As a resident of London, I am subjected to regular teasing about the weather from other editors around our international network. Just so they know, it’s been a dry few weeks here. And, I will not go into the annual precipitation rates, but the statistics show that London has fewer days of rain than many other European cities. The UK as a whole though, ensures the stereotype holds firm. So, I was particularly tickled by this piece by Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading in England. Now, thanks to an army of volunteers working on historic documents, a more complete version of the country’s climate past can be painted. Crucially, the details emerging may also help scientists understand how the country’s climate future will evolve as it experiences more extreme conditions.

Remember that you can stay across our regularly updated Ukraine invasion coverage here. But if you are in the market for longer reads to understand the history of the region, we have some expert recommendations today.

Stephen Khan

Executive Editor, The Conversation International

St Andrew’s Church, Kyiv, Ukraine. Bossi/Flickr

5 must-read books about Russia and Ukraine: our expert picks

Mark Edele, The University of Melbourne; Judith Armstrong, The University of Melbourne; Julie Fedor, The University of Melbourne; Marko Pavlyshyn, Monash University; Stephen Fortescue, UNSW Sydney

Straight from our experts, here are five books to help you understand what’s happening right now in Ukraine and Russia, from a must-read history of Ukraine to a literary classic with insights into the Russian soul.

Julia Sudnitskaya/Shutterstock

How a deluge of lockdown volunteers rescued UK’s hidden weather history

Ed Hawkins, University of Reading

New data has revealed rainfall records from as far back as 1677.


Yes, the ‘terrible twos’ are full-on – but let’s look at things from a child’s perspective

Rochelle Matacz, Edith Cowan University; Lynn Priddis, The University of Western Australia

Terrible or terrific? There is a lot going when you’re two.

Face à la guerre, les électeurs français se rallient à Emmanuel Macron : pour combien de temps ?

Gilles Ivaldi, Sciences Po

L’anxiété liée à la guerre en Ukraine pousserait de nombreux électeurs à se rallier à Emmanuel Macron. Mais cela sera-t-il suffisant pour remporter l’élection ?