Meteorology awards for Reading research trio
08 June 2022
Three University of Reading researchers who are investigating natural hazards and how they are influenced by climate change have received awards from the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS).
Dr Claudia Di Napoli and Professor Hannah Cloke were jointly awarded the Geoscience Data Journal Editor’s Award for quality published research, while PhD student Chloe Brimicombe won the Malcolm Walker Award for outstanding early-career scientists.
The RMetS Awards and Prizes 2021 winners were announced on Wednesday 8 June, recognising people and teams who have made exceptional contributions relating to weather, climate and associated disciplines.
The high-profile awards date back to 1901 and previous winners include a long list of current and former Reading scientists. They include Dame Julia Slingo, a visiting professor at Reading and former Met Office Chief Scientist, and Professor Sue Grimmond, who became the first woman to win the Symons Gold Medal last year.
Geoscience Data Journal Editor's Award - Dr Claudia Di Napoli and Professor Hannah L. Cloke OBE, FRMetS
Dr Di Napoli and Professor Cloke were awarded for work creating ERA5-HEAT – a unique dataset of historic global temperatures and how they impact people’s health.
The published paper on ERA5-HEAT was led by Dr Di Napoli and carried out alongside colleagues at ECMWF.
The dataset is freely available to scientists and policymakers, connecting research to real-world policy and decisions.
ERA5-HEAT has helped shed light on the connection between heat stress and human deaths in Europe, the impact of heat on pedestrians in Brazil, and bike-share use across multiple locations worldwide.
The research team’s acceptance message read: “Research at the interface between climate and health sciences has traditionally relied on weather station records, thus suffering from limits in temporal and spatial coverage as well as data accessibility.
“As an open-access, globe-wide dataset, ERA5-HEAT overcomes these limitations and puts at disposal terabytes of data from 1979 to almost real-time, allowing new research paths to be explored.”
The Malcolm Walker Award – Chloe Brimicombe
Ms Brimicombe received the award for her research into the forecasting and impacts of heatwaves. She is based at the University’s Walker Institute and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).
Her research includes heatwave health hazard forecasting and the development of the Thermofeel heat stress software at ECMWF, which is now implemented in its meteorological forecasting systems.
RMetS judges commented on Ms Brimicombe’s ability to communicate her research and climate change risks passionately and knowledgeably to the public, media, schools, policy and decision makers, and the academic community.
Ms Brimicombe said: “I hope that my winning this award can encourage other ECRs now and in the future to persevere with researching and communicating an area they are passionate about and show that whoever you are, your research can make a difference, however big or small.
“I will continue to do research that drives real-world change to tackle the climate emergency. And it is my hope by talking about climate change and making the science accessible that, together as a world, we can make talking into justice-based actions.”
Read more about Reading’s winners on the RMetS Awards and Prizes website.