School of Physical and Chemical Sciences Te Kura Matū Seminar Series

Reconstructing Past Climate using Historical Data


Dr Julie Jones


Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, UK

Time & Place

Fri, 30 Nov 2018 11:00:00 NZDT in Room 701, Level 7, West Building (formerly Rutherford)

All are welcome


To understand how current climate changes compare to those in the past, we need long records of climate variability.  In many regions of the world, meteorological records are very short. In recent years, much effort has been put into extending the record through rescue of historical meteorological observations contained in archives.  In this seminar, I will introduce work undertaken in my research group using different sources of historical data. 

The meteorological information found within ships’ logbooks is a unique and fascinating source of data for historical climatology.   I will present work reconstructing rainfall over Southern Africa in the early 19th Century

Weather-related observations in archives are another, more indirect, source of weather information.  I shall introduce a reconstruction of monsoon rainfall for Tamil Nadu in India (1730-1920), using newspapers, diaries, journals, letters, both personal and political and government records and accounts, sourced from the British Library.

I shall also introduce preliminary work on using to reconstruct the Southern Annular Mode, using data/collaborating with ACRE Antarctica.

All Welcome


Julie studied Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich. She then obtained her PhD from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at UEA in 1998. Following a short postdoc in CRU she moved to a postdoctoral position at the palaeoclimate research group at the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht (near Hamburg) in Germany, where in 2005 she became group leader.

Julie took up a lectureship in climatology in the Department of Geography in Sheffield in August 2006.

Dr Julie Jones