We Americans are accustomed to newfangled devices to dissolve mystery and illumine the way to a better future. But perhaps antique records may also serve to enlighten both present and future.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is to delve into the National Archives to better comprehend weather patterns. The idea is to have volunteers transcribe numerous Navy and Coast Guard logbooks dating from the mid-19th century to the Second World War.
It’s thought that these nautical records of weather observations will assist climatologists in ascertaining weather conditions through the decades. Soon, curious citizens will find the historical panorama at their fingertips at www.oldweather.com.
Amids concern about climate change, this approach should impel optimism.