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dry weather in the UK – the science of droughts

The SMC has had several media enquiries on the current dry weather situation and whether we are in a drought in the UK. We along with UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) brought together a panel of scientists who answered some of journalists’ questions relating to this topic.

There was no new data to present at this briefing, and it was instead for journalists interested in hearing about the science of hydrology. During the Q&A, the panel discussed aspects such as:

  • What is the definition of a drought?
  • The complexities of the UK hydrology system.
  • Importance of water to agriculture.
  • The impact of climate change on the current dry weather and future UK droughts


Speakers included:

Mr Jamie Hannaford, Principal Hydrologist, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH)

Professor Jerry Knox, Professor of Agricultural Water Management, Centre for Water, Environment and Development, Cranfield University

Professor Nigel Arnell, Professor of Climate System Science, University of Reading

Dr Joe Osborne, Industry Consultancy Manager, Met Office

Prof Liz Bentley, chief executive, Royal Meteorological Society, and a Professor of Meteorology at the University of Reading

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