University of St Andrews

DGSD scientist comments on extreme winter weather

Wednesday 10 September 2014

William Austin, Reader in the Department of Geography & Sustainable Development, provides comment and a Scottish perspective in today’s (10th September 2014) edition of The Herald.

The Herald article Scientists warn: Be prepared for winter extremes highlights new research that suggests extreme winters are becoming more common and that they can be explained by the operation of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The work, published in the International Journal of Climatology, drew invited comment from Dr Austin who has worked on numerical models that simulate the effect of extreme NAO behaviour on Scottish sea lochs (fjords) and whose research group has worked on the reconstruction of palaeoclimate records that appear to respond to large scale reorganization of the NAO over the last millennium.

Commenting on the timely connection to this semester’s Department of Geography & Sustainable Development honours module (Oceans and Climate), Dr Austin said “I look forward to reading student responses to this new journal article and I plan to ask our students to reproduce a short newspaper article on the topic for my own reading!”