Formalizing Trust in Historical Weather Data

Article


Sieber, Renee, Slonosky, Victoria, Ashcroft, Linden and Pudmenzky, Christa. 2022. "Formalizing Trust in Historical Weather Data." Weather, Climate and Society. 14 (3), pp. 993-1007. https://doi.org/10.1175/WCAS-D-21-0077.1
Article Title

Formalizing Trust in Historical Weather Data

ERA Journal ID122991
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsSieber, Renee (Author), Slonosky, Victoria (Author), Ashcroft, Linden (Author) and Pudmenzky, Christa (Author)
Journal TitleWeather, Climate and Society
Journal Citation14 (3), pp. 993-1007
Number of Pages15
Year2022
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN1948-8327
1948-8335
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1175/WCAS-D-21-0077.1
Web Address (URL)https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/wcas/14/3/WCAS-D-21-0077.1.xml
Abstract

Historical instrumental weather observations are vital to understanding past, present, and future climate variability and change. However, the quantity of historical weather observations to be rescued globally far exceeds the resources available to do the rescuing. Which observations should be prioritized? Here we formalize guidelines help make decisions on rescuing historical data. Rather than wait until resource-intensive digitization is done to assess the data’s value, insights can be gleaned from the context in which the observations were made and the history of the ob-servers. Further insights can be gained from the transcription platforms used and the transcribers involved in the data rescue process, without which even the best historical observations can be mishandled. We use the concept of trust to help integrate and formalize the guidelines across the life cycle of data rescue, from the original observation source to the transcribed data element. Five cases of citizen science-based historical data rescue, two from Canada and three from Australia, guide us in constructing a trust checklist. The checklist assembles information from the original observers and their observations to the current transcribers and transcription approaches they use. Nineteen elements are generated to help future data rescue projects answer the question of whether resources should be devoted to rescuing historical meteorological material under consideration.

KeywordsAtmosphere; Social Science; Australia; North America; Climate records; Decision-making; Software; Data science
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470209. Environment and culture
479999. Other language, communication and culture not elsewhere classified
430399. Historical studies not elsewhere classified
370108. Meteorology
370199. Atmospheric sciences not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsMcGill University, Canada
University of Melbourne
University of Southern Queensland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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