REIMAGINATION: REconstructing and understanding the IMplications of surface 14C AGe changes In the North Atlantic for overturning circulaTION

Lead Research Organisation: University of St Andrews
Department Name: Earth and Environmental Sciences

Abstract

The Atlantic Ocean's conveyor belt circulation is a fundamental component of the global climate system, transporting heat from low to high latitudes, and thus warming Northern Europe. The strength of this circulation is thought to have varied abruptly in the past, giving rise to rapid climate changes of more than 10 degrees C in a decade during the last glacial period. Changes of this nature today would have a severe impact on society, so we want to know more about the sensitivity of this circulation. In order to do this, we will study intervals of rapid climate and circulation change in the past.

To better understand these past circulation changes we will reconstruct the concentration of radiocarbon in surface and deep waters in the North Atlantic Ocean. This is known as a radiocarbon reservoir age, and it is highly sensitive to the rate of ocean circulation. Therefore, by reconstructing reservoir ages, we can tell how quickly the ocean was circulating during intervals of rapid climate change.

We also need to know what the reservoir age was in the past if we want to use radiocarbon as a dating tool, to tell the age of geological and archeological objects and events. Radiocarbon can be thought of as a stopwatch for a geological sample. For a marine sample, however, there is already some time on the clock when we press go. This extra time before starting the clock is the reservoir age, and we must know what it is in order to accurately tell geological time.

By reconstructing reservoir ages, we will therefore improve understanding of rapid circulation and climate change, and also improve the most important dating tool used in earth and archeological sciences.

To reconstruct radiocarbon reservoir ages we need to measure the radiocarbon content of a sample, and also to know its age independently, so we can work out what was already on the clock when the sample formed.
To do this we will make radiocarbon measurements on shells taken from sediment cores from the North Atlantic, and pair them with a range of exciting new techniques that can tell their age. Firstly we will look for layers of volcanic ash in the sediment cores, which we can date using their argon content, and match to precisely dated ash layers in ice cores and on Iceland. Secondly we can look at changes in sea surface temperature records, and match these to the same events that are precisely dated in ice cores. Thirdly we will use the concentration of thorium in sediments to tell how much sediment accumulated between these ash and temperature tie points. Fourthly, we will combine all this information using statistical modelling, which will also provide a good measure of the uncertainty in our results.

This work will create maps of reservoir ages and how they changed in the North Atlantic over the last 10 to 50 thousand years, with a special focus on times of rapid climate change. To help us link the reservoir ages to different circulation regimes, we will use a climate model that can simulate radiocarbon. We will make this model's ocean circulation operate in different ways, and see which circulations best match our data. This will allow us to better understand how ocean circulation changed in the past to cause rapid climate change, and improve confidence in how ocean circulation may operate in the future.

Finally, we will package our reservoir age maps into a tool that can be used by earth scientists and archeologists to improve their radiocarbon dating.

Planned Impact

Our work is focused on topics of significant interest to policy makers and the general public: rapid climate change, and radiocarbon dating. We will capitalise on this to deliver broad and lasting impact to the following groups:

1. Public and Policy makers - understanding of climate tipping points
"Tipping points" in the climate system, such as the rapid AMOC shifts we are studying, are a major concern for policy makers and the general public. Although the chances of AMOC shutdown in the next century are unlikely, the severity of the potential impact on society makes this a crucial tipping point to understand. Our radiocarbon reservoir age data, and accompanying circulation state modelling, will provide a thorough framework in which to test model skill in reproducing rapid circulation and climate changes. The ability of climate models to reproduce the circulation regimes we reconstruct will improve our confidence in their predictive abilities, and thus their utility for policy decision making.

2. High school students and teachers - climate change education delivered through Geobus
High school students, teachers, and their families will benefit from educational outreach on climate change that we will undertake as part of the University of St Andrew's highly successful Geobus initiative. Geobus provides teaching and resources in the earth and environmental sciences to high schools across Scotland and the North of England. Climate-focussed workshops have been particularly welcomed by Geobus staff and teachers, given the perception of climate science as a "new" subject and a "hot topic". The topical nature of climate change also makes it an excellent topic with which to engage students in STEM subjects, a key goal for UK education and economic development. Geobus has an excellent track record of impact to date: since its establishment in 2012, it has delivered material to over 20,000 pupils in 160 schools, and has grown its funding pool from an initial £50k provided by NERC, to >£350k till 2016 through industry sponsorship.

