It seems that extreme weather events are hitting the headlines more and more often. However, while reports suggest that climate change will increase both the frequency and the impact of extreme weather events, they have occurred throughout history.
Researchers at the Universities of Nottingham, Aberystwyth, Glasgow and Liverpool have been looking at weather extremes in the past, present and future. Using archival, library and oral history research, they produced TEMPEST, a freely accessible database which charts extreme weather events in the UK back to the 1700s. TEMPEST was informed by a variety of historic materials including postcards, letters, farmers’ diaries, newspapers and meteorological records, and will eventually include details of thousands of extreme weather events in the UK.
Working closely with the research team, we have produced a set of educational resources appropriate for both primary and secondary level, including a podcast with the lead researcher for the project, Professor Georgina Endfield. The resources use TEMPEST to help students learn about weather and climate, and are a good example of how research can be used in the classroom. Professor Endfield explained that the team “focused on drawing on the very rich archives across the UK to explore how people have recorded extreme weather, how they’ve been affected by it and how they respond to it.”
The past can be an indicator of the future and this research, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, helps to give a long term perspective on contemporary extreme weather issues.
Take a look at our extreme weather resources.
Find out more about TEMPEST.
Browse our catalogue of award-winning resources to enhance geographical learning.
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