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 Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season
09.11.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Far fewer lakes below the East Antarctic Ice Sheet than previously believed
08.11.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>