A climate reconstruction of Sydney Cove, New South Wales, using weather journal and documentary data, 1788–1791

Article


Gergis, Joelle, Karoly, David J. and Allan, Robert J.. 2009. "A climate reconstruction of Sydney Cove, New South Wales, using weather journal and documentary data, 1788–1791." Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal. 53 (2), pp. 83-98.
Article Title

A climate reconstruction of Sydney Cove, New South Wales, using weather journal and documentary data, 1788–1791

ERA Journal ID1958
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsGergis, Joelle (Author), Karoly, David J. (Author) and Allan, Robert J. (Author)
Journal TitleAustralian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal
Journal of Southern Hemisphere Earth Systems Science
Journal Citation53 (2), pp. 83-98
Number of Pages16
Year2009
PublisherCSIRO Publishing
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
ISSN1836-716X
2206-5865
Web Address (URL)http://www.bom.gov.au/amoj/docs/2009/gergis.pdf
Abstract

This study presents the first analysis of the weather conditions experienced at Sydney Cove, New South Wales, during the earliest period of the European settlement of Australia. A climate analysis is presented for January 1788 to December 1791 using daily temperature and barometric pressure observations recorded by William Dawes in Sydney Cove and a temperature record kept by William Bradley on board the HMS Sirius anchored in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) in the early months of the First Fleet's arrival in Australia. Remarkably, the records appear comparable with modern day measurements taken from Sydney Observatory Hill, displaying similar daily variability, a distinct seasonal cycle and considerable inter-annual variability. To assess the reliability of these early weather data, they were cross-verified with other data sources, including anecdotal observations recorded in First Fleet documentary records and independent palaeoclimate reconstructions. Some biases in the temperature record, likely associated with the location of the thermometer, have been identified. Although the 1788-1791 period experienced a marked La Niña to El Niño fluctuation according to palaeoclimatic data, the cool and warm intervals in Sydney over this period cannot be conclusively linked to El Niño- Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions. This study demonstrates that there are excellent opportunities to expand our description of pre-20th century climate variability in Australia while contributing culturally significant material to the emerging field of Australian environmental history.

Keywordsannual variation; climate variation; documentary source; El Nino; El Nino-Southern Oscillation; La Nina; measurement method; observational method; paleoclimate; proxy climate record; Australasia; Australia; New South Wales; Sydney [New South Wales]
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020370108. Meteorology
370202. Climatology
410404. Environmental management
Public Notes

Dr Robert Allan is an Adjunct Professor in the Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments, University of Southern Queensland. (E-mail:rob.allan@metoffice.gov.uk)

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Melbourne
Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Permalink -

https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q0vxy/a-climate-reconstruction-of-sydney-cove-new-south-wales-using-weather-journal-and-documentary-data-1788-1791

Download files


Published Version
Gergis_Karoly_Allan_AMOJ_v58n2_PV.pdf
File access level: Anyone

  • 2244
    total views
  • 336
    total downloads
  • 5
    views this month
  • 3
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

