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 First research results on the "spectacular meteorite fall" of Flensburg
18.02.2020 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht The Antarctica Factor: model uncertainties reveal upcoming sea-level risk
14.02.2020 | Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

Im Focus: Quantum fluctuations sustain the record superconductor

Superconductivity approaching room temperature may be possible in hydrogen-rich compounds at much lower pressures than previously expected

Reaching room-temperature superconductivity is one of the biggest dreams in physics. Its discovery would bring a technological revolution by providing...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Movement of a liquid droplet generates over 5 volts of electricity

18.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Powering the future: Smallest all-digital circuit opens doors to 5 nm next-gen semiconductor

18.02.2020 | Information Technology

Studying electrons, bridging two realms of physics: connecting solids and soft matter

18.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>