Watering the garden in April – how unusual is this?

Gardeners among the readership of this blog may already be watering their seeds in an attempt to ensure germination and early growth, and may be wondering how common this activity is (over the years) given the fact that spring is only halfway sprung and the past winter was not that dry overall. One observation carried … Continue reading “Watering the garden in April – how unusual is this?”

Spilling the beans on climate change

By Hannah Parker Geography students studying ‘Resilience for Sustainable Development’ had a change from their normal lecture format recently, and instead played a game. This wasn’t just for fun though, as ‘serious gaming’ is becoming a popular way of sharing complex information with a range of potential users and giving them opportunity to discuss its … Continue reading “Spilling the beans on climate change”

A career in environmental science research … ?

The SCENARIO NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) at the Universities of Reading and Surrey is advertising 12-16 fully funded PhD studentships starting in September 2015.  SCENARIO seeks to attract high-quality graduates from science, mathematics and engineering degrees.  For a full list of available PhD projects and details on how to apply, please visit our website: … Continue reading “A career in environmental science research … ?”

Solar Stormwatch

By Luke Barnard Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are eruptions of coronal plasma and magnetic flux from the Sun’s corona, out into interplanetary space. CMEs are widely recognised as being a main driver of space weather and those CMEs that travel on a trajectory that intersects Earth’s orbit can be highly “geo-effective”, potentially generating geomagnetic storms … Continue reading “Solar Stormwatch”

Environmental Physics 2014 video competition results

By Matt Owens Yesterday (Wednesday 26 November) was the screening event for the Environmental Physics 2014 video competition, in which we asked GCSE and A-level students to put together a one minute video describing an aspect of the physics of light.  The topic was chosen in support of UNESCO’s upcoming international year of light event. … Continue reading “Environmental Physics 2014 video competition results”

The end of the rainbow … an open letter to the climate science community

An open letter to the climate science community By Ed Hawkins, Doug McNeall, David Stephenson, Jonny Williams & Dave Carlson Dear colleagues, This is a heartfelt plea. A plea to you all to help rid climate science of colour scales that can distort, mislead and confuse. Colour scales that are often illegible to those who are … Continue reading “The end of the rainbow … an open letter to the climate science community”

Space weather – sunspot AR2192

By Simon Thomas Friday 24 October 2014 – updated 30 October 2014 Sunspots are areas on the Sun which appear dark in contrast to the solar disk. They are associated with complex magnetic fields which inhibit convection and are therefore not as hot as the surroundings (sunspots are typically 3000-4500 K compared to the surrounding … Continue reading “Space weather – sunspot AR2192”

An analogue forecast for winter 2014/15 in Reading

By Roger Brugge Reluctant as I am to do long-range predictions, analysis of Reading data for the period 1961-2010 suggests the following: Rainfall – 2014 has given us a dry September and (already) a wet October. Let’s assume that overall autumn rainfall is close to normal. After an autumn with normal rainfall the likelihood of winter … Continue reading “An analogue forecast for winter 2014/15 in Reading”

The ozone layer shows first signs of recovery, but …

By Michaela I. Hegglin Just over two weeks ago, the United Nations (UN) held a press conference in New York to announce the release of the Assessment for Decision Makers (ADM), a summary document of the WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014. The report is the work of a UN panel of 300 scientists from … Continue reading “The ozone layer shows first signs of recovery, but …”