Following the publication over fifty years ago of Climate and the British Scene by Professor Gordon Manley, leading climatologist John Kington here presents subsequent developments and discoveries made in the study of the British Isles climate and weather.
This volume offers a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the diverse climate of the British Isles. Examining the ways in which regional climates evolve from the interplay of meteorological conditions and geography, the author analyses the climatic characteristics and provides a historical overview of the changing weather patterns.
by Stephen Mott in United Kingdom
Climate and Weather - I looked up various years from my childhood and reminisced. But... is this what the NN series is supposed to be about? I am slightly disappointed with Climate and Weather. I had hoped for more in depth analysis of what happens season to season and looking at trends. It is summarised far too much, I think. It would have been useful to have some sectional diagrams through a cold front, warm front and especially a back-bent occlusion. What does that look like in a section? How do the air masses relate spatially? While it is fascinating to see synoptic charts of the weather the Spanish Armada faced, why is the most recent 20th C synoptic chart used that of January 1953? What about June 1976 - the year of the long drought, or October 1987, the year of the worst gales? I do not think the choice of photographs is terribly illuminating: could someone please tell me what the two very similar photos of Putney Heath in 1895 (figs 90 and 91, page 383) are meant to show. Surely just one of them would be sufficient?
Chapter 9 and the whole of Part 2 could have been conflated and reduced and allowed space for looking in greater detail at human impact on the climate and weather. These reads like a compilation of somebody's weather notes and as such it is repetitive and somewhat dull. The Editors' preface remarks that "..reflects circumstances that will have affected our fauna and flora in times past". What would be nice to know is how these climatic and weather circumstances affected our flora and fauna and what the current trends in our climate might imply for our natural history. An opportunity missed. I don't have access to the learned journals which might contain this stuff, (I'm a geologist by training) so a digest of it would have been welcome. Sadly, the book comes over as a rather hurried compilation of detail. I suppose that is a useful thing to have, but has the book done enough to "present results of modern scientific research"? (Collins NN aim for the series.) I leave it to others to put a differing view forward on that and the other points I have raised.
This is not the best New Naturalist to have been published; it compares very poorly with such as "Bird migration" and it comes no where near the quality of the much earlier volume by Gordon Manley "Climate and the British Scene". A very disappointing book in many ways.
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