ACRE partners are engaged in the recovery, imaging and digitisation of historical weather patterns. This encompasses hard data recorded by weather professionals through to enthusiastic amateurs as they took readings from their meteorological instruments as well as documentary material such as descriptions of the weather. Each form of information has value for those interested in researching historical weather patterns and events. The researchers are a diverse group:.Climate ScientistsClimate scientists working on historical perspectives of weather generally have an interest in outputs from reanalysis models. ACRE partners work to provide the data that helps to fuel these models, in particular the 20CR model which attempts to re-create weather spanning from the recent past back to the 1870’s. 20CR output covers a wide range of climate variables which can be used to analyse historical weather conditions. Investigations using this model’s output have covered topics as diverse as:•confirming global warming without using land surface temperature records (sometimes cited by sceptics as a flawed methodology) (Compo et al., 2013)•the US Dust Bowl (Cook et al., 2010)•the early twentieth century Arctic warming (Wood and Overland, 2010)•historical ENSO events (Giese et al., 2010)•decadal Atlantic hurricane variability (Emanuel, 2010)•ocean ecology (Baird et al., 2010)•highlighting the relevance of the stratosphere for understanding, if not predicting anomalous winter seasons in the northern hemisphere (Ouzeau et al., 2011)•rainfall as a driver to a late 19th century regional flooding event (Brugge, 1994)The 1851-2011 span of the latest 20CR version makes it very useful for a variety of climate applications ranging from assessments of storm track and extreme event variations to studies of drought and decadal variability to all manner of investigations into meteorological history.The main forum for climate scientists interested in the use of ACRE-facilitated historical weather data and 20CR outputs are the annual ACRE Workshops and the Region-Specific Meetings. Details of these and other studies that used ACRE-facilitated 20CR outputs, are available in the summaries of each meeting.Economic, Social and Health ResearchersACRE data are finding their way through reanalyses into supporting disciplines beyond climate science such as business, agriculture, natural catastrophes and risk analysis:•Insurance companySwiss Rehas announced that their new European winter storm model will use 20CR, making them the first reinsurance group to see its potential as a basis to model winter storm risk in Europe •Drought risk analysisis a topic being analysed by the MaRUIS Project (Managing the Risks, Impacts and Uncertainties of drought and water Scarcity) led by Oxford University, in which at least one member of the 20CR ensemble output will be downscaled to provide a high resolution baseline of UK droughts from 1850-2014.•Sugar harvestingin Queensland is to benefit from a project to develop targeted, seamless weather/climate forecasting systems for critical early season sugar harvest periods to be developed using reanalyses outputs.•Coffee yield forecasting in Vietnam is to be developed using 20CR outputs•Tse flyas a factor in the reduced ability of Africans to generate an agricultural surplus (Alsan, 2014)•Wildfire study estimating thunderstorm activity (Pfeiffer and Kaplan 2012)•Dust storm historyin Australia (Pudmenski, 2014) (El Niño-Southern Oscillation influence on the dust storm activity in Australia: Can the past provide an insight into the future?PhD Thesis (In final year), International Centre for Applied Climate Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Australia)Cultural HistoriansACRE is increasing its outreach and interactions by linking with social and cultural studies of human history. It is creating a cross-disciplinary community melding climate science together with the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. 20CR provides a long historical weather reconstruction onto which the various societal, environmental, economic and political factors can be layered and melded together to provide a more holistic assessment of global to regional variability and change:•What does human history teach us about climate change? The Snows of Yesteryear, Narrating Extreme Weather Projectwill investigate the ways that extreme weather events are remembered and mythologised by the people of Wales. Using their past experiences, the project will draw lessons, both warning and opportunity, for how we may be able to cope with the phenomena resulting from future climate change.•Putting sailors back in their ships. The Shipping Archives and Integrated Logbooks of Ships (SAILS)project linked structured data from WW1 Royal Navy Ship’s logs with Royal Navy Service Records. An ACRE initiative imaged the collection of ship logbooks from 1914-23. The climate data were then digitised, providing a valuable source of historical marine observations. However, these records also have great value to the social and military history community as they include detailed information about the movement of ships, and about ship’s personnel. By linking them with Royal Navy Service Records, the project was able to link sailors with the logbooks of their ships and, effectively, ‘put sailors back in their ships’. This provided enormous value for researchers of WW1, and was an important demonstration of linking and exposing structured data for interdisciplinary research.•How do people react to climate change? Spaces of Experience and Horizons of Expectation': Extreme weather in the UK, past, present and future: This project uses historical records and oral history approaches to explore how people have understood, been affected by and have responded to climate variability and extreme events through time. It explores how and why particular events become inscribed into the cultural fabric of communities and how they have contributed to community change in historical and cultural contexts. The main output from the project will be a public database of extreme weather events in the UK, dating back to circa 1700 (ACRE-facilitated). Other outputs will include educational resources, a touring public exhibition and a variety of published materials and conference presentations.A framework/blueprint for such a melding of climate science with the social sciences, humanities and the arts is detailed in:Allan, R., Endfield, G., Damodaran, V., Adamson G., Hannaford, M., Carroll, F., Macdonald, N., Groom, N., Jones, J., Williamson, F., Hendy, E., Holper, P., Arroya, P., Hughes, L., Bickers, R. and Bliuc, A-M., 2015: Towards integrated historical climate research: the example of ACRE (Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth). WIREs Climate Change (Accepted).
“…data recorded by weather professionals through to enthusiastic amateurs.”
“Tse fly as a factor in the reduced ability of Africans to generate an agricultural surplus.”
“ACRE is creating a cross-disciplinary community, melding climate science together with the natural sciences, …”