Category Archives: Environmental hazards

Stronger turbulence causes a stir

By Paul Williams and Luke Storer Our new study calculating that climate change will strengthen aviation turbulence has caused a stir on social media. Most of the online comments about the article have been positive – albeit expressing a little anxiety at the … Continue reading

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Heat waves of the past decade in Chinese mega-cities: a quick review

By Ting Sun Although cities are often already warmer than their rural surroundings (the well-known “urban heat island” effect), heat waves (HWs), excessively hot periods, will not only enhance the urban and rural temperatures but also exacerbate the contrast between … Continue reading

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The Role of Synoptic Meteorology on UK Air Pollution

By Chris Webber In the past year the issue of air pollution within the UK has been elevated, driven by the loss of life that it causes (in 2013 > 500,000 years of UK lives lost due to air pollution … Continue reading

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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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Why has there been a rapid increase in heat-related extremes in Western Europe since the mid-1990s?

By Buwen Dong In the last few decades, Europe has warmed not only faster than the global average, but also faster than expected from anthropogenic greenhouse gas increases (van Oldenborgh et al., 2009). With the warming, Europe experienced record-breaking heat … Continue reading

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Nice weather, atmospheric blocking and forecasts

By Oscar Martinez-Alvarado With the beginning of spring (either the ‘meteorological’ spring on 1 March or the ‘astronomical’ spring on 20 March, as the Met Office explains here), the UK and indeed the whole Northern Hemisphere start experiencing warmer weather. The … Continue reading

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Can the use of CCTV images improve urban flooding forecasts?

By Sanita Vetra-Carvalho Urban flooding can result from intense rainfall, flash floods, coastal floods or river floods, the same as in rural areas. However, in cities, unlike in rural areas, there is very little open soil available for water storage … Continue reading

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Double, double, toil and trouble

By Geoff Wadge Iceland has been forcing itself on our consciousness in recent years, culminating recently in the humiliation of the English football team. There may be another unpleasant surprise up Iceland’s sleeve. Since 2010 there have been three volcanic … Continue reading

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UK drought monitoring and forecasting

By Laura Baker After what feels like a pretty wet start to the year, it may seem strange to be talking about drought (although admittedly the warm weather over the last couple of weeks should help!). But in spring 2012, … Continue reading

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A month’s worth of rain …

By Ben Harvey Phrases like a month’s worth of rain fell in just one day are often seen in media reports of extreme precipitation. But what does this statistic actually mean? How rare is it to see a month’s worth … Continue reading

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