George Rowe’s View of Melbourne from the Observatory on Flagstaff Hill in 1858. Image: The State Library of Victoria.

I study historical climates of Australia using early instrumental data. This involves a mix of statistical analysis, data quality assessment, citizen science, historical climatology, and detective work. Here you’ll find my publications, and details of data access.

Academic publications


31. Sieber, R., Slonosky, V., Ashcroft, L., and Pudmenzky, C., 2022. Formalizing Trust in Historical Weather Data. Weather Climate and Society, 14, 993–1007,

30. Ashcroft, L., Trewin, B., Benoy, M., Ray, D., and Courtney, C., 2022. The world’s longest known parallel temperature dataset: A comparison between daily Glaisher and Stevenson screen temperature data at Adelaide, Australia, 1887–1947. International Journal of Climatology. 42(5), 2670-2687. DOI:


29. Nash, D. and coauthors. 2021. Climate indices in historical climate reconstructions: a global state of the art. Climate of the Past. 17, 1273–1314. DOI:

28. Gergis, J. Baille, Z., Ingallina, S., Ashcroft, L., and Ellwood, T. 2021. A historical climate dataset for southwestern Australia, 1830–1875. International Journal of Climatology. DOI: 10.1002/joc.7105.

27. Slivinski, L. and coauthors. 2021. An evaluation of the performance of the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Version 3. Journal of Climate. 34, 1417–1438. DOI:


26. Ritman, M., and Ashcroft, L. 2020. Revisiting the 1888 Centennial Drought. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria. 132, 39–64. DOI:

25. Ashcroft, L., Cobb, M., Bailey, L., Martin, J., and Daniel, S., 2020. The Australian Science Communicators Conference 2020. Journal of Science Communication. 19 (03), C01.DOI:

24. Gergis, J., Ashcroft, L., and Whetton, P., 2020.  A historical perspective on Australian temperature extremes. Climate Dynamics. DOI:


23. Brönnimann, S. and coauthors, 2019. Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: a global inventory. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. DOI:

22. Bridgman, H., Ashcroft, L., Thornton, K., Di Gravio, G., and Oates., W., 2019. Meteorological observations for Eversleigh Station, near Armidale, New South Wales, Australia: 1877–1922. Geoscience Data Journal. DOI:

21. Slivinski and coauthors, 2019. Towards a more reliable historical reanalysis: Improvements for version 3 of the Twentieth Century Reanalysis system. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. DOI:

20. Ashcroft, L., 2019. Editorial. Geoscience Data Journal. 6(1), 4–5. DOI: 10.1002/gdj3.66.

19. Ashcroft, L., 2019. Rescuing climate data as a scientific and communication bridge. Perspectives Issue 2019/4 Communicating the Climate: From Knowing Change to Changing Knowledge. DOI: Invited submission.

18. Ashcroft, L., Karoly, D.J. and Dowdy, A.J. 2019. Historical extreme rainfall events in southeastern Australia. Weather and Climate Extremes. 25 (2019) 100210. DOI: 10.1016/j.wace.2019.100210.


17. Pepler, A., Ashcroft, L. and Trewin, B. 2018. The relationship between the subtropical ridge and Australian temperatures. Journal of Southern Hemisphere Earth System Science. 68, 201–214. DOI: 10.22499/3.6801.011.

16. Thornton, K., Ashcroft, L., Bridgman, H., Oates, W, and di Gravio, G., 2018. Algernon Henry Belfield and the Eversleigh weather diaries, 1877–1922. Journal of Australian Colonial Meteorology. 20, 139–154. Available online for a small fee, or contact me for the PDF.

15. Ashcroft, L., Coll, J. R., Gilabert, A., Domonkos, P., Aguilar, E., Sigró, J., Castella, M., Unden, P., Harris, I., Jones, P., and Brunet, M., 2018. A rescued dataset of sub-daily meteorological observations for Europe and the southern Mediterranean region, 1877–2012, Earth Syst. Sci. Data. 10, 1613-1635, DOI:

14. Gergis, J., Ashcroft, L. and Garden, D., 2018. Recent Developments in Australian Climate History. In: Palgrave Handbook of Climate History. 237–245.


