Tony Chandler “The Climate of London”

Tony Chandler (1965) The Climate of London

This is a monumental work that took up the study of London’s climate where Howard’s left off. Chandler established an urban network of stations that was supplemented by observations made via mobile traverses. Together these comprised the London Climatological Survey that, at the time, represented the most spatially intensive climatological study of its kind. The Survey had two elements: ‘The first element of this involved a mobile recording station, housed first in a second-hand car, later in a new Land Rover, that Chandler drove along traverses through London monitoring temperature and humidity at various hours of the day and night. The second element involved more than 60 schools, teacher training colleges and private individuals maintaining climatological recording stations. The Survey soon attracted the attention of academics and town planners around the world. London’s ‘heat island’ and pattern of air pollution, which Chandler delineated, were discussed widely in the media. In 1964 he submitted his doctoral thesis, ‘Studies of the climate of London’, from which The Climate of London (1965) soon emerged.’ (Source: Clout HD and Atkinson BW 2009: Obituary. The Geographical Journal, Vol. 175 p82–83 doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2008.00311.x)

In his concluding paragraph, Chandler summarised his work and its motivation: Londoners live in a profoundly man-made climate. A few of the changes wrought by the widespread substitution of houses and factories for fields and woods, and surfaced roads for cart-tracks, might be considered favourable. Such are the higher autumn, winter and spring night-time temperatures must reduce heating costs and lengthen the frost-free period, but these advantages must be outweighed by increased pollution and decreased sunshine. It is to be hoped that enlightened planning might do something in future years to reduce further unconscious deterioration of London’s urban climate.

The version here has been republished with permission from Random House