Publications

Joelle Gergis published her book, Sunburnt Country, in 2018. It pieces together Australia’s climate history for the first time, and uncovers a continent long vulnerable to climate extremes and variability.


Media publications

Gergis, J. and Ashcroft, L. (2020). We dug up Australian weather records back to 1838 and found snow is falling less often. The Conversation, 4 June 2020.

Gergis, J. and Cary, G. (2020). Some say we’ve seen bushfires worse than this before. But they’re ignoring a few key facts. The Conversation, 13 January 2020.

Ashcroft, L. (2020). Mallacoota: this is what climate change looks like, The Age, 3 January 2020.

Gergis, J. (2020). We are seeing the very worst of our scientific predictions come to pass in these bushfires. The Guardian, 3 January 2020.

Gergis, J. (2019). Emergency on planet Earth. Harpers Bazaar, December 2019, p 54–55.

Ashcroft, L (2019). ‘Letter to a weather station’ originally published under the same title in 3RRR’s The Trip magazine. The Best Australian Science Writing 2019 edited by Bianca Nogrady, November 2019.

Gergis, J. (2019). I never thought I’d see the Australian rainforest burning. What will it take for us to wake up to the climate crisis? The Guardian, 10 September 2019.

King, A. Trewin, B., Ashcroft, L. and Fiddes, S. (2019). Snow at the footy? Just how unusual was last weekend’s weather? The Conversation, 13 August 2019.

Gergis, J. (2019). The terrible truth of climate change. The Monthly, 1 August 2019.

Gergis, J. (2018). Black skies and raging seas: how the First Fleet got a first taste of Australia’s unforgiving climate. The Conversation, 2 April 2018.

Ashcroft, L., Trewin B. and Tobin, S. (2018). Australia’s climate in 2017: a warm year, with a wet start and finish. The Conversation, 10 January 2018.

Gergis, J. and Whetton, P. (2017). Can art put us in touch with how we feel about climate change? The Conversation, 4 May 2017.

Gergis, J. (2017). Northern NSW is no stranger to floods, but this one was different. The Conversation, 7 April 2017.

Ashcroft, L., Gergis, J., and Karoly, D.J. (2017). Delving through settlers’ diaries can reveal Australia’s colonial-era climate. The Conversation, 10 February 2017.

McGregor, H.V., Gergis, J., Abram, N.J., and Phipps, S.J. (2016). The Industrial Revolution kick-started global warming much earlier than we realised. The Conversation, 25 August 2016.

Gergis, J. (2016). How a single word sparked a four-year saga of climate fact-checking and blog backlash. The Conversation, 11 July 2016.

Ashcroft, L., Bridgman, H. and Thornton, K. (2016). 19th century weather data is helping climate scientists predict the future. The Conversation, 12 April 2016.

Gergis, J. (2014). Southern Hemisphere climate follows the beat of a different drummer. Australasian Science 2014, Dec: 34–36.

Gergis, J. (2010). Winning the guerrilla war on climate change at Science meets Parliament 2010. University of Melbourne Science Matters, 19 March 2010.

Gergis, J. (2010) Salvaging sunken treasure. SL Magazine, State Library of New South Wales, Winter 2010, 18–21.

Gergis, J. (2009). Leaping forward through the past: how historical documents can help scientists understand climate change. University of Melbourne Collections, 4 42–44.

Karoly, D.J and Gergis, J. (2009). Turning up the heat. Sydney Morning Herald, 30 March 2009.

Gergis, J. (2007). Lessons of the elders. COSMOS magazine, issue 18 (Dec/Jan), p74–79.

Gergis, J. (2007). Backing Australia’s ability? Wet Ink, issue 9 (Dec/Jan), p14–15.

Gergis, J. (2007). Portrait: The Weather Warrior (Karl Braganza). COSMOS magazine, issue 16 (June/July) 2007. See the ABC’s Catalyst profile based on this article.

Gergis, J. (2007). No more climate distractions. COSMOS online, 27 July 2007.

Gergis, J. (2006). Reconstructing El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO); evidence from tree-ring, coral, ice core and documentary palaeoarchives, A.D. 1525–2002. Quaternary Australasia 24(1):14.

Books, book chapters and PhD theses

Gergis, J. (2018). Sunburnt Country: The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia, Melbourne University Press.

Ashcroft, L. (2014). Extending the instrumental climate record of southeastern Australia. School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne.

Fenby, C., Garden, D. and Gergis, J. (2014) “The usual weather in New South Wales is uncommonly bright and clear… equal to the finest summer day in England“: Flood and Drought in New South Wales, 1788–1815, Climate, Science and Colonization: Histories from Australia and New Zealand, Chapter 2, pages 43-59.

Fenby, C. (2012). Experiencing, understanding and adapting to climate in South-Eastern Australia, 1788–1860. School of Earth Sciences and School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne.