13. Mitchell, N., Triska, M., Liberatore, A., Ashcroft, L., Weatherill, R. and Longnecker, N., 2017. Benefits and challenges of incorporating citizen science into university education. PLoS ONE 12(11): e0186285. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186285

12. Thorne, P. W., Allan, R. J., Ashcroft, L., Brohan, P., Dunn, R. J. H., Menne, M. J., Pearce, P.R., Picas, J. and coauthors, 2017. Towards an integrated set of surface meteorological observations for climate science and applications. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society,  98: 2689–2702. DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0165.1.

11. Pérez-Zanón, N., Sigró, J. and Ashcroft, L., 2017. Temperature and precipitation regional climate series over the central Pyrenees during 1910–2013. International Journal of Climatology, 37: 1922–1937. DOI:10.1002/joc.4823. Student-led publication.


10. Ashcroft, L., Allan, R., Bridgman, H., Gergis, J., Pudmenzky, C, and Thornton, K., 2016. Current climate data rescue activities in Australia. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. 33: 1323. DOI: 10.1007/s00376-016-6189-5.

9. Coll, J.R., Aguilar, E., and Ashcroft, L., 2016. Drought variability and change across the Iberian Peninsula. Theoretical and Applied Climatolology, online view (paywalled). DOI: 10.1007/s00704-016-1926-3.

8. Ashcroft, L., Gergis, J. and Karoly, D.J., 2016. Long-term stationarity of El Niño–Southern Oscillation teleconnections in southeastern Australia. Climate Dynamics, 46(9): 2991–3006. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-015-2746-3 (paywalled but accepted manuscript available here).


7. Cram, T. A., Compo, G. P., Yin, X., Allan, R. J., McColl, C., Vose, R. S., Whitaker, J. S., Matsui, N., Ashcroft, L. and coauthors, 2015. The International Surface Pressure Databank version 2. Geoscience Data Journal, 2: 31–46. DOI: 10.1002/gdj3.25.

6. Pérez-Zanón, N., Sigró, J., Domonkos, P., and Ashcroft, L., 2015. Comparison of HOMER and ACMANT homogenization methods using a central Pyrenees temperature dataset. Advances in Science and Research, 12, 111–119, DOI:10.5194/asr-12-111-2015.

5. Ashcroft, L., Gergis, J. and Karoly, D.J., 2014b. A historical climate dataset for southeastern Australia, 1788–1859. Geosciences Data Journal, 1(2): 158–178, DOI: 10.1002/gdj3.19.

4. Ashcroft, L., Karoly, D.J. and Gergis, J., 2014a. Southeastern Australian climate variations 1860–2009: a multivariate analysis. International Journal of Climatology, 34 (6): 1928–1944. DOI: 10.1002/joc.3812.

3. Gergis, J. and Ashcroft, L., 2013. Rainfall variations in south-eastern Australia part 2: a comparison of documentary, early instrumental and palaeoclimate records, 1788–2008. International Journal of Climatology 33 (14): 2973–2987. DOI: 1002/joc.3639.

2. Ashcroft, L., Karoly, D.J. and Gergis, J., 2012. Temperature variations of southeastern Australia, 1860–2011. Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal 62: 227–245. Download here.

1. Ashcroft, L., Pezza, A.B. and Simmonds I., 2009. Cold events over southern Australia: synoptic climatology and hemispheric structure. Journal of Climate 22(24): 6679–6698, DOI: 10.1175/2009JCLI2997.1.


Ashcroft, L., 2014. Extending the instrumental climate record of southeastern Australia. PhD thesis, School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, 516 pp. Abstract here.

Ashcroft L., 2007. Polar Outbreaks over Southern Australia: synoptic mechanisms and planetary links. Honours Thesis submitted as part of the B.Sc. (Hons) degree in the School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne.

Data and details

  • Monthly southeastern Australian climate data for 1788–1859 described by Ashcroft et al. (2014b) are available here. Please contact me for more details about original sources, or refer to the publication.
  • Dates and sizes of the adjustments made to 1860–2009 southeastern Australian temperature, rainfall and atmospheric pressure data can be found here. For details, please refer to Ashcroft et al. (2012), Gergis and Ashcroft (2013) and Ashcroft et al. (2014a), or contact me. You can also read details about the pre-1910 data from the Bureau of Meteorology, and see a talk of mine here.
  • The dataset of 8.8 million sub-daily weather observations from across Europe and the southern Mediterranean rescued under the UERRA project (article 16) can be accessed from PANGAEA:

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