Evaluating the utility of qualitative personal diaries in precipitation reconstruction in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries



Harvey-Fishenden, Alice ORCID: 0000-0003-0997-4170 and Macdonald, Neil ORCID: 0000-0003-0350-7096
(2021) Evaluating the utility of qualitative personal diaries in precipitation reconstruction in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Climate of the Past, 17 (1). 133 - 149.

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Abstract

<jats:p>Abstract. To date few studies have reconstructed weather from personal diaries (also known as private diaries). In this paper, we consider different methods of indexing daily weather information, specifically precipitation, from eighteenth and nineteenth-century personal diaries. We examine whether there is a significant correlation between indexed weather information and local instrumental records for the period, thereby assessing the potential of discursive materials in reconstructing precipitation series. We demonstrate the potential for the use of diaries that record weather incidentally rather than as the primary purpose, and the value and utility of diaries covering short periods when used alongside nearby contemporary diaries. We show that using multiple overlapping personal diaries can help to produce a more objective record of the weather, overcoming some of the challenges of working with qualitative data. This paper demonstrates indices derived from such qualitative sources can create valuable records of precipitation. There is the potential to repeat the methodology described here using earlier material or material from further away from extant instrumental records, thereby addressing spatial and temporal gaps in current knowledge globally. </jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2021 11:46
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2021 10:32
DOI: 10.5194/cp-17-133-2021
Open Access URL: https://cp.copernicus.org/articles/17/133/2021/cp-...
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3113611