John Turner, professor of genetics at the University of Leeds, has developed a computer model that can predict how the microclimate of an area will differ from that of another just a few kilometres away (New Scientist, Vol 165, No 1966).
Unlike standard meteorological maps which portray the weather as if the entire area were at sea level, the Leeds model takes into account each location's altitude, its distance from sea, the slope and various other topographical factors which affect local weather. "The most important of these is altitude: the higher the ground the lower is the temperature," says Turner.
Dick Gale, in charge of business development at the University of Leeds, says that the predictions of the model were accurate to within 5 per cent.
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