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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Climate change and the relevance of history: forecasting, flooding and scientific knowledge

The effect of wind and pressure on sea level can cause dramatic changes in sea level, resulting in what is now called a 'storm surge'. In 1953 over 300 people died on the East Coast of England when one such storm surge caused severe flooding. Dr Anna Carlsson-Hyslop has investigated how a group of scientists in Liverpool tried to predict such events between 1919 and 1959 using statistics. The aims of the scientists’ work, how it was carried out and how it was funded was at times closely connected. For example, during the Second World War a naval request for a storm surge forecasting formula prompted TI's researchers to focus on statistics as a fast way of meeting the request.

How can historical research such as this have impact in today's society? During this award  Dr Carlsson-Hyslop aims to answer this question collaboratively developing methods of communicating this research to specific groups, including contemporary scientists, Liverpool residents and visitors to the city, and policy makers. The aim of the activities are not only to put her existing work across to new audiences, but also to prepare Dr. Carlsson-Hyslop for an academic career combining high quality, theoretically aware historical work with attention to contemporary concerns.