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Research Fellows Directory

Andrew Ridgwell

Dr Andrew Ridgwell

Research Fellow


University of Bristol

Research summary

How sensitive is our climate system to the emission of greenhouse gases such as

carbon dioxide and methane? What are the biogeochemical consequences of

adding carbonic acid (CO2 dissolved in rainwater) to the ocean? How sensitive

are organisms and ecosystems to all these changes, on their own or in

combination? Can we engineer 'solutions' to the changes in global carbon cycling

and climate we are driving and hence 'safe-guard' ecosystems and the services

they provide?

Because of the complexity of the Earth’s climate system, and often, simply

because of our lack of imagination about all the different ways in which the Earth

can respond to being poked, a comprehensive answer to these questions is

extremely difficult to achieve, even with our best climate and carbon cycle models.

Understanding the past can help, as Earth history is characterized by an

extraordinary richness of climatic behavior, with the geological record revealing

the episodic re-occurrence of ice ages as well as short-lived warming events that

punctuate otherwise relatively stable periods.

My work surrounds creating computer models (because do not have spare copies

of our planet on which to experiment and test ideas about the causes of global

change) and applying them in interrogating the past so to better constrain the


Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Mechanistic Understanding of the Dynamics of Sedimentary proxies ('MUDS')

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Dates: Oct 2011 - Sep 2014

Value: £299,788.91

Understanding the controls on atmospheric CO2: an Earth history perspective

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Dates: Nov 2006 - Sep 2011

Value: £432,612.91