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Kavli lecture 2018 - Our changing climate: learning from the past to inform future choices


The Kavli Lecture is given by Professor Ed Hawkins. 

The long hot, dry summer of 2018 was a reminder that our society is vulnerable to unusual weather, through risks to human health, aging infrastructure, transport disruption and lower crop production.

Such heatwaves are now hotter than in the past because the planet has warmed over the past century, largely due to human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases. Other consequences of a warming world include extreme rainfall events becoming more frequent and rising sea levels as the oceans expand and the glaciers melt.

This lecture will outline how our climate has already changed and how volunteer ‘citizen scientists’ are helping us improve our understanding of extreme weather by recovering millions of lost historical weather observations that were taken over a century ago. Further changes to our weather and climate are inevitable, but it is our collective choices that will define what happens next.

Professor Edward Hawkins was awarded the Kavli Medal and Lecture 2018 for his significant contributions to understanding and quantifying natural climate variability and long-term climate change, and for actively communicating climate science and its various implications with broad audiences. 

He is a climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading and a Lead Author for the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report and was awarded the Royal Meteorological Society’s Climate Science Communication Prize in 2017. He leads the citizen science project to recover lost weather observations taken over a century ago.

The lecture will be webcast live and the video recording will be available shortly after the event. 

For all enquiries, please contact the Events team.

Attending the event

  • Free to attend
  • No registration required
  • Doors open from 18:00, and seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Live subtitles will be available
  • British Sign Language interpretation will be available on request. Please let the Events team know if you plan to attend at least two weeks before the event
  • This event may be popular, and entry cannot be guaranteed
  • Travel and accessibility information