RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017

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69 Digital Data: Opening up the Weather Archive
Affiliation Geo: Geography and Environment
Convenor(s) Georgina Endfield (The University of Liverpool, UK)
Lucy Veale (The University of Liverpool, UK)
Sarah Davies (Aberystwyth University, UK)
Chair(s) Simon Naylor (University of Glasgow, UK)
Timetable Wednesday 30 August 2017, Session 3 (14:40 - 16:20)
Room RGS-IBG Education Centre
Session abstract Although people have long been interested in the history of weather, present concern over current and future weather and climate has triggered a new level of interest in past weather events and their impacts. This interest, alongside the development of digital humanities research methods has resulted in a rapid growth in the number of online databases relating to historic weather and climate around the world.

This plenary session brings together researchers working on weather and climate history, existing or potential end users of research databases, and custodians of manuscript weather data, to critically evaluate the construction, management, application, and implications of digital weather data. Emphasis will be placed on thinking about the future of these tools and how we can improve connections between them, both technical and geographical.

The session will also include a live demonstration of the TEMPEST database (Tracking Extremes of Meteorological Phenomena in Extent across Space and Time). TEMPEST’s c. 20,000 records are drawn from primary research into original documentary sources held in archives around the UK and offer personalised and geo-referenced insights into the relationship between society and extreme weather in the UK spanning a period of over 400 years. Audience members will be encouraged to send in live queries relating to historical extreme weather events via twitter, and the discussion will also be of interest to researchers working on databases of other kinds.
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2017@rgs.org
TEMPEST: Tracking Extremes of Meteorological Phenomena in Extent across Space and Time
Lucy Veale (The University of Liverpool, UK)
Georgina Endfield (The University of Liverpool, UK)
Sarah Davies (Aberystwyth University, UK)
Georgina, Lucy and Sarah will introduce their research into extreme weather events in the UK, focusing on the creation of the TEMPEST database. Using TEMPEST as an example, they will pose a series of questions to the panel and audience relating to source material, public and policy engagement with digital research tools, connectivity between digital outputs, and their sustainability and legacy.
Data rescue, visualisation and the power of crowd sourcing
Philip Brohan (Met Office Hadley Centre, UK)
Philip will demonstrate the powers of historical climate data visualization, created by combining and mapping thousands of digital pressure measurements from around the world. He will also outline the importance of rescuing and digitizing historical climate data, and the possibilities of engaging with the public and using crowd sourced research power.
Policy applications for historic weather data
Clive Walmsley (Natural Resources Wales, UK)
Clive will reflect on his experiences of working in partnership with academics on research projects and the applications he sees for TEMPEST and other historical weather and climate databases in relation both to the management of the environment and to public engagement with environmental management issues.
Curating weather histories
Kathryn Summerwill (University of Nottingham, UK)
Hayley Cotterill (University of Nottingham, UK)
As archival practitioners, Kathryn and Hayley will talk about their experiences of curating and displaying manuscript weather histories within a public exhibition, as well as reflecting on the implications of digital research resources for the physical archive, and on academic and public interest in weather and climate for cataloguing and collecting practice.