Abstracts for each presentation are below and the feedback link. Please take the time to fill out the form. Your feedback will be used to identify the best poster and best oral presentation as well as providing valuable comments for the presenters.
12:30 Ana Andries: Contribution of Earth observation data to support SDG indicators: analytical framework and related case studies
In 2015, member countries of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York. These global goals have 169 targets and 232 indicators that are based on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. Substantial challenges remain in obtaining data of the required quality, especially in developing countries, given the often limited resources available. One promising and innovative way of addressing this issue of data availability is to use Earth observation (EO).
This research aims to critically analyse and optimise the potential of applying EO approaches to data collection to support SDG indicators and targets with the particular focus on those indicators covering the social and economic dimensions of sustainable development as these are relatively unexplored in the EO context.
Firstly, it has been developed a novel analytical framework entitled Maturity Matrix Framework (MMF) which was further consolidated by using a wide consultation with 38 experts in sustainability and EO, thus obtaining the advanced MMF 2.0 framework. Both frameworks have been applied to all SDG indicators and the results of their applicability demonstrated that although the potential of EO‐derived data do vary between the SDG indicators, overall, EO can have a direct contribution to make towards populating environmental indicators and an indirect (proxy) measure or weak contribution for socio-economic indicators.
Furthermore, the research focused in exploring the applicability of two specific socio-economic SDG indicators that have emerged from the previous analysis. The two case studies include EO satellite data approaches to measure inequality of development in Romania and to estimate overcrowded schools in rural areas of Nigeria. Likewise, it has been evaluated species habitat suitability and habitat assessment by using a range of different spatial and spectral resolutions, and how these results are useful for diverse arenas such as policy makers, land managers and ecologists. Lastly, it has been assessed the potential of EO data to estimate soil organic carbon based on the literature and experts’ interviews, whilst a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) framework and a cost accuracy analysis have emerged.
12:45 Neil Grant: An assessment of the UK's progress towards net zero
The UK Government often presents the UK as ‘world-leading’ in tackling climate change, highlighting the ambitious climate targets that have been set for 2030 and 2050. However, the development of climate policies achieving these goals is lacking. As a result, the UK is not on track to meet our future climate targets. This ‘delivery gap’ makes tracking governmental progress in introducing policies to get the UK on track with our future climate targets an invaluable exercise. Multiple assessments exist, most notably from the UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC), but these assessments are often infrequent, opaque in their methodology, or too in-depth to be of substantial use to time-poor decisionmakers such as MPs. This analysis will present the Climate Policy Dashboard, a recent tool developed to provide regular, objective, multi-level, and transparent assessments of governmental progress in developing climate policies. The Dashboard tracks policy development across seven major sectors of the UK economy and provides a strategic overview of progress made in an intuitive and visually appealing way, as well as an in-depth assessment based on key recommendations made by the CCC. The results of the Dashboard provide a reality check on the Government’s aspirations to present themselves as a world-leader in the field of climate action. They can motivate greater climate action from decisionmakers in the run-up to COP26, and can help members of the public, journalists, and MPs alike to understand and scrutinise governmental progress in tackling climate change. To view the Dashboard, see https://www.policyconnect.org.uk/sustainability/climate-policy-dashboard.
13:00 Victoria Hoare: The utility of climate calculators as decision support tools within the land sector
Anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions vary sector to sector, with Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses or AFOLU responsible for just under 25% of the global annual GHG emissions. AFOLU is one of the largest and most complex sectors, as it is both a carbon sink, through sequestration, or source. New managements, technology and policy will have to be developed in order for countries to hit their ever more ambitious climate targets, yet the process in which policies are established often struggles to address the significant amount of ambiguity there is when decision-making and setting national climate targets, especially in more complex sectors, such as AFOLU. Climate calculators are non-policy prescriptive decision support tools (DSTs) designed to explore different pathways to net zero. Whilst designed to help bridge the gap between a goal and policy there is little research on the effectiveness of climate calculators as decision support and whether they are successful in bridging this gap. By looking at the nationally determined contributions submitted to the Paris Agreement (COP21), commitments within the land sector can be established. Through a systematic map of the literature, paired with engagement with key experts, the actions that were taken within the land sector can be identified and compared to the original desired commitments. The disparities between planned actions and actual outcomes from actions taken can help avoid repeated mistakes in light of the updates NDCs being released for COP26, as well as the role that climate calculators did or could have had in the development of national targets and policies. Discussion with local experts will expand the discussion on the land sector in COP21, the future of the land sector in light of COP26 and the robustness of current climate calculator parameters in light of conditions set by COP26.
13:15 Liam Yasin: Improving lifetime and performance of fuel cells by modelling oxygen transport
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) are devices which can generate power at both small and big scales without carbon emissions. They rely on the diffusion of oxygen to generate electricity and heat from hydrogen and air. Understanding the mechanisms governing diffusion in these devices is important for improving their performance and durability. The tracer diffusivity, D*, is a commonly used material property to quantify diffusion and can be measured by Isotopic Exchange Depth Profiling (IEDP). This method has, so far, primarily been used to characterise single materials; however, SOFCs are multilayer devices with solid-solid interface that may also affect transport.
A finite-difference model for diffusion in a system containing multiple layers with interfaces has been developed. It numerically solves Fick’s second law of diffusion with various boundary conditions. This model can be used to fit experimental diffusion data, yielding a new way of quantifying interfacial resistance. A new interfacial resistance parameter, which quantifies the resistance to diffusion across an interface, has been defined.
The validity of the developed method has been experimentally demonstrated in a sample consisting of a layer of lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (LSCF) on a gadolinium-doped ceria (GDC) substrate, both common materials in SOFCs. Initial data from tracer diffusion experiments have shown the presence of a significant concentration drop at the interface of the LSCF-GDC stack, which can be fitted to the numerical model. This approach could be used to measure the changing interface properties under various ageing conditions, as well as the influence of interlayers and material selection on the interfacial resistances both in SOFC and other diffusion systems with interfaces, such as solid state batteries.
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