Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Captain Cook’s Logs May Predict Future Climate Changes

04.12.2003


Pioneering worldwide research has unearthed a major new source of data for weather forecasters hoping to predict future climate changes

For the past three years a team of international experts, led by the University of Sunderland, have been examining a vast array of ships’ logs – from 1750 to 1850 – which has given one of the most accurate pictures yet of daily weather over the oceans.

These logs have never before been examined in such detail and the findings have given scientists across the globe an amazingly clear picture of weather from the past, and how it can help them to predict climate changes in the future.



Among the logs studied were those from the famous journeys of North-East-born explorer Captain Cook. However, most of the research has centred around the day-to-day accounts of regular seamen.

The University of Sunderland’s Dr Dennis Wheeler led the research team. He says: “A lot of work has been done recently with world meteorological records going back 150 years. Our work goes back much further.

"Although oceans cover 75 percent of the earth’s surface, we had very little information about the weather. These logs help us understand how climate changed in the past, which is a very useful tool when predicting climate change in the future.

“For the first time, with the exception of the Pacific, we can show the daily climate change for all major oceans between 1750 and 1850 and compare it to today’s conditions.”

Dr Wheeler worked with colleagues from a host of international organisations including the University of Madrid, the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute, the University of East Anglia and the University of Mendoza in Argentina.

The logs are held in British, Dutch, French, and Spanish archives. The empires of these nations were large and vessels sailed regularly between major ports and cities around the world. They provided a unique and comprehensive record of daily weather conditions on a global scale.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, wind and weather were used to help navigate ships around the world’s oceans. Ships’ officers needed to maintain very accurate records of the weather and updated their logs daily and sometimes hourly. As a result, there are thousands of these records in international archives, including observations regarding wind strength and direction, and the state of the sea and sky.

Although the project is finished, the team hopes to receive funding to allow them to look at the vast amount of logbooks which have still not been examined, in a bid to further understand past climates.

Steve Heywood | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nmm.ac.uk/cliwoc
http://www.ucm.es/info/cliwoc
http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/caffairs/septhm.htm

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>