Plane spotters needed for climate survey

Contrails over Met Office, Exeter

4 March 2011 - Scientists at the Met Office and Royal Meteorological Society are asking everyone in the country to take part in the OPAL Climate Survey.

The  OPAL survey is open to people of all ages and aims to provide scientists with data which will help them investigate ways in which we affect the climate and how the climate may affect us.

Global climate change is predicted to give milder winters and hotter summers across the UK, with more frequent heatwaves. By discovering how hot or cold people feel should help us judge how adaptable we might be to future climate change.

Dr Mark McCarthy, Climate Research Scientist at the Met Office, said: "Climate change poses many challenges for both the natural environment and human populations worldwide.  The new insights from the  OPAL climate survey will complement and build on our existing research looking at the potential impacts of climate change through the 21st Century."     

There are four main things to do in the survey

  • Spot plane trails, known as contrails, as a measure of air temperature and humidity

  • Watch cloud movement to record wind direction in the sky

  • Blow bubbles to measure wind speed and direction near the ground

  • Record how hot or cold you feel

The results will be analysed by Met Office scientists.

Anyone can take part in the survey. The more people that get involved the more valuable the research becomes. The results from all four activities will be published on the OPAL website, where you can see how your findings compare to others across the country. 

Contact information

Met Office Press Office: +44 (0)1392 886655

E-mail: Press Office

Met Office Customer Centre: 01392 885680

If you're outside the UK: +44 1392 885680

Last updated: 4 March 2011