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.

In the coming months, we’re launching a new citizen science project to develop Australia’s longest weather records. We’ll need volunteers to help us explore historical weather observations to further extend Australia’s climate record. Click here to sign up.

Recent Posts

We dug up Australian weather records back to 1838 and found snow is falling less often

We pieced together weather records back to 1838 to create Australia’s longest analysis of daily temperature extremes and their impacts on society. We found snow was once a regular feature of the southern Australian climate. But as Australia continues to warm under climate change, cold extremes are becoming less frequent and heatwaves more common. …

Understanding why Australia’s extreme events are becoming more frequent and intense

The year 2019 was Australia’s hottest and driest year on record. These two factors combined to create the worst bushfire and drought conditions since the Bureau of Meteorology’s daily weather observations began in 1910. After the record-shattering year that the country has just experienced, our team attended the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society annual meeting and international conference in Fremantle, WA, in February this year. …

Introducing Climate History Australia

Climate History Australia has been developed by researchers from The Australian National University to provide a central hub for historical climate research in our region. This initiative follows on from the South-eastern Australian Recent Climate History (SEARCH) project which was hosted by the University of Melbourne from 2009–2014. …

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