Why century-old ship logs are key to today’s climate research

Through both sunny days and torrential storms, sailors cutting through the waters around New Zealand and Antarctica faithfully recorded the weather they encountered, building up a treasure trove of data. Over a century later, scientists are digging through these maritime records for insights about the past and future of the region’s climate — and they need the public’s help.
Knowing what the weather was up to in the past can help scientists calibrate climate models like the ones they use to predict how weather conditions are likely to change as global temperatures continue to rise. Sailors traveling around New Zealand from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s to trade goods, hunt whales, or explore Antarctica kept logs about the water and air…

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