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WeatherLive – Full programme announced

8 October 2020

The final speaker has been announced for the virtual WeatherLive: Past, Present and Future event hosted by the Royal Meteorological Society, on Saturday 17 October. Professor Ted Shepherd, Grantham Professor of Climate Science, University of Reading, will present on ‘Understanding the links between extreme weather and climate change’, a not to be missed session for anyone interested in communicating and understanding the effects of climate change.

Ted is a specialist in large-scale atmospheric dynamics and circulation and its role in climate change, including extreme events. Recently he has been pioneering a storyline approach to representing the uncertainty in physical aspects of climate change and is increasingly interested in interdisciplinary aspects of climate change. 

Climate change can be measured in changes in weather statistics, but is experienced as changes in extreme weather events, with the increasing intensity of heatwaves and wildfires being perhaps the most prominent examples. Understanding the connection between climate change and changes in extreme weather is important for risk assessment, but also for communication, because people relate much better to events than to statistics. Events tell a story, invoke emotions, and leave a memory. Neuroscience has shown that these elements are necessary for human decision-making. The scientific challenge is that every extreme event has unique characteristics, which are invariably important for its impacts, and are part of the story of the event. How, then, can we talk about climate change, which is inherently a statistical concept, in terms of changes in extreme weather events? This is the question Ted will address in this talk.

WeatherLive is an annual highlight in the Society’s calendar and extra special this year as we celebrate our 170th anniversary. Professor Liz Bentley, Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society will give a short overview on the rich history of the Society to open the event.

Dr Chris Brierley, Associate Professor of Climate Science at the University College London will give the first presentation on ‘Changing Climate: Scientific Understanding and Human Impact’. The climate is never static and has changed throughout history. The birth of meteorology as a science led to a fundamental shift in the relationship between humans and climate events; predominantly through understanding, but latterly through prediction. Chris will chart some key developments in climate science, whilst highlighting the contribution of the Royal Meteorological Society. He will conclude by looking ahead to the future of climate, its science and the role of the Royal Meteorological Society in enabling that scientific development.

Tyler Roys, a Meteorologist at AccuWeather, specialising in European Forecasting, will present on ‘The Evolution of Communicating the Modern Forecast’. Tyler will talk about how the advancement of weather data and technology over the last three centuries have shaped the communication of weather forecasts today.

All three talks will be followed by a panel discussion where audience members will be invited to contribute and ask questions via the virtual platform.

The event will end with the announcement of the winners from the Weather and Young Photographer of the Year 2020 competition in association with AccuWeather.

If you haven’t booked yet, then make sure you don’t miss out on the celebrations at this unique weather and climate event on Saturday 17 October 2020 1-4pm (BST). Registrations close at 12pm on Friday 16 October.

To find out more and book your ticket, please click here