uk university can reduce co2 emissions by 4% with shorter winter semesters
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the UK, reporting in the journal iScience on December 8, found that shifting learning weeks to the summer term and extending the winter vacation period can reduce the university’s yearly CO2 emissions by more than 4%.

While strategies to reduce carbon emissions normally require significant time and financial investment, the authors say that this kind of schedule change could offer a simple and low-cost way to reduce carbon emissions. “This approach does not really require any significant investment,” says Wei Sun, an energy system researcher and Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and author on the paper. “We just need willingness from staff and students to be open to the changes in semester dates.”

Sun and his colleagues monitored how more than 20 universities are currently managing their energy consumptions on campus, including their semester schedules. Then, the team looked at heat and energy usage for the University of Edinburgh, where some of them work, over the course of the year. This helped them propose the most environmentally friendly semester schedule for the university.

They found that by starting a new semester on the second week of September, followed by a 12-week winter learning semester and a 5-week winter holiday, they could reduce CO2 emissions by 167 tonnes, 4.2% of the university’s total.

“This would mean there was an extended period off during the winter period, and in turn, longer summer semesters. This could contribute to lower heating costs during the winter period and a decrease in emissions overall,” says Sun.

Other universities could adopt a similar approach but timings would need to vary based on where they are located, he says. “In future studies, it would be useful to adapt our approach to compare the energy consumptions of universities under different climate zones to see what impact our approach would have globally. But for UK universities, it’s clear that changing semester times could reduce emissions,” says Sun.

This study was conducted before the pandemic, and Sun and his colleagues would like to explore how hybrid learning would affect their recommendations. “In a post-pandemic world, we will be looking into other strategies to reduce emissions,” he says. “We saw a huge carbon reduction during the pandemic and now things are slowly getting back to normal, so we’d like to see if emissions continue to drop with lectures now online and less physical attendance in person.” More information: Wei Sun, Arranging university semester date to minimize annual CO2 emission: a UK university case study, iScience (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.103414. www.cell.com/iscience/fulltext … 2589-0042(21)01385-7 Journal information: iScience

Provided by Cell Press Citation: UK university can reduce CO2 emissions by 4% with shorter winter semesters (2021, December 8) retrieved 8 December 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-12-uk-university-co2-emissions-shorter.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Tiniest Of Moments Proves Key for Baby’s Healthy Brain

Summary: Study identifies a critical role a protein called Cep55 plays in brain development and abscission, the final step in cell division. Source: University of Virginia University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have shed new light on how our brains develop, revealing that the very last step in cell ...

View more: Tiniest Of Moments Proves Key for Baby’s Healthy Brain

Diet and Lifestyle Change Reverses Aging by Three Years in Eight Weeks

Summary: Simple dietary changes and adopting lifestyle alterations, including improved sleep schedules, taking probiotics, and exercising, can reduce signs of biological aging by three years in just eight weeks, a new study reports. Source: Impact Journals A groundbreaking clinical trial shows we can reduce biological age (as measured by the ...

View more: Diet and Lifestyle Change Reverses Aging by Three Years in Eight Weeks

Skin Itch Mechanisms Differ on Hairless Versus Hairy Skin

Summary: Researchers have identified significant differences in the mechanisms of chronic itch between hairy and non-hairy areas of the skin. Source: Georgia Tech Chronic skin itching drives more people to the dermatologist than any other condition. In fact, the latest science literature finds that 7% of U.S. adults, and between ...

View more: Skin Itch Mechanisms Differ on Hairless Versus Hairy Skin

Designer Alterations to Brain Cells Reduce Anxious Behavior in Monkeys

Summary: A new method, dubbed DREADDs, relies on gene therapy techniques to alter genes in target cells to change the cell’s behavior. The method reduced anxious behaviors in monkey models of schizophrenia when combined with clozapine. Researchers say the method has the potential for use in humans to help reduce ...

View more: Designer Alterations to Brain Cells Reduce Anxious Behavior in Monkeys

Study Reveals Structure of Key Receptors Involved in Memory and Learning

Summary: Researchers have uncovered the molecular structure of three major complexes of glutamate receptors in the hippocampus. The findings shed new light on the mechanisms behind memory and learning in the brain. Source: Oregon Health and Sciences University Scientists have for the first time revealed the structure surrounding important receptors ...

View more: Study Reveals Structure of Key Receptors Involved in Memory and Learning

Healthy Lifestyle Linked to Better Cognition for Oldest Adults, Regardless of Genetic Risk

Summary: Adults over 80 who maintained a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and diet, had a lower risk of cognitive decline, even if they had genetic risk factors for dementia. Source: PLOS A new analysis of adults aged 80 years and older shows that a healthier lifestyle is associated with a ...

View more: Healthy Lifestyle Linked to Better Cognition for Oldest Adults, Regardless of Genetic Risk

Defective Gene Slows Down Brain Cells

Summary: Study reveals how the autism-associated Cullin 3 gene affects brain development in mouse models. Source: IST Austria Within the European Union alone, about three million people are affected by an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some are only mildly affected and can live independent lives. Others have severe disabilities. What ...

View more: Defective Gene Slows Down Brain Cells

Intermittent Fasting Improves Long Term Memory

Summary: Mouse study reveals intermittent fasting improves long-term memory retention and promotes hippocampal neurogenesis. The findings could help to slow cognitive decline in older adults. Source: King’s College London A new study from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London has established that Intermittent Fasting ...

View more: Intermittent Fasting Improves Long Term Memory

Roots of Major Depression Revealed in All Its Genetic Complexity

Cocaine’s Effect on the Brain

Two Halves of the Hippocampus Have Different Gene Activity

ADHD Drugs Can Affect Later Generations

Mice Fathers Pass Down Stress Responses to Offspring via Sperm

A ‘Pump’ Gene’s Surprising Role in Early Brain Formation

Protecting the Intellectual Abilities of People at Risk for Psychosis

Early Bird or Night Owl? Study Links Shift Worker Sleep to ‘Chronotype’

Persistence Pays off in the Human Gut Microbiome

How Environmental Factors Could Provide for a Young Brain

Potential Pathways to Treating Alcohol Use Disorder and Depression Identified

Two Decade Analysis of African Neuroscience Research Prompts Calls for Greater Support

OTHER TECH NEWS

;