Edge Hill Department of Geography and Geology academic Dr Anna Jones recently travelled to Geneva to participate in the PAGES Floods Working Group workshop ‘Floods in a warmer world: insights from paleohydrology’ held at the Department of Earth Science at the University of Geneva.
PAGES (Past Global Changes) is an association for scientific research and networking which aims to understand Earth’s past environment for the purposes of assisting prediction of future climate and environment and informing strategies for sustainability. It was founded in 1991 and currently involves more than 5000 scientists in more than 125 countries. The Floods Working Group, initially convened in 2015, aims to bring together scientists reconstructing past floods and those researching future floods to co-ordinate data collection and synthesise information on natural variability in flooding. The working group began its second phase in 2019.
Numbers at the event were limited to 30 participants, of which Anna was successful in securing one of the places where she was then able to participate in the first workshop of the second phase of the Floods Working Group. The aim of this workshop was to update the work packages included in the white paper:
Work Package 1 – Collecting, storing and sharing paleoflood data
Work Package 2 – Integrating and analyzing paleoflood data
Work Package 3 – Communicating and disseminating paleoflood science and data
The workshop in Geneva was the first meeting of the second phase and had the goals of summarising changes in flood activities between past warm and cold climate phases and developing further strategies for including palaeofloods in flood hazard assessments.
Dr Anna Jones commented:
The workshop was an excellent opportunity for me to learn about the latest research on palaeofloods, climate and disaster risk reduction, to meet with other researchers working in this field and to present my research on flooding in Wales. I really enjoyed participating in the meeting.
Anna presented her research in the session on ‘flood activity in a warmer world: insights from paleoflood records’. Her presentation was titled ‘Holocene flood occurrence in Wales under warm and cold climates’. This research used palaeoflood records from sites in the upper Severn and Teifi catchments to examine variation in flood frequency and magnitude and the correspondence between flood-rich and flood-poor periods and variations in temperature, as well as NAO and storminess, during the Mid and Late Holocene. You can read more about this research from the following papers:
During the workshop, presentations and discussions covered a wide range of topics related to records of past flooding and disaster risk reduction, with studies of catchments in Europe, India and North and South America and evidence for flooding including fluvial and lacustrine sediments, tree rings and historical records.
As a Department, we pride ourselves on ensuring our students receive the most up to date research and teaching, and through engagement with these events, we are confident that our students continue to receive research informed teaching.