With the country sweltering under drought-like conditions in recent weeks – and things even heating up here in the north east – it might be a comfort to know that some of the world’s greatest climate experts work in Newcastle.

Climate change specialist Professor Hayley Fowler, of Newcastle University, has recently been made a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

This is a prestigious honour, given only to AGU members who are judged to have made exceptional contributions or gained prominence in the fields of earth and space sciences.

Fellows are nominated by the membership of the AGU and each year only 0.01% of ordinary members become fellows.

Professor Fowler studies the impact of climate change on water systems. She investigates recent trends in extreme weather and then makes predictions about the risks of floods and droughts.

Professor Fowler’s most recent work has focused on improving predictions of extreme rainfall events (climate change can lead to flooding as well as drought) and improving models that show how heavy rainfall might affect different areas.

Professor Fowler said, “I am truly honoured to be recognised by my peers and to be made a fellow of the American Geophysical Union.”

“I intend to continue my research on understanding changes in extreme rainfall events around the world, which is very important in providing the guidance needed for climate adaptation of our infrastructure systems to cope with the changes to flash flood risk resulting from global warming.”

The AGU president, Eric Davidson, said, “AGU fellows are recognised for their outstanding contributions to scholarship and discovery in the earth and space sciences.”

“Their work pushes the limit of human knowledge by helping to understand better the complex world and universe around us and to build the knowledge base for a more sustainable future.”

“We are pleased to recognise and honour the newest class of fellows for their significant and lasting contributions to earth and space sciences.”

(Featured image courtesy of ddqhu, from Flickr Creative Commons.)

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