Expedition Educates about Climate Change on Atlantic Coast

Land Rover is supporting a team that will travel along the Atlantic coastline to provide education about climate change and rising sea levels.

The project is based on the scenario that the sea level along the Atlantic coastline will have risen in height by 1 metre in 100 years’ time. So the expedition aims to follow the 1 metre contour line along the coastline, educating 10,000 school children about climate change and its impacts as it goes.

This means a journey of 32,000km in a Defender 110 that Land Rover has provided to a team of three Cambridge graduates. Is a Land Rover Defender a green car? No, but we wouldn’t fancy the chances of driving round the Atlantic coastline in a G-Wiz. Especially as the route includes dense rainforest in the Amazon, the Sahara, mangrove forests and, as you can imagine, lots of rivers. Of course the UK forms part of the Atlantic coastline, and the journey starts at a small cottage in the south western corner of Tiree in Scotland, where the sea is only 200m from the front door.

The route in the UK is also via the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Merseyside, a research centre owned by the Natural Environment Research Council. The aim here is to meet experts on climatology and oceanography in order to increase the team’s understanding of the processes and research behind the current predictions on sea level change, to ensure accurate and up-to-date knowledge for the expedition.

In recognition of the need to demonstrate a sustainable approach, Land Rover is offsetting the emissions from both the driving and from the manufacture of the vehicle.

The graduates also received a cheque for £10,000 at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London.

‘Atlantic Rising’, winners of the 2009 ‘Go Beyond’ Bursary, which was awarded by the RGS-IBG and Land Rover earlier this year, will navigate through 31 countries.

Tim Bromfield, Lynn Morris, and Will Lorimer, will follow the 1m contour line around the Atlantic as closely as possible, visiting schools and creating an educational network with up to 10,000 students along the route. They will report from some of the remotest coastal regions of the Atlantic Ocean and establish a sea-level change education project that can be used in 1,200 schools throughout the world via the Rafi.ki online schools network.

Tim Bromfield from Atlantic Rising said, “Education is the most powerful weapon we have to combat climate change. By encouraging students around the Atlantic to work together, we want to highlight our shared responsibility in dealing with this critical issue. By encouraging international friendships, we hope to make people care enough to act.”

Dr Rita Gardner, Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said, “This project, made possible through our partnership with Land Rover, focuses on one of the most challenging issues we face – the potential impacts of climate change in coastal regions. As recipients of the Bursary, Atlantic Rising have been granted the opportunity to ‘go beyond’ their normal limits and boundaries and at the same time support one of the Society’s objectives which is to promote the wider understanding and enjoyment of geography.”

This is the second ‘Go Beyond’ Bursary run by RGS-IBG on behalf of Land Rover, whose partnership with the Society has existed for more than 20 years.

Together with sister company Jaguar, Land Rover is investing £800m in sustainable technology which includes the development of hybrid technology and the use of lightweight material.

The carbon emitted in the manufacturing and mileage of the 110 Defender vehicle is being offset through ClimateCare, which runs Land Rover’s CO2 Offset Programme in the UK, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Austria and other international markets.

To keep up to date with the Atlantic Rising team please visit their website
http://atlanticrising.wordpress.com

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is the learned society and professional body for geography and geographers. Established in 1830 to promote ‘the advancement of geographical science’, today the organisation is a dynamic world centre for geographical learning – supporting research, education, expeditions and fieldwork, as well as promoting public engagement and informed enjoyment of our world.

Together, Land Rover and RGS-IBG share an interest in enabling fieldwork to be conducted safely and responsibly in remote and challenging environments around the world.