My hero helping to beat back the tide of stupidity and hysteria?
Climate change theories face being debunked by Captain Cook and Darwin
Weather reports made by famous explorers such as Captain James Cook and Charles Darwin are helping scientists to study climate change.
Although there are numerous weather reports from the 18th and 19th century covering entire continents the oceans have largely been uncharted territory.
Now a new project has transcribed and digitised nearly 300 ships' logbooks dating back to the 1760s to help scientists fill in the gaps in the world's recent climate history. Until now they have been an untapped resource of scientific data.
Some ship logs have already revealed evidence that climate change may not be as rapid as believed, with many charting little or no change in Arctic sea temperatures compared with today.
However the data of others may prove the opposite. Recordings taken by the HMS Isabella, which sought the Northwest Passage in 1818, compared with today show a significant decline in sea ice in Baffin Bay, Canada. This area of sea connects the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.
Each log contains accurate weather information with daily and sometimes even hourly measurements of temperature, wind speed, air pressure and ice formation.
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