BGS news

Eskdalemuir Observatory celebrates world status with neighbours

18/07/2019 By BGS Press

The Eskdalemuir Observatory, a centre for geophysical and meteorological measurement that has been collecting data for over 100 years, has now received special status from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Long-term measurements collected by BGS and the Met Office help form the base on which weather forecasting and climate science are built and the observatory has been honoured with Centennial Observing Station status.

The WMO only issues the status to nominated stations that have provided long-term, high-quality climate records. These records help inform current and future generations about climate variability and trends and this new status will go some way to ensure the long-term sustainability of these measurements.

On Thursday 18 July, residents who live closest to the site and former staff joined BGS and the Met Office to celebrate its new status and find out more about the world-leading science that takes place in the observatory’s offices and bunkers.

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Eskdalemuir Observatory provides meteorological observations as part of a global network of high-quality sites, as well as forming part of the Met Office Climate and Synoptic observing network.

We are proud that this partnership of over 100 years has been acknowledged with the award of WMO centennial observing station status.

Stuart Goldstraw, Met Office Head of Observations Operations.

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We were pleased that members of the local community and former staff members, both BGS and Met Office, were able to join us to celebrate

The observatory opened in 1908 and since then has been a renowned site for magnetic, seismic and of course meteorological observations.

From this rural location we help navigate drilling for oil and gas below the North Sea, assess the effect of space weather events on the UK’s electricity supply and record earthquakes from all over the world.

Chris Turbitt, BGS Eskadelmuir Observatory Manager.

Visitors to Eskdalemuir were given a tour round the observatory and enjoyed a series of talks from BGS and Met Office experts.

The observatory is rarely open to the public due to the nature of its work: it is essential that the sensitive instruments aren’t disturbed in any way.

Eskdalemuir Observatory is owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated by BGS, which makes the facilities available to the Met Office. A number of organisations make use of the data collected from Eskdalemuir, including the British Antarctic Survey, the Ordnance Survey and the University of California San Diego.

About Eskdalemuir Observatory

Eskdalemuir Observatory is world-renowned as a leading geophysical and meteorological observation station. This reputation comes from the long, unbroken, high quality recordings that have been made possible by a remote site that was well chosen and has remained almost unchanged for over a century.

Find out more about Eskdalemuir Observatory here:

The British Geological Survey

The British Geological Survey (BGS), a component body of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is the nation’s principal supplier of objective, impartial and up-to-date geological expertise and information for decision making for governmental, commercial and individual users. The BGS maintains and develops the nation’s understanding of its geology to improve policy making, enhance national wealth and reduce risk. It also collaborates with the national and international scientific community in carrying out research in strategic areas, including energy and natural resources, our vulnerability to environmental change and hazards, and our general knowledge of the Earth system. More about the BGS can be found at

For further details please contact:

Claire Buchanan, Lyell Communications Manager, British Geological Survey, The Lyell Centre, Research Avenue South, Edinburgh, EH14 4AP

Press Office: 07790607010
Twitter: @BritGeoSurvey

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