Faculty researchers on the climate scientists list

(04-05-2021) Many of our researchers work for a better climate every day. Two of them are even listed on the Reuters Hot List, an international list of climate scientists: Kris Verheyen and Pascal Boeckx.

The Reuters Hot List ranks 1.000 top climate scientists of the world. The list tells the stories of the scientists who are having the biggest impact on the climate-change debate – their lives, their work and their influence on other scientists, the public, activists and political leaders.

To identify the 1,000 most influential scientists, Reuters created the Hot List, which is a combination of three rankings. Those rankings are based on how many research papers scientists have published on topics related to climate change; how often those papers are cited by other scientists in similar fields of study, such as biology, chemistry or physics; and how often those papers are referenced in the lay press, social media, policy papers and other outlets.

Professor Kris Verheyen and Professor Pascal Boeckx are the only scientists of Ghent University on this list. Since the start of their career, they both work hard to study and have an impact on our changing climate.

Recent projects

The great importance of small woods

The research group Forest & Nature Lab, led by professor Kris Verheyen and Pieter De Frenne, has discovered that we should certainly not underestimate the contribution of small areas of woodland.

Bosfragmenten naast akkers bieden een habitat voor bijen en zweefvliegen.

Large forests are not the only woodland to contribute to combatting climate change. In fact, small woods are important too, and far more than we once believed.

Small areas of woodland actually take in proportionately more carbon than their larger relations. This means it is really important to take care of such areas, and plant more of them.

Climate tower in the Congo Basin forest

Congo klimaattoren 1

Together with colleagues from Ghent and Congo, Professor Pascal Boeckx built the first climate tower ever in the Congo Basin rainforest.

For 20 years, the tower will implement the very first accurate and continuous monitoring of atmosphere-ecosystem exchange of greenhouse gasses in the Congo Basin forest. In short, the fluxes of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and water vapour are continuously measured with the eddy covariance technique.

Scientists fear that the African rainforest is suffering the same problems as the South American Amazon forest, where CO2 capture is dropping to an alarming level. This causes global warming to occur even faster than now.

The tower was realized with Belgian and European financial support.

More info