University of Reading

Connecting communities with climate change

New modelling work on the interaction between the Earth’s climate and local weather systems, enabling the development of risk assessment, community preparedness and action to tackle climate change.

The University of Reading’s Department of Meteorology and Department of Geography & Environmental Science sits at the heart of the institution’s cross-disciplinary work on climate impacts and adaptation, which spans work in agriculture, ecology, built environment, the social sciences, business and the arts.

Reading is a global centre for excellence for climate and weather, with more than 300 researchers and PhD students. Research at the university has shown how climate change amplifies local rainfall, intensifying flooding in some regions and droughts in others. It has shown how pollution from cars and factories can affect rainfall and water supplies thousands of miles away. Reading scientists have studied how the climate in cities affects people’s health and should influence planning decisions.

Experts from the university work with governments, international organisations and local communities to improve understanding around weather and make use of climate science. The university contributes to national risk assessment and adaptation policies in the UK and Europe; provides early warning for humanitarian action, rainfall and drought estimates in Africa and Asia; provides forecasts for the renewable energy industry; and is a world-leader in contributing to international assessments and UN reports. By working with schools, community groups and the media, Reading academics are helping people understand climate change through citizen science and public engagement in art, music, fashion and public debate.