3. Radiocarbon users - new products, interlab collaboration, technical development
Radiocarbon dating is a tool with wide multi-disciplinary applications across the environmental and archeological sciences, and in both research and commercial sectors. The proposed work will have broad impact on the radiocarbon community by providing the first systematic regional assessment of radiocarbon reservoir ages in the North Atlantic across the whole datable interval (10-50 ka). The project will also promote continued interlab calibration and technical development for two key UK radiocarbon facilities.

4. Students, teachers, and general public
Our project website will include a photo gallery resource which will provide a tool for students and teachers to learn about how records of past ocean circulation changes are developed. This will include a photo gallery (and short videos) of the recovery of a marine sediment core, sampling and picking of foraminifera, and processing in the AMS 14C facility with text explaining each.

5. Young women considering STEM subjects - break down gender bias perceptions
STEM subjects have suffered from perceptions of gender bias. The female PI Andrea Burke and CoI Paula Reimer will help address this by providing tours of the Queens University Belfast Accelerator Mass Spectrometry facility to female high school students. Burke and Reimer will act as role models to encourage young women to consider STEM subjects.

6. Training and networking of highly skilled researchers
The project will contribute to the UK's skill set through the training and professional development of an undergraduate student and a PDRA. The strong and diverse team of project partners will facilitate the integration of PI Andrea Burke and CoI James Rae into the UK and European research communities, which will help further spread the impact of this research

Publications

10 25 50

 
Description We have been compiling and reconstructing surface radiocarbon ages from the Northeast Atlantic as a means of refining the timing of oceanographic and climatic changes over the last ice age. We find interesting changes over the last deglaciation that suggest large changes in ocean circulation that occurred over this time period. These results are about to be submitted for publication as an invited review in a peer reviewed journal. These results will improve age models from sediment cores in the North Atlantic and will allow us to better constrain the timing of climatic events and potential leads and lags in the climate system. Our new chronologies also help to establish the sequence of events that led to the last deglaciation between 20000 and 10000 years ago. They highlight a key role in ocean circulation in the stability of ice sheets. This mechanism may be relevant for understanding future sea level rise.
Exploitation Route These data will be used to calibrate radiocarbon dates used in environmental and marine archaeological reconstructions. They will be incorporated into an international project (IntCal) that calibrates the radiocarbon curves over the past 40,000 years and allows dates to be determined from radiocarbon measurements. The new age models that we have reconstructed will be used for future studies on past climate changes in the North Atlantic region as all of the age models are self-consistent. We can use the age models to assess leads and lags in the climate system to understand the response of the climate system to different forcings.
Sectors Education,Environment

 
Description Our research has had impact in broader public and society through a number of events. We have used our research in two different public outreach talks: Pint of Science event in Glasgow, and then as a result of that talk, CoI James Rae was invited to give a talk to the Glasgow skeptic society. Both of these events generated much discussion and debate by the general public afterwards, and were well received. We also held a Science taster event in Belfast to introduce our research to secondary school female students, both to highlight the role of women in STEM (PI Burke, CoI Reimer, and postdoctoral fellow Greenop are all female) and to introduce the students to our findings on the role of ocean in climate change in the past and how that relates to (and is different from) climate change today. Our workshop was further developed and presented by postdoctoral fellow Greenop at the Earth Science Teacher Association conference in September 2016. Many teachers reported that they would take the hands-on activities into their own classrooms. Finally, further classroom material for secondary schools based on our research into climate change and ocean circulation has been developed in collaboration with the University of St Andrews Geobus, which brings Earth Science education into schools around Scotland and the North of England. Geobus has brought this material to more than 10,000 students. CoI James Rae has also presented this material at two Geography Teacher conferences in Scotland with workshops developed to teach teachers how to teach students about climate change.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Past Earth Network Feasibility Study
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 10/2017
 
Title New Age Models for sediment cores 
Description New age models have been developed for sediment cores from the North Atlantic that improve upon previous age models by adding in thorium normalisation which allows us to constrain changes in sedimentation rate in between age tie points. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Previous and ongoing paleoclimate work by collaborators in Cardiff is being re-evaluated in light of our improved age models. 
 
