We are living through unprecedented times… some of us are mega-busy and others are obliged to self-isolate or stay away from work with nothing to do after they’ve done their household chores…
For those with time on their hands can I suggest helping out for say half an hour a day at Zooniverse they have various projects that would welcome help. My current favourite is the Rainfall Rescue project where they need help in transcribing handwritten rainfall records into computer data records. Five minutes looking through the instructions and you are away.
The ultimate aim is to better understand wet, dry and normal periods in the UK’s history and help water companies plan for every eventuality. For example, October 1903 was wet. Very wet. Wetter than any month we know about – including February 2020. Yep. You’ve guessed it, the rainfall in October 1903 was more evenly distributed across the country than in February 2020. This will also help improve the predictions of the likelihood of flooding in certain areas – for which we can look to help build flood defences of various sorts.
The reasons I’m interested in this:
- My first technical job was calculating the average and standard variation of river flows for the then Department of Environment – a summer job while studying at University – so it brought back some happy memories
- I’ve always had a fascination with fluid flows (fluid is either a gas or a liquid to be pedantic) and you could say the Rainfall Rescue project scratches the right spot for me
- The Met Office has recently put a humungous computer on line to predict the variations in the weather more accurately across the country. It will be interesting to see how well the new computer’s predictions pan out and Rainfall Rescue project is probably part of the same initiative.
It’s the combination of the getting all the old data onto the computer, the humungous computer and the wish to get more accurate predictions that is absolutely fascinating for science fiction writers. Why? Because it will help us understand the impact of climate change much more accurately.
Now way back when – Autumn 2012 to be precise – Jupiter published my short story – Ripple Effect. Amazon UK Link Here.
It was a fun story to write. And as you’ve guessed it is about this very topic. I would recommend you read the story because it goes further than just getting more accurate predictions. A lot further, but I won’t spoil it for you.