Unearthing Australia’s climate history

Climate History Australia is a landmark initiative to reconstruct Australian climate over past centuries.

Using historical records, our team pieces together past climate variability and extremes to understand their influence on Australian society over time. Understanding the past helps scientists estimate Australia’s vulnerability to continued climate change.

Our researchers won the 2014 Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research – informally known as the ‘Oscars of Australian Science’ – for reconstructing south-eastern Australian climate over the past 1000 years.

From 8 September to 24 November, 2020, we ran a citizen science project to develop Australia’s longest daily weather record. There’s more detail in the video below. We’ll be launching another citizen science project in early-2021. Click here to sign up to our e-newsletter, so you’ll be notified when we launch this project.

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Unearthing Australia’s climate history

Few people realise that snow was once a common occurrence for southern Australia’s climate. Historical records help document impacts of past weather extremes such as heatwaves, floods, droughts and even snow. Now scientists are using these fascinating resources to uncover more about Australia’s climate history and also shed light on modern severe weather events…

What was Perth’s climate like from 1830 to 1875?

Very little is known about the past climate of Perth, Western Australia, in the 1800s. Our team has recently pieced together the oldest known daily weather observations from south-western Australia that spans 1830–1875. There’s a strong case for increasing 19th century climate data rescue efforts in the south-western region of Australia, due to the vulnerability … Continue reading What was Perth’s climate like from 1830 to 1875?

What we’ve learnt about Australia’s climate history

This year our team completed a pilot citizen science project with over 1,000 volunteers, developed Australia’s longest daily weather record, analysed previously unknown weather extremes from the 19th century, and reached at least 1.6 million people through media coverage.  Here’s an outline of our achievements this year and a summary of what we’ve learnt so … Continue reading What we’ve learnt about Australia’s climate history

Previously unknown weather extremes discovered in new Adelaide record

Our analysis of recently transcribed historical data has picked up extreme events such as a week-long heatwave, bushfires, a dust storm, and severe storms that caused hail and flooding in 19th century Adelaide. Citizen scientists transcribed newly discovered historical daily weather observations from 1843 to 1856 for the Adelaide region.  The data show that 1847 … Continue reading Previously unknown weather extremes discovered in new Adelaide record

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