Organizations crowd-sourcing historic ship log transcription for Arctic temperature data

By on October 26, 2012
arctic climate data A page from the log book of the U.S. Navy steamer Bear, June 22, 1884. The Bear's logs are included in the Old Weather-Arctic citizen science project. (Credit: National Archives)

A collaboration of federal organizations and citizen scientist groups want anyone interested to help transcribe ship logs dating back to the 1800s so that scientists can use the data for historic Arctic weather modeling, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association press release.

NOAA, the National Archives and Records Administration, Zooniverse and Old Weather collaborated to create an interactive online transcription system that gives anyone access to historic ship logs.

Ship logs dating back as far as the 1850s document weather conditions such as precipitation and barometric pressure. The information comes from Navy, Coast Guard and Revenue Cutter voyages in the Arctic between 1850 and World War II, according to the release.

To become a citizen climate investigator, make a free account on OldWeather.org. Go to the “transcribe” tab and start reading and documenting weather conditions, notes and dates.

Image: A page from the log book of the US Navy steamer Bear, June 22, 1884. The Bear’s logs are included in the Old Weather-Arctic citizen science project. (Credit: National Archives)

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