Accessibility navigation

Combining instrumental data rescue techniques with meteorological metrology to develop applied historical climatological analyses

Burt, S. ORCID: (2021) Combining instrumental data rescue techniques with meteorological metrology to develop applied historical climatological analyses. PhD thesis, University of Reading

[img] Text - Thesis
· Restricted to Repository staff only until 5 May 2024.

[img] Text - Thesis
· Restricted to Repository staff only

[img] Text - Thesis Deposit Form
· Restricted to Repository staff only


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00104769


The linking theme within this thesis is meteorological data rescue, whereby records of past weather and climate in handwritten manuscript or published form are digitised and made available to the wider research community, thereby adding to our knowledge of past weather and climate. Specifically, the hourly observational record from the Ben Nevis Summit Observatory (1883-1904) and the daily climatological series from the Radcliffe Observatory in Oxford (since 1772) and Durham University Observatory (since 1841) are examined in detail – the records from Oxford and Durham comprising respectively the longest and second-longest single-site temperature and rainfall series in England. Both records have been affected to a minor extent by urban growth, and one paper explains ‘picking apart’ the signal of Oxford’s urban heat island from observed background climate warming during the last 150 years. Oxford’s non-instrumental records have also been used to publish a unique near-200 year record of thunderstorm occurrence in the city, while the recentlypublished twice-daily barometric pressure series from Durham (1843-1960) — by far the longest such record in northern England — fills a large spatial and temporal gap in reanalysis source data, and will lead to improvements in atmospheric circulation analyses. The validity of the dataset was investigated using a reanalysis dataset as a novel underpinning benchmark to identify errors in the digitised series. Throughout the published works included within this thesis, the importance of both instrumental and non-instrumental metrology and metadata in assembling, analysing and publishing the data series are emphasised; specific research relating to the performance of air temperature sensors and the calibration of meteorological instruments is described. Finally, data rescue and modern synoptic analyses are combined to prepare original case studies of significant climatological events, with particular emphasis on extremes of atmospheric pressure over the North Atlantic and the British and Irish Isles within the last 200 years. Examples of the latter are presented, from a body of work now spanning almost 40 years. Individually and in total, published works included in this thesis contribute to society’s collective body of knowledge on, and thus improved understanding of, past and present weather and climate within the British and Irish Isles and north-west Europe.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Hawkins, E.
Thesis/Report Department:Department of Meteorology
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:104769

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation