Climate change at the local scale

UPDATE: The presentation from the meeting is now here (pdf): SFWI_pres_for_sharing.

I have tried to list all the different people and websites that provided material for this presentation, but if I have forgotten anyone, please do let me know and I will be more than happy to add an acknowledgement. 

Normally I work on the continental or hemispheric scale, concentrating on Greenland and the Arctic. Next week, I have a new challenge, to go much more local than that, to the country and even county scale.

I have been asked by the Staffordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes to give a talk on Climate Change next week. A rather broad subject!

The WI is a very long-standing and well-established institution in the UK and my mother, (who is of course the one who roped me in to it) has been a member since I was tiny wee thing. Outside the UK the WI are probably mostly known from the very successful film Calendar Girls.

These inspiring women have showed themselves to be a formidable lobbying force over the years and subjects as diverse as bees and pesticides to care for people with dementia and the plastic bag tax. Years ago, I recall my mother coming home from a WI meeting and talking about the ozone hole, one of the earliest organisations to start talking about it, so it is not a particular surprise they now have a focus on climate change. They now have a climate change ambassadors programme.

Some of the many successful WI campaigners over the years from

Each area has to organise themselves and decide what they would like to do as part of this, so as partly a kick off to that process and as part of their science committee activities (It’s not all Jam and Jerusalem at the WI these days apparently) I will be presenting in Stafford at the county council chambers on the 6th July 1.30-3.30pm.

The Staffordshire County Council chambers

As part of the programme, Staffordshire County Council will also be sending a representative to talk about how the County is responding both in terms of managing impacts and reducing emissions towards achieving the UK’s targets.

It’s going to be interesting talking about climate change both observed and projected in the UK, happily, the UK Met Office is a world leader in this and the very friendly Mark McCarthy has provided me with a bunch of data to distil down and prepare some visualisations from (see graph below for a quick and dirty look at some data)

I also plan to talk about the basic science of climate change, how it has developed, how it is observed and how we make projections and what we expect for the UK and Europe over the next decades to centuries. I have called it questions and answers since I hope that people will ask questions as we go through. From talking to people everyday, it’s clear there are a lot of questions people have about climate change and the impacts and the sciense. I also hope to talk about some of the options we have for tackling emissions and how to deal with the impacts. Copenhagen is a great case study for both of these elements. This is quite a lot for a short hour or so talk, but let’s see how we get on!

A quick and dirty plot of avergae observed temperatures in Staffordshire (annual and seasonal means 1910 – 2015/2016) with thanks to UK Met Office and Mark McCarthy for providing the data.

It’s open to the public so if you happen to be at a loose end on a Wednesday afternoon and fancy it, I believe you can get tickets via the following or telephone 01785 223838.

In the mean time, should any members of the WI or indeed other Staffordshire residents who happen to be reading this, have any questions or ideas that they would like addressed specifically, please do feel free to leave a comment or ask me on twitter.



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