Title Sea surface Radiocarbon database 
Description A compilation of surface radiocarbon ages from the Northeastern Atlantic over the past 35000 years 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This will inform the INtCal working group on marine radiocarbon reconstructions 
 
Title Trace element and boron isotopic composition of Drake Passage deep-sea corals 
Description Changes of circulation pattern in the Southern Ocean have been invoked to explain a significant portion of the increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide during the last deglaciation. However, the accurate timing and thus underlying mechanisms of these changes are still controversial, requiring knowledge of different water masses movements with absolute age constraints. Aragonitic scleractinian deep-sea corals, recovered from a broad range of depths in the Drake Passage, provide a unique opportunity to investigate Southern Ocean ventilation with precise U-Th age control. This data submission includes trace element and delta11B for Drake Passage corals. Funding was provided by the NERC standard grant NE/N003861/1. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://data.bas.ac.uk/full-record.php?id=GB/NERC/BAS/PDC/01214
 
Description IntCal Working group 
Organisation College of France
Department Life Sciences
Country France 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution We are contributing research results and data to the international working group on radiocarbon inter calibration
Collaborator Contribution They are providing results and expertise on radiocarbon inter calibration as well. The result will be a large international inter calibration and new updated set of radiocarbon curves.
Impact We are presenting our research at EGU conference in Vienna at the IntCal organised session.
Start Year 2016
 
Description IntCal Working group 
Organisation University of Kiel
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are contributing research results and data to the international working group on radiocarbon inter calibration
Collaborator Contribution They are providing results and expertise on radiocarbon inter calibration as well. The result will be a large international inter calibration and new updated set of radiocarbon curves.
Impact We are presenting our research at EGU conference in Vienna at the IntCal organised session.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement - CNRS 
Organisation Laboratory of Climate Sciences and the Environment (LSCE)
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are measuring Thorium isotopes and radiocarbon in foraminifera from sediment cores
Collaborator Contribution They are providing sediment core material, and expertise in sediment core age modelling
Impact Data generation and interpretation of cores. New age models for sediment cores
Start Year 2016
 
Description Leeds 
Organisation University of Leeds
Department School of Earth and Environment
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Data compilation from the North Atlantic over the last deglaciation
Collaborator Contribution GCM Modeling output and analysis of climate change over deglaciation
Impact 2 manuscripts published and 2 manuscripts submitted
Start Year 2015
 
Description Sheffield collaboration 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Department School of Mathematics and Statistics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Radiocarbon and paleo-climate data for the last deglaciation
Collaborator Contribution Statistical analysis, and R code for processing data
Impact 2 Manuscripts in preparation
Start Year 2017
 
Description UCL collaboration 
Organisation University College London
Department Department of Geography
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Isotope analysis of sediment cores and collaboration on research projects (data analysis etc.)
Collaborator Contribution Sediment cores samples with picked foraminifera.
Impact Two manuscripts are in preparation as a result of this collaboration.
Start Year 2017
 
Description WHOI collaboration 
Organisation Cardiff University
Department School of Earth and Ocean Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are providing geochemical data and measurements on the sediment samples provided by our collaboration
Collaborator Contribution The partners have provided very important sediment core samples that will greatly enhance our research and scope of the project.
Impact We are presenting the results of this research at the EGU 2016 meeting in Vienna, and at the 2016 Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Japan.
Start Year 2015
 
Description WHOI collaboration 
Organisation Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Country United States 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We are providing geochemical data and measurements on the sediment samples provided by our collaboration
Collaborator Contribution The partners have provided very important sediment core samples that will greatly enhance our research and scope of the project.
Impact We are presenting the results of this research at the EGU 2016 meeting in Vienna, and at the 2016 Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Japan.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Association for Science Education (ASE) conference, climate workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop on climate change teaching resources, developed with Geobus as part of NERC funded research, and delivered to Science teachers as part of CPD event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ase.org.uk
 
