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...

E. C. Frome, Australia, First view of the salt desert - called Lake Torrens, 1843, Lake Frome, South Australia. Source: Art Gallery of South Australia.

Historical climate data can improve our assessment of future climate risk

Australia is a land characterised by dramatic climate and weather extremes. Currently, our understanding of the nation’s climatic history is mostly confined to official records kept by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology that begin in 1900, despite the fact that observations are available from first European settlement of Australia in 1788. Colonial weather observations taken … Continue reading Historical climate data can improve our assessment of future climate risk

Wendy Howe CHA Volunteer

Become a citizen scientist and help climate research

There’s an immense amount of value that citizen scientists can bring to the field of climate science.  Historical observations provide researchers with a baseline for evaluating recently observed extremes. However there are missing gaps in historical weather data, some of which are able to be filled by old weather journals that are yet to be … Continue reading Become a citizen scientist and help climate research

National Archives of Australia documents

Help piece together Australia’s longest daily weather record

What was Australia’s climate like before official weather records began in the early 1900s? How did the climate impact the lives of people living in the 1800s?  The answers to these questions lie deep in historical records, such as old weather journals, early newspapers, photographs, and colonial paintings. And thanks to some very dedicated early-settlers, … Continue reading Help piece together Australia’s longest daily weather record