Insurance company funds climate change research
Press release issued: 6 October 2008
In a novel move to encourage research into the risks and challenges that affect our rapidly changing world, the Axa insurance group has awarded funding for research into climate change to the University of Bristol.
The newly created AXA Research Fund will award 100 million euros over five years to finance innovative research. Steve Murray at the University of Bristol is one of only 16 PhD students in institutions across Europe to benefit from this highly competitive new funding resource.
His project entitled ‘Global Water Resources: the Impacts of Climate Change and Population Dynamics’, aims to identify regions and human populations likely to be under increased risk of flooding and drought during the 21st century.
Steve Murray said: “I plan to explore the potential impacts of environmental change upon water resources at a global scale. The project is highly innovative in that it considers all the main elements of global change – biological, physical, demographic and economic – that influence water stress as experienced by human populations. The project’s conclusions will identify ‘hot spots’ regions where water stress has the potential to become a major economic and/or political issue.”
Steve will be based in QUEST, the University of Bristol’s highly prestigious research centre for the understanding of global environmental change. He will be supervised by QUEST leader, Professor Colin Prentice, and Dr Pru Foster, a Research Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences.
Professor Prentice said: “There's a great need for an analysis of how climate change is likely to affect water resources across the world, so I'm really pleased that AXA funded Steve’s innovative proposal. Of all the risks we face due to global change, water resource issues are right up there among the most economically and politically important”.
Dr Foster added: “Steve is a very promising young scientist and his planned work will contribute significantly to our understanding of water resources. Congratulations to Steve and well done to AXA!”