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'Spaces of Experience and Horizons of Expectation': Extreme weather in the UK, past, present and future

This is a three year study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The research uses historical records and oral history approaches to explore how people have understood, been affected by and have responded to climate variability and extreme events through time. 

Specifically we are exploring how and why particular events become inscribed into the cultural fabric of communities and how they have contributed to community change in historical and cultural contexts.

Flood marks at Skelton, 2000 © Neil Macdonald
There is growing concern over the impacts of inter-annual climate variability and anomalous and ‘extreme’ weather events such as droughts, floods, storm events and unusually high or low temperatures.



Key aims and objectives

The project will use case study based archival research and oral history interviews in order to:

  1. develop a set of local and regional climate histories in order to identify periods of unusual weather and extreme events
  2. investigate the scale of impact and the nature of human responses to these events and the way in which time and place specific contexts may have influenced both impact and response
  3. examine how individual and community responses to climate variability, including the recording and recollection of events, have changed over the course of recent centuries and are still changing
  4. explore how social memory of and adaptations to past events may have influenced perceptions of relative resilience and vulnerability.

Research team

  • Georgina Endfield (University of Nottingham)
  • Lucy Veale (University of Nottingham
  • Sarah Davies (Aberystwyth University)
  • Cerys Jones (Aberystwyth University
  • Marie-Jeanne Royer (Aberystwyth University)
  • Simon Naylor (University of Glasgow)
  • Neil Macdonald (University of Liverpool)
  • James Bowen (University of Liverpool)

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Here you'll find more information about each member of the research team and our non-academic project partner organisations.


On these pages you can read about our research aims and objectives, methods, case study regions and the TEMPEST database.


This is the place to explore extreme weather events, historical and contemporary. You'll also find links to other weather websites.


Collaborating institutions

Aberystwyth University logo
 Glasgow University logo
 University of Liverpool logo

Weather Extremes

The University of Nottingham
School of Geography, Sir Clive Granger Building
University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 95 15731