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Explaining climate change for schools

Geographical Association award for Chris Brierley

Explaining climate change for schools

Current revision of the school geography curriculum means that teachers will now need to be able to explain the climate of the past few million years, along with other new topics that are not really covered in current textbooks.

The Royal Meteorological Society has taken on the task of creating some resources on past climate changes, to complement their offering on weather in schools (via, including a series on up-to-date facts and figures from paleoclimate science (such as past levels of CO2).

Dr Chris Brierley, of UCL Geography, contributed case studies on (a) the mid-Pleistocene Transition (b) the "Green Sahara" and (c) ongoing debates about the Anthropocene. These resources are available at

The website went live in September 2016 and has been highly commended by the Geographical Association. The GA commends educational resources for a variety of uses and school levels. The past climate materials were considered to be a very useful resource, “pitched at a high level to stretch GCSE and A-Level students”.

Chris collected the award at the GA’s Annual Conference in Guildford, immediately after a public lecture given by the weather presenter Peter Gibb. Two former members of UCL Geography also received awards at the GA meeting: Dr Charlotte Lemanski (former staff), and Adrian Manning (UCL PhD), who won the “Annual Award for Excellence”, to loud applause.



Student membership of learned societies is often very reasonable,  and you get to go to many free events.


Chris (right) collecting the award

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