An Evaluation of the Performance of the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Version 3
Slivinski, L. C., Compo, G. P., Sardeshmukh, P. D., Whitaker, J. S., McColl, C., Allan, R., Brohan, P., Yin, X., Smith, C. A., Spencer, L. J., Vose, R. S., Rohrer, M., Conroy, R. P., Schuster, D. C., Kennedy, J. J., Ashcroft, L., Bronnimann, S., Brunet, M., Camuffo, D., ..., Wyszynski, P.. 2021. "An Evaluation of the Performance of the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Version 3." Journal of Climate. 34 (4), pp. 1417-1438. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-20-0505.1
Detection of climate change and attribution of causes
Santer, B. D., Wigley, T. M. L, Barnett, T. P., Anyamba, E., Bloomfield, P., Cook, E. R., Covey, C., Crowley, T. J., Delworth, T., Gates, W. L., Graham, N. E., Gregory, J. M., Hansen, J. E., Hasselman, K., Hegerl, G. C., Johns, T. C., Jones, P. D., Karl, T. R., Karoly, D. J., ..., Zwiers, W.. 1996. "Detection of climate change and attribution of causes." Houghton, J.T., Meira Filho, L.G., Callander, B.A., Harris, N., Kattenberg, A. and Maskell, K. (ed.) Climate Change 1995: The Science of Climate Change: Contribution of Working Group 1 to the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press. pp. 411-439
A multiproxy index of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, A.D. 1525-1982
Braganza, Karl, Gergis, Joelle L., Power, Scott B., Risbey, James S. and Fowler, Anthony M.. 2009. "A multiproxy index of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, A.D. 1525-1982." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 114 (5), pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1029/2008JD010896
Towards the prediction of multi-year to decadal climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere
Power, Scott, Saurral, Ramiro, Chung, Christine, Colman, Rob, Kharin, Viatcheslav, Boer, George, Gergis, Joelle, Henley, Benjamin, McGregor, Shayne, Arblaster, Julie, Holbrook, Neil and Liguori, Giovanni. 2017. "Towards the prediction of multi-year to decadal climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere." Past Global Changes Magazine. 25 (1), pp. 32-40. https://doi.org/10.22498/pages.25.1.32
Instrumental Meteorological Records before 1850: An Inventory
Bronnimann, Stefan, Allan, Rob, Ashcroft, Linden, Baer, Saba, Barriendos, Mariano, Brazdil, Rudolf, Brugnara, Yuri, Brunet, Manola, Brunetti, Michele, Chimani, Barbara, Cornes, Richard, Dominguez-Castro, Fernando, Filipiak, Janusz, Founda, Dimitra, Garcia Herrera, Ricardo, Gergis, Joelle, Grab, Stefan, Hannak, Lisa, Huhtamaa, Heli, ..., Wyszynski, Przemysław. 2020. "Instrumental Meteorological Records before 1850: An Inventory." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 101 (1), pp. 43-47. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0040.A
A Tripole Index for the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation
Henley, Benjamin J., Gergis, Joelle, Karoly, David J., Power, Scott, Kennedy, John and Folland, Chris K.. 2015. "A Tripole Index for the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation." Climate Dynamics. 45 (11-12), pp. 3077-3090. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-015-2525-1
Spatial and temporal agreement in climate model simulations of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation
Henley, Benjamin J., Meehl, Gerald, Power, Scott B., Folland, Chris K., King, Andrew D., Brown, Jaclyn N., Karoly, David J., Delage, Francois, Gallant, Ailie J. E., Freund, Mandy and Neukom, Raphael. 2017. "Spatial and temporal agreement in climate model simulations of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation." Environmental Research Letters. 12 (4), pp. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa5cc8
The UK-China Climate Science to Service Partnership
Scaife, Adam A., Good, Elizabeth, Sun, Ying, Yan, Zhongwei, Dunstone, Nick, Ren, Hong-Li Ren, Li, Chaofan, Lu, Riyu, Wu, Peili, Ke, Zongjian, Ma, Zhuguo, Furtado, Kalli, Wu, Tongwen, Zhou, Tianjuan, Dunbar, Tyrone, Hewitt, Chris, Golding, Nicola, Zhang, Peiqun, Allan, Rob, ..., Belcher, Stephen. 2021. "The UK-China Climate Science to Service Partnership." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-20-0055.1
Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: a global inventory
Bronnimann, Stefan, Allan, Rob, Ashcroft, Linden, Baer, Saba, Barriendos, Mariano, Brazdil, Rudolf, Brugnara, Yuri, Brunet, Manola, Brunetti, Michele, Chimani, Barbara, Cornes, Richard, Dominguez-Castro, Fernando, Filipiak, Janusz, Founda, Dimitra, Garcia Herrera, Ricardo, Gergis, Joelle, Grab, Stefan, Hannak, Lisa, Huhtamaa, Heli, ..., Wyszynski, Przemysław. 2019. "Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: a global inventory." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 100 (12), pp. ES389-ES413. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-19-00
