Author Archives: Met Department

Responding to the threat of hazardous pollutant releases in cities

By Denise Hertwig High population density and restricted evacuation options make cities particularly vulnerable to threats posed by air-borne contaminants released into the atmosphere through industrial accidents or terrorist attacks. In order to issue evacuation or sheltering advice to the … Continue reading

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Our stormy winter – records continue to tumble

By meteorological convention, ‘winter’ consists of the calendar months of December, January and February. Few will regret the passing of the ‘climatological’ winter of 2013/14, as records continued to tumble right up until the last day … Wettest February on … Continue reading

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It’s official – now Reading’s wettest winter on record

With 5.5 mm of rain falling in the 24 hours to 9 a.m. today (18 February), measurements made by Mike Stroud at the University’s weather station at Whiteknights show that 348 mm of rain has fallen there this winter so … Continue reading

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Atlantic overturning circulation in decline

Major currents in the North Atlantic Ocean seem to be slowing down. The findings show that a recently measured slowdown of 10-15% may be part of larger decline that began in the 1990s and shows no sign of stopping yet. This … Continue reading

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Wettest January on the University’s 106-year weather record

This January has been the wettest on the University’s long meteorological record. Weather observations began at the London Road site in 1908, with a move to Whiteknights in 1968. Records from the Atmospheric Observatory on the Whiteknights campus show that, … Continue reading

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Are we heading for another ‘Maunder minimum’?

Recent research from Mike Lockwood and team has evaluated the current decline in solar activity (which began in 1985) by comparing with past behaviour of the Sun deduced from cosmogenic isotopes found in ice sheets and tree trunks. The current … Continue reading

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Dame Professor Julia Slingo named by Science Council as one of the UK’s ‘Top 100 scientists’

The Science Council has today released a list of the 100 leading practising scientists in the United Kingdom, to challenge the UK’s narrow and old-fashioned view of science and to highlight a collective blind spot in the approach of government, … Continue reading

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A soggy start to 2014 …

With the worst of the Christmas rains now behind us, and some drier and calmer weather being forecast for the next few days, it is interesting to take stock of the rainfall during the past four weeks as measured by … Continue reading

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Artificially cooling the planet could cause climate chaos

Plans to reverse the effects of global warming by injecting reflective particles into the stratosphere which would mimic the impact of large, tropical volcanic eruptions could have a catastrophic impact on some of the most fragile ecosystems on earth, according … Continue reading

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How does science influence policy development in Westminster?

Ever wondered how politicians and civil servants use science to make policy decisions? Dr Jonny Day spent a week in Westminster on the Royal Society Pairing Scheme to find out. The week started with a tour of Westminster followed by … Continue reading

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