Energy and the Planet

Our home. Our responsibility.
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Our research

Rivers and oceans are essential for life on Earth. Their beauty captures our imagination; they support tourism and trade. But the marine environment is under threat from climate change and pollution. Population growth is stretching vital resources to a critical point.

Experts estimate that by 2030, the world will need

40% more energy 30% more water 50% more food

Source: International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2010. 2015 UN report “The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015: Water for a Sustainable World. Paris, UNESCO". 2007 World Bank report “World Bank. 2007. World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development. Washington, DC: World Bank.

At Hull, we’re getting on with solving some of these problems. Making a difference to people here on our doorstep and all over the globe.

Here’s what we’re working on now. If you think you can help, we’d love to hear from you.


"Our planet is a blue planet. Over seventy percent of it is covered by the sea. The Pacific Ocean alone covers half the globe. You can fly across it non-stop for twelve hours and still see nothing more than a speck of land."

David Attenborough, BBC Blue Planet series 1

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Facing the threat of flooding

Cress Forests

Modelling climate change

How tiny cress forests and matchstick log jams are helping our scientists predict the impact of climate change.

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From the Humber to the Mekong

Our experts are taking a lead role in a study which suggests the changing patterns of tropical storms poses a threat to the world’s river deltas.

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Helping children recover from floods

Research at the University is exploring how to help children recover from the trauma of natural disasters including floods.

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Seal cropped

Facing a new hazard in the Antarctic

We found that pollution from microplastics – tiny pieces of plastic – was five times worse than thought in the once-pristine Antarctic.

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Shore crab

Ocean acidity threatens marine life

Our scientists discovered how ocean acidification is making it harder for marine creatures to find a mate, locate food or sniff out predators.

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Chemicals in our waterways

How everyday products, like toothpaste and the contraceptive pill, are having a 'gender bender' effect on wildlife in our rivers.

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New energy

xudong-zhao-in-engineering-lab 600x380

Leading research into low carbon future

Professor Xudong Zhao is forging collaborations between the UK and China to help progress new energy.

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Improving safety for workers

Our experts are leading a new international study to reduce the impact of choppy seas on workers in the offshore wind industry.

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Offshore wind centre of excellence

We are working with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult on a £2 million project to improve the way that offshore wind farms are operated and maintained.

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Our people

geography, geology and environment news

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