Saturday, April 30, 2022


Oakes, Robert

Senior Researcher

  • Robert Oakes
    Environment and Migration: Interactions and Choices Section (EMIC)
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    Research Interests

    • Agent Based Modelling
    • Climate Change
    • Environmentally Related Migration


    • PhD: Geography, Understanding and Modelling Hurricane Evacuation, University of Sussex
    • MA., Environment, Development and Policy, University of Sussex
    • BA., Modern History and Economics, University of Manchester

    Biographical Statement

    Dr. Robert Oakes is a Research Associate at UNU-EHS. He investigates population movements related to environmental risk, climate change and disasters. Specifically he researches the subjective, or personal understandings people have of risk, the impact of social networks and how these can translate into community level movements.

    He takes a multidisciplinary approach as his doctorate is in Geography but his research includes theories and methods from Economics, Complexity, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropoolgy. His doctorate from the University of Sussex used Q method and Agent Based Modelling to investigate evacuation flows from Galveston in the lead up to Hurricane Ike in 2008. He used Q method to show that a variety of factors can influence the decision to stay and weather the storm, thus demonstrating the need for a wider understanding of what is termed “rational” behavior. He also used an Agent Based Model to investigate the impact of social networks or peer pressure on community level evacuation, demonstrating the utility of this innovative method for studying climate related movements.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Msk Xprize

Musk bankrolling a $100 million XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition for the most promising ways to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by grabbing the gas right out of the air.The 15 early-phase “milestone round” winners were announced Friday and each will get $1 million, a welcome boost for the teams to carry on with and scale up their work.

The milestone winners aren't necessarily ahead or favored for the $80 million in final prize money that will be awarded in three years. Until Dec. 1, 2023, anyone can still jump in the contest, which was announced a year ago, and potentially get a share of that money.
“What we’ve said is you haven’t given us a million bucks; what you’ve done is catalyzed investment in this technology,” said Mike Kelland, CEO of Planetary Technologies, a milestone winner that seeks to increase the ocean's ability to absorb carbon dioxide by controlling the rising acidity of seawater.The final winning team or teams will need to show they can remove 1,100 tons (1,000 metric tons) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, show how much it would cost to remove up to 1.1 million tons (1 million metric tons) per year and show a path to removing billions of tons of carbon dioxide per year.

 the grand prize to be announced on April 20, 2025.

Planetary Technologies isn't looking up into the sky but down in the ocean to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada-based company proposes to use antacids produced from the leftovers of metal mining to make the ocean more able to absorb the greenhouse gas.

Durham, North Carolina-based 8 Rivers Capital, sees ocean chemistry as a model to replicate. The winning company seeks to trap atmospheric carbon dioxide in calcium carbonate crystals, similar to how the gas dissolved in the ocean helps form seashells and limestone.

Global Algae, based in Santee, California, won with a plan to cultivate algae to help restore rain forests, which capture huge volumes of carbon dioxide. Algae can be a more efficient and more profitable alternative to the cattle ranching and soy and palm oil crops currently on cleared rain forest land, said Mark Hazlebeck, a principal of the family-owned company. Mead Gruver on Twitter at https://twitter.com/meadgruver.