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Last Updated : Apr 15, 2020 08:25 AM IST | Source: Reuters

Icebound - The climate-change secrets of 19th century ship's logs

An eccentric group of citizen-scientists called Old Weather has transcribed millions of observations from long-forgotten logbooks of ships, many from the great era of Arctic exploration. As the polar regions grow ever warmer, the volunteers have amassed a rich repository of climate data in a 21st century rescue mission.

Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Helen Julian, a volunteer from the Old Weather group, poses for a photograph in Darlington, Britain, December 6, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Lee Smith
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Helen Julian, a volunteer from the Old Weather group, poses for a photograph in Darlington, Britain, December 6, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Lee Smith

Helen Julian, a volunteer from the Old Weather group, poses for a photograph in Darlington, Britain, December 6, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Lee Smith
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Helen Julian, a volunteer from the Old Weather group, poses for a photograph in Darlington, Britain, December 6, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Lee Smith

Helen Julian, a volunteer from the Old Weather group, poses for a photograph at her laptop in Darlington, Britain, December 6, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Lee Smith
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Helen Julian, a volunteer from the Old Weather group, poses for a photograph at her laptop in Darlington, Britain, December 6, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Lee Smith

Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, sits for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, sits for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, sits for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, sits for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Old Weather volunteer Joan Arthur poses for a photograph at her home in Oxford, Britain, November 25, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 25, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
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Old Weather volunteer Joan Arthur poses for a photograph at her home in Oxford, Britain, November 25, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 25, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Helen Julian, a volunteer from the Old Weather group, poses for a photograph in Darlington, Britain, December 6, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Lee Smith
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Helen Julian, a volunteer from the Old Weather group, poses for a photograph in Darlington, Britain, December 6, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Lee Smith

Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Kevin Light

Helen Julian, a volunteer from the Old Weather group, poses for a photograph in Darlington, Britain, December 6, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Lee Smith
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Helen Julian, a volunteer from the Old Weather group, poses for a photograph in Darlington, Britain, December 6, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Lee Smith

Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Dr. Kevin Wood, a research scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory – University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, stands for a portrait at the NOAA campus in Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 6, 2019. Wood is the lead investigator on the Old Weather Arctic project, which uses volunteer-collected historical weather data from thousands of pages of ships' logs to help inform climate projections. Picture taken December 6, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at his laptop in his home office in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at his laptop in his home office in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light

A detail in Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott
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A detail in Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott

A detail in Volume 1 of the USS Rodgers logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott
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A detail in Volume 1 of the USS Rodgers logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott

A detail in Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott
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A detail in Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Kevin Light

A detail in Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott
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A detail in Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph in his home office in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph in his home office in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Kevin Light

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph on his front porch Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph on his front porch Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Kevin Light

Archive specialist Gina Perry displays Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott
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Archive specialist Gina Perry displays Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph on his front porch in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph on his front porch in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS. REUTERS/Kevin Light

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph at Clover Point Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light

Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph looking over the Pacific Ocean from the Dallas Road Waterfront Trail in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light
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Old Weather group volunteer Michael Purves poses for a photograph looking over the Pacific Ocean from the Dallas Road Waterfront Trail in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, November 13, 2019. A group of far-flung volunteers called Old Weather is painstakingly extracting data from the handwritten logbooks of 19th-century ships to help us understand how the Earth's climate is changing. Founded a decade ago, Old Weather's volunteers have accumulated an astonishing 4 million observations of weather and ice, taken mostly from the logbooks of ships plying northern or Arctic routes. Picture taken November 13, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Kevin Light

The title page of Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott
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The title page of Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott

A detail in Volume 1 of the USS Rodgers logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott
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A detail in Volume 1 of the USS Rodgers logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The spine of Volume 1 of the USS Rodgers logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott
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The spine of Volume 1 of the USS Rodgers logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The title page of Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott
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The title page of Volume 1 of the USS Jeannette logbooks is pictured at the National Archives building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2019. Picture taken December 2, 2019. To match Special Report CLIMATE-CHANGE/ICE-SHIPLOGS REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Undated Handout photograph of 19th century whaling ship the Fleetwing. New Bedford Whaling Museum/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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Undated Handout photograph of 19th century whaling ship the Fleetwing. New Bedford Whaling Museum/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

First Published on Apr 15, 2020 08:22 am
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