Garden, D. (2010). ‘The Federation Drought of 1895-1903, El Niño and Society in Australia’ in Massard-Guilbaud, G. & Mosley, S. (eds), Common Ground: Integrating the Social and Environmental in History, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Garden, D. (2009). Droughts, Floods and Cyclones – El Niños that Shaped our Colonial Past, Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Gergis, J. (2006). Reconstructing El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO); evidence from tree-ring, coral, ice core and documentary palaeoarchives, A.D. 1525–2002. PhD Thesis, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Information Sheets

SEARCH Project Overview (2010) – One page summary of the now completed SEARCH (South Eastern Australian Recent Climate History) project.

River Murray Streamflow Reconstruction (2009) – A two-page summary of key findings from the paper published in Water Resources Research.

The First Fleet Weathermen (2009) – A two–page information sheet covering SEARCH’s work with Australia’s oldest weather records.

Revealing South-eastern Australia’s rainfall history (2009) – A two–page information sheet presenting a combined palaeoclimate, documentary and early instrumental rainfall chronology for NSW since first European settlement in 1788.

Reports

Steffen, W., Bambrick, H., Hussey, K., Gergis, J., Bourne, G., Brailsford, L. and Dean, A. (2019). Welcome to Queensland: Renewable one day, and the next, and next. Climate Council of Australia, pp 52.

Steffen, W., Vertessy, R., Dean, A., Hughes, L., Bambrick, H., Gergis, J. and Rice, M. (2018). Deluge and Drought: Australia’s Water Security in a Changing Climate. Climate Council of Australia, pp 92.

Gergis, J., Lorrey, A., Abram, N., Henley, B.J., Phipps, S.J., Saunders, K.M., and Aus2k Workshop Participants. (2016). 4th Aus2k workshop report – Australasian palaeoclimate of the last 2000 years: Inter-comparison of climate field reconstruction methodologies, modeling, and data synthesis approaches. PAGES Magazine 24 (1): 42.

Gergis, J., Phipps, S.J., Lorrey, A., Abram, N., Henley, B.J., , Saunders, K.M., and Aus2k Workshop Participants. (2016). Australasian palaeoclimate of the last 2000 years: Inter-comparison of climate field reconstruction methodologies, modeling, and data synthesis approaches. Quaternary Australasia 31(1): 23–25.

PAGES Regional 2K consortium including Aus2K coauthor Gergis, J. (2014). PAGES 2k — A framework for community-driven climate reconstructions during the past two millennia. Eos 95 (40): 361-362.

Gergis, J., Hope, P., Abram, N., Brown, J., Phipps, S.J., Henley, B., Lorrey, A., Roop, H., and Tyler, J. (2014). Australasia’s past climate variability. Quaternary Australasia 31(2): 20–23.

Hope, P., Gergis, J., Abram, N., Brown, J., Phipps, S., Henley, B., Lorrey, A., Roop, H., and Tyler, J. (2014). Australasia’s past climate variability: strengths drawn from palaeoclimate and model data over the last 2000 years. Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society 27(5): 92–95.

Gergis, J., Hope, P., Abram N. and Henley, B. (2014). Australasia’s climate variability: clues drawn from paleoclimate and model data over the last 2000 years. PAGES News 22 (2): 101.

Von Gunten, L.,  D.M. Anderson, B. Chase1, M. Curran, J. Gergis, E.P. Gille, W. Gross, S. Hanhijärvi, D.S. Kaufman, T. Kiefer, N.P. McKay, I. Mundo1, R. Neukom, M. Sano1, A. Shah, J. Tyler, A. Viau, S. Wagner, E.R. Wahl and D. Willard (2013). The backbone of PAGES 2k: data management and archivingPAGES News 21(3): 87.

Gallant, A., Gergis, J. and Karoly, D.J. (2012). Estimating hydroclimatic variations in Melbourne’s water supply catchments using palaeoclimate proxy data, 1788–1987. Unpublished report prepared for Melbourne Water.

Gergis, J., Grierson, P.,  Lorrey, A.,  Palmer, J. and  Phipps, S.J. (2011). 2nd Australasia 2k Network workshop: Data synthesis and research planning. Meeting of the PAGES Aus2k Working Group – Perth, Australia, 27–29 April 2011. PAGES News, 19 (2): 74-75.

Gergis, J., Grierson, P., Lorrey, A., Palmer, J. and Phipps, S.J. (2011). 2nd Aus2K regional network workshop: data synthesis and research planning. Quaternary Australasia 28(1): 21-22.

Gergis, J. and Gallant A. (2010). Communicating climate change: advice from Science meets Parliament 2010. Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society 22 (2):4–6

Turney, C., Gergis, J., Lorrey, A., Palmer, J., Phipps, S.J., van Ommen, T. (2010). The 1st Australasia 2k regional workshop: Towards data synthesis, Melbourne Australia, 31 May – 2 June 2010, PAGES news, 18 (2): 91 – 92.

Gell, P., Gergis, J. Mills, K., Baker, P., De Deckker, P., Finlayson, M., Hesse, P., Jones, R., Kershaw, P., Pearson, S., Treble, P., Barr, C., Brookhouse, M., Drysdale, R., Haberle, S. Karoly, D.J., McDonald, J., Reid, M., Thoms, M., and Tibby, J. (2009). Palaeoclimate studies relevant to natural resource management in the Murray–Darling Basin, in Murray‐Darling Basin Authority Science Review (pdf, 1.7MB), Canberra, Australia.

