New York (The Verge) — Why century-old ship logs are key to today’s climate research theverge.com/2019/5/3/18528….
Knowing what the weather was up to in the past can help scientists calibrate climate models like the ones they use to predict how weather conditions are likely to change as global temperatures continue to rise. Ship logs are a treasure trove of historical weather data, and a project called Southern Weather Discovery is asking for the public’s help transcribing them.
Sailors traveling around New Zealand from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s to trade goods, hunt whales, or explore Antarctica kept logs about the water and air temperatures, air pressure, sea ice, and wind. “Those logbooks are an absolutely massive source of weather data that we can use to improve our historical record of what we know about New Zealand’s climate and the climate of the surrounding oceans,” says Petra Pearce, a climate scientist with New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). — Rachel Becker/@verge