Sailing Ship Logs Mined for Climate Data

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Whytootackay Island by Lieutenant G Tobin aboard HMS Providence in 1792

Slashdot brought this [BBC story](http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8291267.stm) to my attention:

> The BBC reports that researchers are digitizing the captains’ logs from the voyages of Charles Darwin on HMS Beagle, Captain Cook from HMS Discovery, Captain Bligh from The Bounty, and 300 other 18th and 19th century ships’ logbooks to provide historical climate records for modern-day climate researchers who will use the meteorological data to build up a picture of weather patterns in the world at the beginning of the industrial era. The researchers are cross-referencing the data with historical records for crop failures, droughts and storms and will compare it with data for the modern era in order to predict similar events in the future.