Year/Course: 2021-2022, Easter 2022
Project type: Development

Inventor: Dr James Keeble, Centre for Atmospheric Science, Chemistry
Mentor: Kirsty Mackinlay, Centre for Global Equality

The inventor’s research focuses on using models of the atmosphere to understand how a global change to a hydrogen economy is expected to impact the climate and air quality. Burning hydrogen rather than fossil fuels is expected to reduce both CO2 and other contaminants such as CO and NO2. However, the process of producing hydrogen is not always carbon-neutral in itself.

Although climate models are useful to set guidelines at a global scale, for example through Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) reports, there is a gap between such outputs and guidance for policy change that can be implemented at country level, which is where most decision making takes place. In low- and middle-income countries there is often also not the scientific infrastructure required to run complex climate models, nor the data required to provide reliable inputs and test the models.

Some countries such as the US and the UK have national climate models that can investigate impact on a much smaller scale. However, these are expensive to implement and keep updated, and rely on access to accurate countrywide observational data so only exist for a small number of countries.

There are two main questions for the i-Team to investigate by talking to government and policy experts. First, is to use the inventor’s own research on hydrogen as a basis to investigate which countries would have the capability to adopt hydrogen for a range of uses, which might be able to manufacture and export hydrogen, and also where countries are in the process of adopting hydrogen. The second question is to look at the use of climate models in general by regional, sub-regional and national governmental organisations to identify what new models would be needed to make this work useful and relevant to them.