Uncovering Australia’s climate history

Climate History Australia is a landmark initiative to better understand Australia’s past climate. 

Our team cross-references newly-found old data with other sources, such as William Bradley’s weather journal.

Our researchers won the 2014 Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research – informally known as the ‘Oscars of Australian Science’ – for their reconstruction of south-eastern Australia’s climate.

Historical records allow scientists to reconstruct past climate conditions (rainfall, temperature and atmospheric pressure) and see how climate variability has influenced Australian society over time.

In the coming months, we’re launching a new citizen science project to further extend Australia’s climate record. We’ll need volunteers to help close a decade-long gap in Australia’s daily weather from the earliest colonial years. The project involves transcribing gorgeous handwritten journals that our team recently uncovered in Adelaide.

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An Adelaide snow event in 1902. Credit: SA Community History