World Met Day - How Reading’s experts are helping the world
22 March 2023
World Meteorological Day takes place every year on March 23. This year, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is marking its 150th anniversary. To celebrate, the University of Reading is highlighting its contributions to our understanding of climate change in the past, the present and the future.
The dream team
Set up in 2006 to deliver a better understanding of climate change, its impacts, and its consequences on people’s lives, the Walker Institute was formed to bring together the range of climate expertise that exists at Reading. Many of its members have represented the University at CoP events across the globe over the past three decades. The Institute shares its climate knowledge as a regional hub of the World Climate Research Programme, a scheme sponsored by the World Meteorological Organisation.
With a primary focus on Africa, Asia, and the Americas, recent Walker projects include helping smallholder farmers prepare for extreme weather in Bangladesh, developing climate risk assessments in Iraq, and investigating under-researched crops in Uganda to improve food security.
Partnering for the planet
Collaboration is at the heart of the University of Reading’s mission and that extends to its work on climate change. Through its #PlanetPartners programme, the University is sharing its climate expertise with local and global communities so they can prepare now for an uncertain future.
This ranges from Reading’s climate experts authoring reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2021 (which warned world leaders that the damaging effects of climate change are already being seen across the globe), to launching a Climate Ambassador programme which connects climate experts with children in classrooms up and down the UK, to hosting events at Reading Climate Festival, which aims to inspire local people to think about climate action in their community.
It’s not just scientific climate research that takes place at Reading. At the University’s Centre for Climate and Justice, Law academics with expertise in the problems presented by climate change are given a platform to share their knowledge with the world.
The Centre’s aim is to use the range of climate expertise at the University of Reading to develop climate solutions that protect and benefit the world’s poorest people, who are the most vulnerable to climate change. By working with these groups, and those who speak for them, the Centre is able to investigate overlooked and under-examined problems of climate and justice.
This is part two of a series of articles showing how the University of Reading has contributed to advancements in understanding climate change in the past, present and future. Check out part one here and part three tomorrow in the build-up to World Met Day on Thursday, 23 March.