Park Authority’s Learning Team at Losehill Hall, the students will investigate the impact of human activity on moorlands’ potential to help reduce climate change.

Their findings will make an important contribution to research and restoration work by the £4.7m Moors for the Future project, based at Edale in the national park.

Running from March 9-13, this is the third MICCI (Moorlands as Indicators of Climate Change) research week, involving hundreds of 11-18 year olds from 13 rural and urban schools in and around the Peak District.

The project forms part of the Festival of Social Science organised by the Economic and Social Research Council, which helps fund the MICCI project.

Chris Robinson, MICCI co-ordinator, explained: “The MICCI programme enables young people to learn more about the role of peat in capturing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2).

“Healthy peat moors could retain more CO2 than all the forests in the UK and France put together, but human activity over centuries has destroyed its vegetation, so the peat erodes and CO2 blows or seeps away. Properly restored and managed, peat could make a positive impact on climate change, and the students’ research will contribute to Moors for the Future’s important work.

“It also encourages them to think about their role in climate change and what they can do to make a difference.”

Fifteen to 30 students from each school will be measuring the water-table and water quality (for dissolved carbon), peat depth, vegetation cover and wildlife.

National park rangers will assist them, along with researchers from Moors for the Future and Manchester and Durham universities.

The students helped design the experiments, and their findings will be collated and analysed in the field using handheld devices and global positioning technology. A website chatroom enables the students to exchange data, upload photos and discuss their findings.

Schools involved are: Royston High School (Barnsley), Honley High School (Holmfirth), West Hill School (Stalybridge), Oakwood Technology College (Rotherham), Brinsworth Comprehensive School (Rotherham), Glossopdale Community College (Glossop), Hope Valley College (Hope), Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, Lady Manners School (Bakewell), Painsley Catholic College (Cheadle, nr Stoke), St John Houghton School (Ilkeston), King Ecgberts School (Sheffield) and Long Eaton School (Nottingham).

This is an archived press release

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