Page last updated at 08:46 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

4m climate change study launched

 Waves batter the harbour wall on November 22, 2009 in Porthcawl, Wales
The work of C3W will include looking at sea level change

A five-year programme to study the impact of climate change in Wales on land, sea and atmosphere is under way.

Nearly 200 experts at Cardiff Aberystwyth, Bangor, and Swansea universities will be members of the £4m Climate Change Consortium or C3W.

The consortium will examine the effects of climate change on the planet's ice and glaciers.

It will also look at the social effects of climate change and how to engage the public with the issue.

Aberystwyth University's Professor Mike Hambrey, an expert in glaciers and the acting director of C3W, said the group was made up of climate and social scientists with shared concerns.

He said: "We're all joined together because we have deep concerns about the issue of climate change and want to do something constructive about it."

They would be tackling four "grand challenges," he said.

'Coastline'

He said: "The first of these is sea level change, the second deals with the evaluation and mitigation of hazards, the third one is how we go about modelling climate change, and then we've got a more Welsh-focused dimension of climate change which involves finding out how the wider community in Wales identifies with the issue."

He said one of the target areas was to identify how sea level changes will affect Wales in terms of coastal defences.

"We can expect rising sea level which will have a major impact on our coastline," said Prof Hambrey.

"What's also particularly important is the way we get the message across to the wider public, and that's one of our key strategies - to identify with the public what are their concerns [and how we can] help them respond to issues of climate change themselves."

The programme is being funded by the Welsh Assembly Government via the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

Experts

Education Minister Jane Hutt said C3W had the double aims of "improving our understanding of the causes, nature, timing and consequences of climate change on our environment as well as establishing Wales as a recognisable authority in terms of climate research".

The expert group is to include glaciologists, marine biologists, climate modellers, lawyers, engineers and ageing experts.

They will also provide public and business information and organise road shows and a museum display.



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