Help Scientists Understand Nature From Your Home

Published on March 30th 2020
The National Centre of Atmospheric Science is asking for the help of the nation. The organisation has been studying the UK's rainfall records of the past 200 years in order to understand past periods of flood and drought.
However, many of these records have been written by hand on paper leaflets which the computer can not read easily.
Because of this, scientists are asking people to manually input some of the data into their system, which would massively help scientists gain access to the data.
"If you do just a couple of minutes every now and then - that's great," said Prof Ed Hawkins. "If you want to spend an hour doing 30 or 40 columns - then that'll be amazing. But any amount of time, it will all add up and be a tremendous help."
Professor Hawkins and his team at Reading University want to use this data to understand the frequency and scale of big droughts and floods. This will assist with planning for future flood and water-resource infrastructure.
Clear instructions are given on the website
Volunteers are asked to input data on the organisation's website, filling the gap between the 1820s to the 1950s.
Identifying data on one sheet of records takes around a minute and any problems can be flagged for the scientists to look at.
This is not the first time the University of Reading has asked the public's help. In 2019 volunteers helped digitise around the clock weather data between 1883 and 1904, recorded by a group of men living atop of Ben Nevis.

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