Depiction of the year 1827 at Swan River, Western Australia. Source: National Gallery of Australia.

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?

A low pressure system across Adelaide in July 1847.

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

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

The engineers tasked with Adelaide’s first weather observations

In the year 1843, the ‘Great March Comet’ with its extremely long tail was splendidly visible from even the daytime skies of the Southern Hemisphere. However in Adelaide, South Australia, there was another reason to look skyward for what in modern times might seem like an unlikely group – the Royal Engineers. ...