Phipps, S., Gergis, J. and Petherick, L. (2009). PAGES 1st Young Scientists Meeting and 3rd Open Science Meeting, Quaternary Australasia 26, 8-9.

Journal Articles

Gergis, J., Ashcroft, L. and Whetton, P. (2020). A historical perspective on Australian temperature extremes. Climate Dynamics: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-020-05298-z

Ashcroft, L., Karoly, D. J., and Dowdy, A. J. (2019). Historical extreme rainfall events in southeastern Australia. Weather and Climate Extremes, Vol 25: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wace.2019.100210

Gergis, J., Neukom, R., Gallant, A. J. E. and Karoly, D. J. (2016). Australasian temperature reconstructions spanning the last millennium. Journal of Climate 29 DOI 5365-5392.

Ashcroft, L., Gergis, J. and Karoly, D.J. (2014). A historical climate dataset for southeastern Australia, 1788–1859Geoscience Data Journal DOI: 10.1002/gdj3.19.

Neukom, R., Gergis J., Karoly, D., Frank, D., Villalba, R., Zinke, J., Linsley, B., Raible, C., González-Rouco, F. and Steig, E. (2014). Southern Hemisphere temperature variability over the last millennium, Nature Climate Change DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2174.

Ashcroft, L., Karoly, D.J. and Gergis, J. (2013). South-eastern Australian climate 1860–2009: a multivariate approachInternational Journal of Climatology DOI: 10.1002/joc.3812.

Gallant, A. J. E., Phipps, S.J., Karoly, D.J., Mullan, B.,  Lorrey, A. (2013). Non-stationary Australasian teleconnections and implications for paleoclimate reconstructions. Journal of Climate, 26, 8827-8849 DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00338.1.

Mills, K., Gell, P., Gergis, J., Baker, P., Finlayson, M., Hesse, P., Jones, R., Kershaw, P., Pearson, S., Treble, P., Barr, C., Brookhouse, M., Drysdale, R., McDonald, J., Haberle, S., Reid, M., Thoms, M., Tibby, J. (2013).Palaeoclimate studies and natural resource management in the Murray-Darling Basin II: unravelling past human impact and climate variabilityAustralian Journal of Earth Sciences DOI: 10.1080/08120099.2013.804879

PAGES Regional 2K consortium including Aus2K coauthors Gergis, J., Lorrey A.M and Phipps, S.J. (2013). Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millenniaNature Geoscience 6: 339–346.

Phipps, S., , McGregor, H., Gergis, J, Gallant, A. J. E., Neukom, R., Stevenson, S., van Ommen, T., Brown, J., Fischer, M. and Ackerley, D. (2013). Palaeoclimate data–model comparison: Concepts and application to the climate of Australasia over the past 1500 years. Journal of Climate DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00108.1.

Gergis, J., and Ashcroft, L. (2012). A rainfall history of south-eastern Australia Part 2: a comparison of documentary, early instrumental and palaeoclimate records, 1788–2008International Journal of Climatology DOI: 10.1002/joc.3639.

Gergis, J., Gallant, A. J. E., Braganza, K., Karoly, D. J., Allen, K., Cullen, L., D’Arrigo, R., Goodwin, I., Grierson, P. and McGregor, S. (2012). On the long-term context of the 1997-2009 ‘Big Dry’ in south-eastern Australia: insights from a 206-year multi-proxy rainfall reconstruction. Climatic Change111 (3): 923–944.

Fenby, C. and Gergis, J. (2012). A rainfall history of south-eastern Australia Part 1: a consolidation of pre-instrumental evidence from documentary sources, 1788–1860International Journal of Climatology DOI: 10.1002/joc.3640.

Neukom, R. and Gergis, J. (2012). Southern Hemisphere high resolution palaeoclimate records of the past 2000 years. The Holocene5: 501–524.

Gallant, A. J. E., and Gergis, J. (2011). An experimental streamflow reconstruction for the River Murray, Australia, 1783–1988, Water Resources Research 47, W00G04, doi:10.1029/2010WR009832.

Gergis, J., Garden, D. and Fenby, C. (2010). The influence of climate on the first European settlement of Australia: a comparison of weather journals, documentary data and palaeoclimate records, 1788–1793. Environmental History, 15 (3): 485-507.

Gergis, J., Brohan, P. and Allan, R.J. (2010). The weather of the First Fleet voyage to Botany Bay, 1787–1788. Weather 65 (12): 315-319.

Gergis, J. (2010). Salvaging sunken treasure. SL Magazine, State Library of New South Wales, Winter 2010, 18-21.

Gergis, J. (2009). Leaping forward through the past: how historical documents can help scientists understand climate change. University of Melbourne Collections, 4 42-44.

Gergis, J., Karoly, D.J. and Allan, R.J. (2009). A climate reconstruction of Sydney Cove, New South Wales, using weather journal and documentary data, 1788–1791. Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal 58 83-98.

Gergis, J. (2008). Documentary accounts of the impacts of past climate variability on the early colony of New South Wales, 1788–1791: a preliminary analysis. Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, 21(5), 103-107.