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. ...
The women screamed as the huge waves crashed loudly on the wooden deck. Horrified, they watched the foaming torrent wash away their blankets. Many dropped to their knees, praying for the violent rocking to stop. The sea raged around them as the wind whipped up into a frenzy, damaging all but one of the heavily loaded ships. The severe storm was yet another taste of the ferocious weather that slammed the First Fleet as it made its way across the Southern Ocean in December 1787. ...
Old weather diaries are becoming important in climate research. To really understand climate change, we need to look at the way the climate behaves over a long time. We need many years of weather information. But the Bureau of Meteorology’s high-quality instrumental climate record only dates back to the start of the 20th century. ...
A La Niña event spanning 1860–1864 brought repeated widespread flooding to settlements across NSW. This succession of natural disasters demoralised rural communities and devastated agricultural endeavors. The floods in 1863 and 1864 were the most severe with much of the New England and Hunter Valley regions inundated with floodwaters. Flooded street in Maitland, 1864. Image … Continue reading La Niña brings flooding rains to NSW in the early 1860s
In February 1863, bushfires swept through the Gippsland region destroying farm lands and burgeoning townships. The fires were so fierce and extensive that observers dubbed it Black Monday comparing the severity of the event to the infamous Black Thursday fires 12 years earlier. 'The Backwater, near Sale, reserved for a town commonage, and which was … Continue reading 1863: Bushfires ravage Gippsland
Flooding in Elizabeth Street in 1862. Image courtesy of National Library of Australia In December 1860, at the peak of the Victorian gold mining boom, a severe storm hit Melbourne and unleashed a deluge that swamped the central business district. Arriving just two weeks before Christmas, the floodwaters swept through downtown Melbourne leaving a trail … Continue reading 1860: Summer storm floods Melbourne
Public sermons to stop the rain, thermometers kept in pubs and forest giants in Tasmania have all helped to improve our understanding of south-eastern Australia’s climate history, according to a recent public talk at the State Library of Victoria. On 2 August, around 80 people attended the public talk that was the culmination of a … Continue reading Two hundred years of Australian climate history revealed
The team behind the groundbreaking citizen science project, OzDocs, recently launched a new version of the volunteer website marking a rapid expansion in the scope of the project. In 2011 volunteers from the OzDocs project discovered devastating locust plagues, sweeping floods, burning heat waves and snow falling in Sydney during colonial times. The launch of … Continue reading Extra volunteers to recover climate history
The burgeoning colony of Sydney was blanketed with up to an inch of snow on a bitterly cold morning in June 1836. This historic event was recently uncovered in a newspaper archive by a volunteer from the citizen science project, OzDocs. ‘About seven o’clock in the morning a drifting fall covered the streets, nearly an … Continue reading 1836: Snow in Sydney
The team behind the citizen science project, OzDocs, was awarded a University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor’s Staff Engagement Grant at an official ceremony on 30 September 2011. The goal of the OzDocs project is to piece together Australian climate varitaions from the time of first European settlement until official weather records begin in 1900. As … Continue reading OzDocs project receives engagement award