Description Atom Science Festival on climate solutions, keynote speaker 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The Atom science festival brought together schools in Oxfordshire to discuss climate solutions, with a range of events. I was scheduled for a keynote talk and to be part of a panel discussion with local politicians, business, and charities leaders. This took place instead in a virtual form, and I provided an interview and Q&A session.
The invitation for this came as part of my role on the Royal Meteorological Society and following my TedX talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description CPD event for Scottish Geography Teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact At the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers annual conference we ran two 50 minute sessions with 15 teachers in each session. Each workshop was made up of a series of kitchen cupboard still experiments to help explain climate. Teachers will provided with the power point, worksheets and experiment instructions to be able to disseminate information to their classes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Café Scientifique Perth, climate change talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture to regional community science group on climate change. Sold out event with extensive Q&A afterwards and two follow up talks delivered on the back of this (Perth U3A and Highland Trust AGM)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Climate Change resources provided for Music Planet concert 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Concert linking music and climate change - I provided advice on content of images and information on climate science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/musicplanet/
 
Description Climate science talk, Big Bounce Science Festival, Institute of Physics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An Institute of Physics science festival, centred on Glasgow ahead of COP26. I delivered a talk and discussion with comedian host, and ran Q&A events with schools prior to the event.
The invitation to speak at this event followed from previous events given virtually built on materials developed during my NERC grant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3znOsNf39o
 
Description Climate talk at Highgate School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk on climate change at school in London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Community Group talk, Pittenweem 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk on climate science to community interest group in Pittenweem. Sell out event with lively Q&A. Requests for follow on talks to local business groups (given following year)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Critical Conversations panel discussion on oceans and climate 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact panel discussion for University Museum on climate and oceans, ahead of "Dive In" exhibit, and featuring material from Challenger. Examples given from research on past changes in the ocean.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://events.st-andrews.ac.uk/events/critical-conversations-climate-change/
 
Description Delivery of climate workshop to secondary school pupils 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact In 2016 GeoBus delivered a series of workshops to National 5 and Higher level students looking at the causes and impacts of climate change from July to December we worked with 486 students. The pupils feedback on the workshop, this feedback has been used to improve the workshop that is being delivered in 2017. So fair 105 pupils have taken part in the workshop and a further 300 are booked to participate between now and the end of May.

The workshops have been designed to provide practical activities linking to climate science, to allow students to speak to experts and to insure that they are making decisions based on up-to-date facts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://geobus.st-andrews.ac.uk/whatweoffer/workshops/
 
Description Development of online resources promoting good practice when teaching climate science. These resources are linked to the 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The online resources are being developed by the GeoBus team over an 18 month period July 2016 -December 2017. These resources include a series of lesson plans under 4 titles:
* It's happening: Evidence of Climate Change
* It's Us: Causes of Climate Change
* It's Serious: Impact of Climate Change
* It's Solvable:Solutions to Climate Change

These resources can be downloaded and taught by teachers all over the world but are specifically linked to the Scottish and English curriculum, from March 2017 we will be able to track the downloads of resource. The assumption is that it will be educators who download the resources and will disseminate the lessons to there classes. the average class size is 20 pupils for science class and 30 for a social science class. The resources have sparked interest from teachers and international educators (AGU) who have asked for similar resources to be produced in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://geobus.st-andrews.ac.uk/resources/carbon-capture-storage/
 
Description Dundee Science Festival, talk and teaching activities and materials 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of Dundee Science Centre's annual science festival I delivered a talk on climate science, drawing on examples from my research, and provided educational resources, developed with Geobus as part of my NERC grants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.dundeesciencefestival.org/climate-change
 
Description Earth Day 2020 schools workshops on climate change 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshops on climate change in local schools, using materials developed with Geobus as part of NERC grant. These were given by a team of 5, reaching several hundred students over the course of the day.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Earth Science Teacher Association (ESTA) conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The postdoctoral research fellow on this grant organised and led a workshop at the annual Earth Science Teacher Association conference in 2016. This event is attended by Earth Science teachers from across the UK. The workshop was directly related to the research on this grant, and involved presentation and series of hands on activities that could be brought into the classroom to illustrate concepts of ocean circulation, carbon cycling, and past climate change. The teachers reported enjoying the workshop and the hands-on activities and liked having topics to go into in depth that were societally relevant (climate change and ocean acidification). Many teachers asked for further information after the workshop and reported that they would be bringing those activities into the classroom in their schools. Attendance at this specific workshop was about 50 school teachers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description GeoBus Workshop - Scotland's Climate. This mobile workshop will be delivered in schools across Scotland 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This workshop is around 50 minutes and leads pupils through a series of practical experiments and demonstrations exploring the driving factors behind changes in the Earth's climate system. The GeoBus staff use a wide range of experiments and the workshop is adapted to fit it with the Scottish learning outcomes for level 3 to Advance Higher. The practical nature of the workshops mean that with set up and clear up times teachers are often not able to deliver the experiments themselves. Since 2015 the GeoBus team have worked with over 1000 pupils completely climate workshops. Teachers have requested more support with teaching climate science in particular the role of the Oceans.

