DSC Seminar #5: Drew Lorrey & Petra Pearce on historic weather and the NZ earth system model

1929 discovery logs

Rescuing historic weather to understand New Zealand’s future climate

In this seminar, off the back of the highly successful ACRE: Antarctica conference, NIWA climate scientists Andrew Lorrey and Petra Pearce will take you back to the days when weather observations about Antarctica and the Southern Ocean were recorded in black ink on parchment.

Drew and Petra are part of a Deep South Challenge project which is testing the ability of the NZ Earth System Model (NZESM) to simulate reality, by comparing its results against modern and historical observations.

The NZESM is designed to simulate how our climate will change over the coming decades. It’s highly complex, modelling everything from weather systems to changes in Antarctic sea ice, ocean temperatures to stratospheric chemistry.

If, in comparison with past climate and atmospheric data, the model accurately replicates the past, we’ll have increased confidence that the model can accurately simulate future changes in climate.

To gather comprehensive historical climate data, the project sees scientists and historians working together to recover meteorological observations over the southern hemisphere made as far back as 1850. Rescued data are being archived and made publicly available through the International Surface Pressure Databank and NIWA’s database.

Physical hubs:
  • NIWA Wellington: Conference Room
  • NIWA Auckland: River Room
  • NIWA Lauder: VC Computer Room
  • Victoria University: CO118 
  • University of Canterbury: Law411
  • University of Otago: Physics 312
  • Metservice Wellington – Contact: James Lunny

We encourage you to set up your own hub and bring friends and colleagues together to participate in the seminar.

Email: [email protected]


Andrew Lorrey

Petra Pearce