630,000 Records on Weather Discovered From World War II

In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, smoke rises from the battleship USS Arizona as it sinks during a Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, HawaiiInternationalIndiaAfricaMary ManleyAt least 4,000 volunteers transcribed more than 28,000 logbook images from the US Navy fleet that was stationed in Hawaii between 1941 and 1945. The new data set is expected to help show whether or not unusually warm temperature recordings during World War II were in fact valid.A mission to recover weather pattern observations made during World War II has successfully resulted in the recovery of 630,000 records, establishing a means for researchers to gain a better understanding of how meteorological conditions have changed over decades. The research should help scientists in their search for an explanation for the anomaly known as the “World War II warm anomaly” (WW2WA), a recording of high temperatures thought to have been caused by sailors who documented weather data during the day in order to avoid enemy vessels. The practice is believed to have prompted biases, according to a separate study by authors Duo Chan and Peter Huybers.At the time, the primary source for marine observations were made during World War II; however, many records were destroyed as an act of war, or otherwise considered forgotten as they were considered classified for a period of time, the authors explained in a news release.“The observations that do exist for this period are often unavailable to science as they are still only available as paper records or scanned images. We have rescued the detailed hourly weather observations contained in more than 28,000 logbook images of the US Navy Pacific Fleet stationed at Hawai’i during 1941–1945 to produce a dataset of more than 630,000 records,” the study authors, Raveen Teleti, Ed Hawkins, and Kevin R. Wood, write.“Each record contains the date and time, positional information and several meteorological measurements, totaling more than 3 million individual observations.”Beyond PoliticsExplorers Make First Detailed Search of WWII Battle of Midway Shipwrecks Site19 September, 03:52 GMT“This dataset not only contains hourly weather observations of air temperature, sea surface temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and wind direction, mainly in the Pacific Ocean but also includes some observations from the Atlantic and Indian Oceans,” the authors explain. “This dataset provides invaluable instrumental weather observations at times and places during WW2, which fill gaps in existing reconstructions.The records were made by crew members aboard 19 US Navy ships during World War II, but many of the ships where this data was recorded were bombed in Pearl Harbor and/or saw action in the Pacific theater during war.

“The greatest respect must go to the brave servicemen who recorded this data. War was all around them, but they still did their jobs with such professionalism. It is thanks to their dedication and determination that we have these observations 80 years on,” adds Teleti.

The information was shared in a study that was published in the Geoscience Data Journal.


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