Towards a more reliable historical reanalysis: improvements for version 3 of the Twentieth Century Reanalysis system
Slivinski, Laura C., Compo, Gilbert P., Whitaker, Jeffrey S., Sardeshmukh, Prashant D., Giese, Benjamin S., McColl, Chesley, Allan, Rob, Yin, Xungang, Vose, Russell, Titchner, Holly, Kennedy, John, Spencer, Lawrence J., Ashcroft, Linden, Bronnimann, Stefan, Brunet, Manola, Camuffo, Dario, Cornes, Richard, Cram, Thomas A., Crouthamel, Richard, ..., Wyszynski, Przemysław. 2019. "Towards a more reliable historical reanalysis: improvements for version 3 of the Twentieth Century Reanalysis system." Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 145 (724), pp. 2876-2908. https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.3598
Atmospheric circulation. 1. Mean sea level pressure and related modes of variability
Allan, R. and Folland, C. K.. 2018. "Atmospheric circulation. 1. Mean sea level pressure and related modes of variability." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 99 (8), pp. S39-S41. https://doi.org/10.1175/2018BAMSStateoftheClimate.1
Current climate data rescue activities in Australia
Ashcroft, Linden, Allan, Rob, Bridgman, Howard, Gergis, Joelle, Pudmenzky, Christa and Thornton, Ken. 2016. "Current climate data rescue activities in Australia." Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. 33 (12), pp. 1323-1324. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-016-6189-5
El Nino-Southern oscillation influence on the dust storm activity in Australia: can the past provide an insight into the future?
Pudmenzky, Christa, Stone, Roger, Butler, Harry and Allan, Robert. 2011. "El Nino-Southern oscillation influence on the dust storm activity in Australia: can the past provide an insight into the future?" 4th Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth Workshop (ACRE 2011). De Bilt, The Netherlands 21 - 23 Sep 2011
Understanding hydroclimate processes in the Murray-Darling basin for natural resources management
Gallant, A. J. E., Kiem, A. S., Verdon-Kidd, D. C., Stone, R. C. and Karoly, D. J.. 2012. "Understanding hydroclimate processes in the Murray-Darling basin for natural resources management." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 16 (7), pp. 2049-2068. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-16-2049-2012
The international Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth (ACRE) initiative
Allan, Rob, Brohan, Philip, Compo, Gilbert P., Stone, Roger, Luterbacher, Juerg and Bronnimann, Stefan. 2011. "The international Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth (ACRE) initiative." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 92 (11), pp. 1421-1425. https://doi.org/10.1175/2011BAMS3218.1
Positive feedbacks between the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave and the global El Nino-Southern Oscillation
White, Warren B., Chen, Shyh-Chin, Allan, Robert J. and Stone, Roger C.. 2002. "Positive feedbacks between the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave and the global El Nino-Southern Oscillation ." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 107 (10), pp. 3165-3177. https://doi.org/10.1029/2000JC000581
Is there an Indian Ocean dipole and is it independent of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation?
Allan, Robert J., Chambers, Don, Drosdowsky, Wasyl, Hendon, Harry, Latif, Mojib, Nicholls, Neville, Smith, Ian, Stone, Roger C. and Tourre, Yves. 2001. "Is there an Indian Ocean dipole and is it independent of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation?" CLIVAR Exchanges. 6 (3), pp. 18-22.
El Niño-Southern Oscillation influence on the dust storm activity in Australia: can the past provide a key to the future?
Pudmenzky, C., Stone, R., Butler, H. and Allan, R.. 2011. "El Niño-Southern Oscillation influence on the dust storm activity in Australia: can the past provide a key to the future?" American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2011. San Francisco, California, United States 05 - 09 Dec 2011 United States.
Rainfall variability of decadal and longer time scales: signal or noise?
Meinke, Holger, deVoil, Peter, Hammer, Graeme L., Power, Scott, Allan, Robert J., Stone, Roger C., Folland, Chris K. and Potgieter, Andries B.. 2005. "Rainfall variability of decadal and longer time scales: signal or noise?" Journal of Climate. 18 (1), pp. 89-90. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-3263.1