GeoBus uses social media, (twitter, Facebook and Instagram) to not only promote but to continue to engage teachers and pupils in Earth Science. Our largest engagement (impressions, likes and retweets) has been when promoting climate information. During climate week the workshops were pick up by the Scottish government, this has lead to increased bookings for the climate workshop in 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL http://geobus.st-andrews.ac.uk/whatweoffer/workshops/
 
Description Green Week talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Interactive talk on climate change for students as part of University Green Week
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Highland Perthshire Communities Land Trust AGM keynote guest speaker 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Talk on climate science and solutions to community land ownership group. Discussion of land carbon sinks and use for renewable energy - impacting decision making by this group on the use of their land.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description IntCal Working Group and Focus group meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact IntCal working group and focus group meetings to discuss new datasets and statistical techniques and to decide on future calibration curves. The IntCal working group consists of 25 members from 9 countries. Focus groups include Statistics, Marine archives and reservoir ages, Dendro (tree-ring), U-Th and speleothems, and Comparison records.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2015,2016,2017
URL http://intcal.qub.ac.uk/
 
Description Lecture to the Glasgow Skeptic Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This talk came about after the success of the Pint of Science talk in Glasgow in Spring 2015. CoI Rae was invited by a member of the audience at the Pint of Science talk to give a public lecture to the Glasgow Skeptic Society, which promotes critical thinking. This talk was also very well received and well attended, and sparked a discussion that lasted an hour and a half after the talk was over (total of 2.5 hours).

Feedback after the talk was very positive. Also evidenced by the number of questions asked during the Q&A session, and that everyone remained to the end (after 2. 5 hours). Several members of the audience said that the explanations of past records of climate change and how isotopes could be used to reconstruct those changes really clarified a lot about paleoclimate science, and were happy to finally understand how they could be used.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.facebook.com/events/830011037112054/
 
Description Panelist coach, The Future Speaks, climate hustings for MSP candidates 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Teach the Future is an organisation campaigning for improved climate education in schools. Ahead of the 2020 Scottish Parliament Elections they organised a series of climate hustings, The Future Speaks, with young people grilling candidates for MSP in 8 different Scottish regions on climate and sustainability
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.teachthefuture.uk/blog/the-future-speaks
 
Description Probus local business group climate change talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation on climate science and solutions to group of local business leaders "Probus" in NE Fife. This was a follow up request following previous talk to a community group in the area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Public Show on Climate Change, Explorathon 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interactive public talk on climate change, featuring live experiments and demonstrations (and dance!)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://vimeo.com/261806762
 
Description Public lecture as part of the Pint of Science event in Glasgow, May 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk sparked discussion and questions and reached a broad audience.

James Rae was subsequently invited to give a talk on reconstructing past climate change by the Glasgow Skeptic Society
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/climate-of-the-past-technology-of-the-future/
 
Description Public letter to education ministers on school climate curriculum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact As part of my role on the board of the Royal Meteorological Society, I helped draft, and was a signatory to, a public letter urging politicians to improve teaching of climate science in schools
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description RSE science masterclass for S1 and S2 students on fossils and climate 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Andrea Burke and James Rae hosted a free master class for S1 and S2 students on Saturday April 23. The topic of the class was fossils and climate and we investigated how fossils can be used to tell us about past environmental and climatic change. We looked at a range of fossils, including foraminifera and used samples and insights from our own research to introduce students to how we can reconstruct climatic change on a range of timescales. All students gave positive feedback and said they were inspired to continue on in STEM fields (as assessed by a feedback form at the end of the workshop).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.royalsoced.org.uk/784_StartupScienceMasterclasses.html
 
Description Saints talk on climate change to University alumni and current community 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk delivered virtually to the University of St Andrews community, with invitation including all alumni and current staff and students. Talked about climate change, past and present, building on research by my group. Great engagement through Q&A and in follow up emails.
Favourite feedback from octogenarian viewers:
"On 18 Nov 2020, at 09:25, Pam&Peter Cantle wrote:

Yesterday. Greatly enjoyed by brother in Toronto (distinguished geologist) and selves in darkest Devon convincing us at last about CC. Many Thanks. Grandson told to sign up for your chemistry for geologists class. He is reading chemistry. Pam Cantle 1957"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgyOlQLpBkI
 
Description School assembly talk on climate change, St Leonards 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact School assembly on climate change and what to do about it. Follow on discussions on climate education opportunities in schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description School lectures on climate change, Bell Baxter High Eco Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Gave lectures on climate change, past and present, and delivered workshop on teaching about climate to secondary school pupils on their school's Eco Day
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Science Taster Day for Female Secondary School students at Queen's University Belfast 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This Science taster day at Queens University Belfast was developed to introduced local female secondary school students in Belfast to topics in Earth and climate science to encourage them into STEM subjects and to target them before they choose their subjects for further study. The two lead PIs on this grant are female as is the main postdoctoral researcher, and so it posed an excellent opportunity to show female role models in positions of scientific leadership. The two PIs from St Andrews and QUB and the St Andrews postdoc developed hands-on activities to demonstrate concepts related to climate, oceanography and paleoclimate reconstruction, that were directly related to the research in the grant (including understanding process that change and affect deepwater formation, as well as estimating past climates from changes in foraminiferal ecology). The day also included a laboratory tour of the accelerator mass spectrometry facility at QUB.Questionaires completed by the students afterwards suggested that most students felt they were more likely to take science courses after the days activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Serve on the board of the Royal Meteorological Society, Education and Outreach committee 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Following success of workshops on climate change, I was asked to join the board of the Royal Meteorological Society's committee on Education and Outreach. This organisation promotes engagement with weather and climate science across the UK, through a wide range of channels including schools and regional interest groups. It is also campaigning for more eduction on climate science in schools. I help guide the direction of these activities through my role on the board, and actively contribute to their development. Some specific examples are listed separately.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019,2020,2021
URL https://www.rmets.org
 
Description St Andrews University Debating society climate change debate 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Part of panel for climate change debate at University debating society, focussing on climate solutions. Range of external experts on panel, student audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Sutton Trust presentation on climate science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Lecture on climate science to academically-minded school students from backgrounds with little exposure to university education.

In these lectures I incorporate examples of the kinds of research done by my group.

Impact realised by students coming to St Andrews who told me they had not previously considered University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Teachers Together conference, climate change workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshop on climate change teaching for teachers from schools across wide range of backgrounds.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description TedX talk on climate change 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TedX talk given on Earth Day on climate change. Viewed online over 50,000 times. Follow up requests for newspaper interviews, talks to community groups, school visits
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ted.com/talks/james_rae_climate_change_simple_serious_solvable
 
Description Theatre show on climate change, Byre Theatre 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public show on climate change at local theatre, coinciding with national conference. Tickets for 100+ seater venue sold out, thanks to interest sparked by previous events
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://byretheatre.com/events/co2-and-climate-change-past-present-and-future/
 
Description UK Science Teachers Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Exhibit and discussion at UK Science teachers conference, providing hands on examples of how to teach climate change with reference to my work on past climates
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop at Scottish Association of Geography Teachers Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshop on climate change teaching resources at annual conference of high school geography teachers, in partnership with Geobus, promoting materials developed as part of NERC grant
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://sagteach.org
 
Description • Curriculum development with Royal Meteorological Society for climate education in science classes in schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Through my role on the Royal Meteorological Society outreach and education board, i pushed for funding of a 9 month project employing two educators to create climate science materials for use in physics and chemistry classes in schools across the UK. I then provided advice and feedback on the development of this material. The end product will be a series of lesson plans and activities that can be easily incorporated into the existing science curriculum. The goal is both to promote engagement with STEM using climate change as a hot topic and a hook, and also to improve teaching of climate science in schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description • Development of St Andrews town museum exhibition for Year of Coasts and Waters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I coordinated plans for climate science and coastal heritage exhibits for the St Andrews museum (non-University) as part of their Year of Coasts and Waters exhibit. Unfortunately this has been postponed due to COVID19, but would typically have been visited by >1000 national and international visitors
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020