Ashcroft, Linden, David Karoly & Joelle Gergis: Delving through settlers’ diaries can reveal Australia’s colonial-era climate

Linden Ashcroft, David Karoly & Joelle Gergis

Delving through settlers’ diaries can reveal Australia’s colonial-era climate‘, The Conversation, 10 February 2017

‘To really understand climate change’, the authors say, ‘we need to look at the way the climate behaves over a long time. We need many years of weather information.’ Before the Bureau of Meteorology, there were settlers jotting down weather notes in their diaries and this is the material the authors have been looking at, as well as newspapers, manuscripts and government documents.

Also relevant to these subjects is the multi-authored (Scott B. Power et al) piece, also in The Conversation, called ‘Droughts and flooding rains already more likely as climate change plays havoc with Pacific weather‘, which references the authors’ paper in Nature Communication and describes historic and projected disruptions in Pacific area rainfall.

Rebecca Jones’ chapter in The Honest History Book (coming in April; pre-order available now) also makes use of settlers’ diaries. Her chapter is called ‘Fire, droughts and flooding rains: Environmental influences on Australian history’.

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