University of Liverpool

Buxton Climate Change Impacts Project

The Buxton Climate Change Experiment is in danger of being shut down, without further funding we will not be able to continue the experimental climate treatments - this would end the world’s longest running precipitation and warming experiment.
raised of £10,000 target
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An iconic experiment on the effects of climate change is in danger of being shut down.

We’ve lost more than 95% of our native species-rich grasslands in the UK, and now the remaining isolated fragments of this precious habitat face a new threat—climate change.

The Buxton Climate Change Experiment was set up by world-famous ecologist and Fellow of the Royal Society Phil Grime, in the early 1990s, to find out how climate change will affect grasslands. The experiment has applied drought, warming and watering treatments to a native wildflower meadow for three decades - We turn 30 on 1st November this year! The experiment is important globally—no other experiment has exposed vegetation to different climate treatments for as long as we have.

This unique long-term view is vital in understanding how climate change changes ecosystems: some impacts of climate change on plants and soil organisms take decades to develop. The vast majority of similar experiments are too short to pick up these effects. Without long-term experiments like this one, we are missing an important piece of the puzzle that will help us predict and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Grasslands are vitally important: as well as supporting many species of plants and animals (some of which are found nowhere else), they are used as grazing land for livestock, support pollinators, store carbon, are used by people to find wellbeing and are a distinctive part of our heritage and landscape.

Through research at Buxton, we have learned much about how grasslands work, and how they respond to climate change. Results from the experiment are being used to adapt the management of grasslands in the UK and beyond to help them withstand future climate change.

Without further funding we will not be able to continue the experimental climate treatments at Buxton - this would end the world’s longest running precipitation and warming experiment, and the benefits it can bring.

We need your help to continue research at Buxton, all donations received will help to protect this globally valuable resource. The money is needed for running and maintaining the experimental climate treatments; £30,000 will support the site for one year. There is no dedicated research or government funding available for such long-term experiments. Without your support, the UK will lose a unique asset in the fight against climate change.

Any donation no matter how small or large will help us keep the experiment running for longer and ensure it continues to inform our understanding of how grasslands are responding to climate change, and how we can protect their unique species and their value to people.

For further information on the site please use the following links:

About the site

Further info on the site

Automated rain shelters in operation

Podcast interview about work on the site

Preview of a virtual reality tour of the site

Presentation about the site

About the charity

University of Liverpool

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