Former BBC meteorologist Peter Gibbs visits Department of Geography

This week the Department of Geography welcomed former BBC weatherman and Antarctic meteorologist Peter Gibbs as he gave two talks to staff and students.

Peter Gibbs giving a lecture on Antarctic science

For the first seminar, 'On the shelf - a weatherman in Antarctica', Peter discussed life and polar science at the British Antarctic Survey's Halley research station, where he was based for two years shortly after graduating. Some 34 years later he made an emotional return to Halley, to report for BBC Two's Horizon on the vital scientific work being done there. Peter spoke about the beauty and harsh realities of living on the ice, reflecting on the challenges that the British Antarctic Survey continue to face in conducting science in the extremes of the Antarctic.

Afterwards Peter used his extensive media experience to hold a workshop for academic staff entitled 'Working with the media on environmental issues'.

The workshop was well attended by staff from across the Department who were keen to communicate the impact of their research, much of which directly influences policy or uses groundbreaking technology to measure and predict the effects of the climate crisis.

Related story: how Sheffield geographers are working to combat climate change

Dr Ruth Little, Lecturer in Human Geography said: "It's been really exciting to host Peter here at the Department of Geography. Meteorology helps us to understand the underpinnings of the earth's climate system as well as telling us what the weather will be like in the week ahead.

"Peter's talk spoke to a lot of the research expertise across the department, from predicting changes to the Antarctic ice sheet through to the global implications of climate change.

“Peter stressed that we as researchers need to be able to communicate our findings in an accessible and engaging way. This includes using clear, jargon-free language, making use of analogies where helpful and ensuring that scientific complexity and uncertainty are easy to understand”.