Maiden SPMS School Level Seminar Dubbed “Afternoons With SPMS”

The School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS) had its maiden School level seminar dubbed 'Afternoons with SPMS'.  This is a new and exciting multidisciplinary seminar series organised by SPMS. The seminars will discuss relevant topics and are intended to foster interdepartmental and industry collaborations in research. The maiden seminar, which was held virtually via Zoom on April 23, 2021, was on the theme: “Climate Change, a Moral and Developmental Challenge: The Need for Modelling and Future Projections”. It was delivered by Dr. Nana Ama Browne Klutse, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics. The panelists were Dr. Allison Felix Hughes from the Department of Physics, Dr. Edward Kofi Ackom from the Department of Earth Science, and Dr. Joseph Kojo Ansong from the Department of Mathematics. The seminar attracted about seventy (70) participants including faculty members, staff and students from different units of the University. The programme was moderated by Dr. Ralph Agyei Twum from the Department of Mathematics.

Prof. Sandow Mark Yidana, Dean (SPMS)

In his opening remarks, the Dean of the School and Chairman of the programme, Professor Mark Sandow Yidana said the objectives of the seminars are to provide faculty members the platform to showcase their research activities, increase the number of publications produced, and win more research grants. Faculty members will also be able to work with industry to find solutions to the nation’s challenges. 

Prof. Daniel Kwadwo Asiedu, Provost (CBAS)

The Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS) Prof. Daniel Kwadwo Asiedu commended the School for the initiative and urged the organisers to find a more suitable time for the seminars to encourage more participation. 


Dr. Nana Ama Browne Klutse, Senior Lecturer (Department of Physics)


Delivering her presentation, Dr. Nana Ama Browne Klutse, who is also the Lead Author of Inter-Governmental Panel of Climate Change Working Group I (IPCC-WGI), said climate change occurs when there is a significant shift in the mean state and event frequency of the atmosphere. She stated that dating back from 1860 to the present, evidence from observed air temperature shows that the climate of the earth has changed significantly. According to her, all humans are responsible for climate change. The world population has been growing rapidly, and more individuals are making use of more resources ranging from land use, livestock rearing, waste incineration, usage of vehicles, airplanes, and trains, among others. These activities predominantly produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane into the atmosphere. In recent years, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, for instance, have shot up to higher levels than in the last 400 years.

Interestingly, there is an ethical dilemma: individuals whose actions have more effect on climate change are the ones affected less; while those who contribute less to climate change are the ones witnessing the greatest impact of it. She stated further that humanity has arrived at a historical crossroad where the need for building infrastructure is directly linked to clearing trees which help reduce gases from the atmosphere. Again, the need for traveling with vehicles, airplanes and trains is directly linked to the burning of fossil fuel. 

Dr. Klutse was of the view that it has become imperative to mitigate greenhouse emission to reduce climate change. According to her, one way of doing this is for science to provide reliable bases for climate and environmental protection policy. Additionally, there is the need to psychologically adapt to the changes, and to build infrastructure and systems to withstand the expected outcomes in the event of natural disasters such as floods, droughts, and heatwaves. 

During the panel discussion, it was observed that higher temperatures and pollutants have led to allergies and other respiratory diseases. The impact of climate change, therefore, has a lot to do with the air we breathe into our lungs as humans. Reference was made to the water sector, and how issues resulting from climate change border predominantly on flooding. It was pointed out that climate modelling is essential in forecasting preparations that need to be made to mitigate the impact of flooding.


Dr. Allison Felix Hughes

Dr. Edward Kofi Ackom

Dr. Joseph Kojo Ansong


In his closing remarks, the Dean encouraged faculty members undertaking research in climate change and related areas, to collaborate and do further research work on the topic. He was grateful to the organisers of the seminar for putting the programme together. 


Ms. Mawuena Abortta, School Administrator (SPMS)        Dr. Ralph Agyei Twum (Moderator)