You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘research’ tag.
Dr Elias Lopez-Romero a Marie Curie-IEF Fellow from the Department of Archaeology at Durham University introduces the ALERT app that allows users to upload information about vulnerable archaeological sites near European Atlantic coastlines.
Present climatic change and anthropogenic pressure increasingly affect the coastal zone. Hundreds of archaeological sites are currently threatened along the European Atlantic coasts by the accelerated relative rise in sea level, erosion, and various anthropogenic modifications to the environment. In spite of this situation little attention has been paid to the development of methodologies for monitoring the vulnerability of this kind of heritage. This is particularly true in areas like Western France or the Iberian Peninsula where, unlike research initiatives in England, Ireland, Scotland or the Mediterranean Basin, there have not been long-term dedicated approaches to this topic.
Since 2006, the ALERT project has brought together researchers involved in coastal archaeology. This group quickly moved toward developing an interdisciplinary approach aiming at the construction of a vulnerability model for coastal heritage, developing assessment and monitoring maps, and assessing the strategies for research and action adapted to the local and regional scales. Read the rest of this entry »
Dr Andrew Baldwin, a Co-Director of IHRR, is Chair of a major multidisciplinary project at Durham University on climate change migration called COST Action 11011 Climate change and migration: knowledge, law and policy and theory. COST Action 11011 is studying the many facets of climate change migration from a legal, political and theoretical perspective. In this interview Andrew explains the racial context of climate change migration and how migration is part of a strategy for adaptation.
What is a climate change migrant?
The obvious answer is that there is no way of identifying a climate change migrant or at least that’s what the existing literature tells us. The most common explanation is that migration is a complex phenomenon.
People migrate for all sorts of different reasons and several reasons at once, so to isolate climate as a determining variable is impossible. You can’t disaggregate climate change from all the other variables that explain why an individual migrates.
Similarly you could say, ‘well, this particular climatic event displaced x number of people’, but then to attribute the event itself to climate change is obviously problematic. That further affects our ability to identify whether someone is a climate migrant.
Wednesday of next week will mark the 50th anniversary of the Vajont disaster, which occurred on 9th October 1963. This was of course the worst landslide disaster in European history. In addition it marked a watershed in a number of areas, not least landslide management and the development of large dams. On Thursday Michele and I will set off from the UK to attend the conference to mark the anniversary – the organisers were kind enough to invite me to give one of the keynote addresses, which will be on the topic of fatal landslides and large dams over the last decade. I will make it available online in due course.
In the meantime, I thought it would be useful to provide a list of some of the key resources that are available on the dam and the landslide disaster: Read the rest of this entry »
4th October 2013, 14:00 to 15:00, Seminar Room 010, Dept of Geography, Dr Md. Nadiruzzaman, United Nations University (MRF-UNU) Project
Population movements following an environmental stress can be a huge development challenge if we do not know where people are going and at what number. Without knowledge of the locations of affected people, relief assistance is compromised. No rapid and accurate method exists to track population movements after disasters. This research learns lessons from Haiti and plans to use CDR (call data record) from the Grameen Phone, the largest cellphone operator in Bangladesh, to estimate the magnitude and trends of population movements following the Cyclone Mohasen, which swept across Bangladesh on the 20th May 2013.
Geographic positions of SIM cards were determined by the location of the mobile phone tower through which each SIM card connects when calling. We will follow daily positions of SIM cards for Barisal and Chittagang Division from 01 April to 30 June of 2013. To exclude inactivated SIM cards, we will include SIM cards that made at least one call during the time of our study. Results from the Haiti study suggest that estimates of population movements during disasters and outbreaks can be delivered rapidly and with potentially high validity in areas with high mobile phone use. This research would offer new ways to understand population movements and climate change threshold.
Professor Ranald Michie tells the story of banking in Britain within the context of the Global Financial Crisis, starting with the failure of Northern Rock and other highly interconnected banks in the UK.
In September 2007 rumours began to circulate in Britain that the Newcastle-based bank Northern Rock was in financial difficulty. As these rumours gained in credibility, retail depositors rushed to withdraw their savings fearing that they would be lost if the bank collapsed. What these depositors were doing in public, as they formed queues outside the bank’s branches, had already happened behind the scenes throughout August. In the wake of the sub-prime lending crisis in the US, banks had become weary of lending to fellow banks in case they would not be able to repay them. That created problems for banks like Northern Rock as it had adopted a business model that made it dependent upon short-term borrowing from other banks to finance its aggressive expansion of long-term mortgage lending. As new funds provided by other banks dried up and the date on which many existing loans had to be repaid, Northern Rock had no alternative but to seek assistance from the Bank of England, the traditional lender of last resort under these circumstances.
The ‘run’ on Northern Rock
It was while the required assistance was being negotiated, involving a protracted delay because responsibility no longer lay with the Bank of England alone but was shared with the FSA and the Treasury, that the story broke that Northern Rock was in difficulty. Faced with panic among the depositors, and the possible spread of their actions to all British banks, the UK government was forced to intervene and guarantee bank deposits. In many ways Northern Rock was unfortunate as the timing of its borrowings from other banks put it first in line to require assistance when these funds dried up. It could equally well have been any of the other ex-building societies and even a number of those that had not de-mutualised, as they were all operating the same business model.
If the crisis had ended with the collapse of Northern Rock, and its belated nationalisation early in 2008, then it would forever have been associated with that single bank and its cause blamed on poor management. Even if the crisis had stopped with the disappearance of all those building societies that had converted into banks, as did happen, then the story would be about a failed experiment and attributed to the transformation of the British financial system begun by Mrs Thatcher’s Conservative government in the 1980s. However, even in Britain the crisis went much further than a set of specialist mortgage lenders, as these were not too big or interconnected to fail as none played a major role in the provision of short-term credit or were central to the operation of the payments system. With hindsight the need for the government to intervene might have been subject to serious questioning along with the scare tactics used by the media in pursuit of a scoop. Instead, the near collapse of the two largest Scottish banks, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and HBOS, and the massive intervention required by the government to save them, is what really brought the crisis to a head in Britain. Read the rest of this entry »