Experts discuss how to defend Portsmouth from climate change

Professor Steve Fletcher

Planting more trees on Portsea Island is one of many small changes that could help the city of Portsmouth cope with climate change, according to an expert

  • 25 October 2021
  • 2 min read

Planting more trees on Portsea Island is one of many small changes that could help the city of Portsmouth cope with climate change, according to an expert.

Dr Heather Rumble, a lecturer in environmental geography at the University of Portsmouth, is one of the key speakers at the city’s Climate Risks in Portsmouth public event 5pm-7.30pm on Monday, November 1.

Replacing concrete and asphalt with trees, shrubs, grassland and meadows soaks up unwanted rainwater, removes air pollution from our air and cools the local environment.

Dr Heather Rumble, Enviromental geographer and urban ecologist

Experts in urban ecology, marine life and sustainable building are among the speakers at the event, in the university’s Richmond Building.

Dr Rumble said: “There are a number of issues that we currently experience in cities that are likely to become more intense as the climate warms: Flash floods cause traffic to grind to a halt; air pollution, which is intensified in warmer weather and causes a range of human health issues including contributing to dementia.

“Adding greenery to the urban environment tackles all these challenges and more.

We're also deeply connected, at an evolutionary level, to plants and animals; increasing their number in our cities enhances our health and wellbeing.

Dr Heather Rumble, Enviromental geographer and urban ecologist

“Replacing concrete and asphalt with trees, shrubs, grassland and meadows soaks up unwanted rainwater, removes air pollution from our air and cools the local environment. We're also deeply connected, at an evolutionary level, to plants and animals; increasing their number in our cities enhances our health and wellbeing which, arguably, increases our own resilience to the challenges ahead.”

The key issues facing Portsmouth due to climate change will be addressed by Professor Steve Fletcher, Director of Revolution Plastics and Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy at the University of Portsmouth. He has worked extensively with the UN Environment Programme, G20 and World Bank. He is a member of the UN International Resource Panel.

Other speakers at the event include Mark Gaterell, Professor of Sustainable Construction, discussing climate change and buildings in Portsmouth; Professor Alex Ford, on how landfill ‘leaks’ and untreated sewage are each contributing to rising toxins in the sea around Portsmouth; and Dr Federica Alberti on the effects of climate change on businesses in Portsmouth.

The event in Richmond Building, Portland St, Portsmouth PO1 3DE lecture theatre 1 is free and open to all. It will include creative performances by spoken poets. To register to attend, visit: LINK.

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