Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium / Climate modelling and impact studies related to climate change
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For my research I analyse future timeseries of modelled variables such as temperature and precipitation. These climatological variables are obtained from a regional climate model that follow the greenhouse gas emission pathways as described by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. According to the most pessimistic scenario our model results show that within the following decades temperatures will continue to increase, and by the end of the century the temperature is expected to reach levels much higher than the +2°C limit. My biggest concerns herein are that this pessimistic scenario is currently the ‘business as usual scenario’, and that many of my research projects indeed got focused on quantitative assessments of climate change impacts on for example invasive alien species, the growing of trees, and air quality.
I choose consciously to not have a car. Since I live and work in Brussels, I do not feel the need to have one of my own. For all daily commuting I use my bike, which feels as a ‘win-win’. On the one hand I am contributing to the liveability of my city, and on the other hand I have the advantage of knowing exactly my travel time (as I will not be stuck in a traffic jam). For some occasions (e.g. big groceries) and long distances I use a car through a car-sharing system. However, in the context of holidays and work trips I still travel at least once a year by plane. I plan to reduce my travels with the plane in the future.
Furthermore, already more than 10 years ago I changed my eating habits by becoming a vegetarian, and I also give more attention to buy more locally produced food.
Finally, I think that informing people and mobilizing people are two important aspects in making changes true. Therefore, I am very motivated to (continue to) participate to the ongoing climate marches and to give now and then talks on climate change for the great public.
The main difficulty that I experience in lowering my ecological footprint is that travelling by plane is often still much cheaper than other and more ecological ways of transportation such as the train.
In this respect, an implementation of CO2 taxes and a shift to renewable energy are from my point of view two key changes that need to be taken at the political level.
Originally posted 2018-08-05 23:56:26.