Aerial view of flooding in fields around Burton Joyce, 1936 © University of Nottingham Manuscripts and Special Collections
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. While social and economic systems have generally evolved to accommodate some deviations from 'normal' weather conditions, this is rarely true of extremes. For this reason, such events can have the greatest and most immediate social and economic impact of all climate changes. See the weather extremes page for more details.
The construction of regionally specific climatic histories and historical extreme weather events, and investigations of the memories of and social responses to these events are crucial for understanding the nature of the events that might take place in the future. Based on a series of case study areas, these histories will also enable us to assess how different communities in different contexts might be affected by, might comprehend and respond to future events as both climate and communities change.
The main output from the project will be a public database of extreme weather events in the UK, dating back to c. 1700. The database will include the facility for readers to add their memories and experiences of extreme weather events. Please see our TEMPEST database page for more details.
Other outputs will include educational resources, a touring public exhibition and a variety of published materials and conference presentations.
Although official meteorological observations rarely extend back beyond the mid-nineteenth century, recent scholarship has established the potential of a wide variety of historical documents for the reconstruction of historical climate variability. These include:
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