Rescuing the South Pacific’s weather data

Climate specialists from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology are helping Pacific nations save precious weather data threatened by decay, vermin attack and tropical weather.

Two years ago, experts from the Bureau’s National Climate Centre visited the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Fiji to assess the condition of paper-based climate records, advise on conservation and take immediate action where needed. Now, team members are now helping those countries and Samoa derive further benefits by training staff and installing climate data management software.

The project manager for the Pacific Islands Data Rescue Project, Rod Hutchinson, says paper records deteriorate in humid equatorial conditions if they are not stored in optimum conditions. “We were at risk of losing weather observations going back for generations – information vital to our global understanding of climate variability and climate change. Regional meteorologists also use this historical data for forecasting climate trends and extremes.”

For further information: Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology,

Rob Morton, Tel: +61 3 9669 4188,