[ASC-media] Weather Detective - citizen science project

Frankie Lee gmail frankielee333 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 6 19:05:43 PDT 2014


6 August 2014 MEDIA RELEASE

Citizen scientists will transcribe old ships' weather logs 

In Weather Detective project for National Science Week

 <http://www.weatherdetective.net.au/> cid:image003.jpg at 01CFB0B5.BCF29F60

.National Science Week runs from 16 - 24 August 2014

.Weather Detective project runs from 1 August - 5 September 2014

 

Australians will be uncovering important weather records as part of the
upcoming National Science Week Project. The citizen science project,
'Weather Detective', will call on volunteers to help transcribe weather
records from logbooks of ships that sailed in Australian waters in the
1890's and 1900's. The data will help improve short-term weather forecasting
and our understanding of past climates.

 

'Weather Detective' is digitising weather information from historical
documents and adding it into the existing climatic records database. The
logbooks were originally collected by former Brisbane resident Clement
Lindley Wragge, a pioneer of Australian Meteorology in the late 19th Century
and the creator of the naming convention for cyclones. 

 

Director of the International Centre for Applied Climate Science, Roger
Stone, said that uncovering these transcriptions would contribute to the
climate model projections and improve the database of weather extremes. 

 

"The data will be used to reconstruct climate patterns all the way back to
1895 and potentially lead to observations from many hundreds of years once
we further access naval ship's logs and explorers' observations," he said.

 

Volunteers are being called on to help transcribe the logbooks by tagging
relevant weather observations on the site. The recorded data will create a
global database of weather over time.

 

The citizen scientists are not required to do fieldwork and can complete all
their work online. Anyone in Australia, regardless of location, can take
part. 

 

National Science Week is expecting thousands of volunteers to join in with
the crowd-sourcing initiative and there are prizes of four tablet devices on
offer for citizen scientists and schools.

 

The Weather Detective project will run until September 5 and is open to all
Australians.

 

It is an initiative of ABC Science and University of Southern Queensland for
National Science Week (August 16-24).

 

The existing records database is run by ACRE (Atmospheric Circulation
Reconstructions over the earth).

 

2013's National Science Week project, 'Explore the Sea Floor', saw more than
280,000 photos identified by citizen scientists, contributing to vital
research on sea urchins and kelp.  Their volunteered time was the equivalent
of one person working 40 hour weeks for two years.

 

Behind the scenes of Weather Detective:

 

Kylie Andrews: Weather Detective Project Producer, ABC Science,
<mailto:kylie.andrews at abc.net.au> kylie.andrews at abc.net.au

 

Professor Roger C Stone PhD: Director for the International Centre for
Applied Climate Science 

 

Christa Pudmenzky, BSc (AES) (Hons 1st): University of Southern Queensland
(has been photographing the logbooks and started the project)

 

For more information head to the Weather Detective website:
http://weatherdetective.net.au

 

The project closes 5 September 2014.

 

Contact: Frankie Lee frankielee333 at gmail.com 0419 448847

Kylie Andrews, ABC Science kylie.andrews at abc.net.au  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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