The value of our regional climate history


Historical weather observations provide crucial insight into past climate variability and extreme weather events, improving climate projections and risk assessments.

Despite the scientific benefit and the multitude historical viewpoints in historical weather information, it is not clear whether historical weather observation recovery is an effective engagement tool for climate change science.

This project brings together early and mid-career researchers as well as archivists and citizen science coordinators to explore the hypothesis that the recovery and analysis of local historical weather data by communities leads to increased public engagement in climate science.

Aims and Activities

This project has three components:

  1. A systematic literature review of the impact of transcription-based citizen science on behaviours and opinions, particularly about climate change.
  2. Pilot consultations with regional community groups.
  3. Development of a larger interdisciplinary Australian Research Council (ARC) proposal to further explore these themes.

Project Team

Dr Linden Ashcroft, Lecturer in climate science and science communication, School of Earth Sciences; Associate Investigator, Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes

Dr Stephanie Lavau, Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Environmental Practice, School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences

Professor Ruth Nettle

Dr Margaret Ayre, Senior Lecturer,  Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences

Ms Nikki Reichelt, Research Fellow, Rural Innovation Research Group, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences

Professor Howard Bridgman, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle

Dr Ken Thornton, regional historian

Mr Gionni de Gravio, University archivist, University of Newcastle

Mr William Oates, University archivist, University of New England