What's happening to the weather? Australian climate, H. C. Russell, and the theory of a nineteen-year cycle

Julia Miller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The theory of a nineteen-year climate cycle put forward by acclaimed New SouthWales Government Astronomer Henry Chamberlain Russell is arguably one of his least successful contributions to science. Yet his ability to draw global connections made Russell a pioneer in the field of climate science - one whose innovative thinking helped prepare the way for much later achievements in the field of seasonal prediction. While controversial, Russell's theory sparked intense interest in meteorology and climate cycles and, at a time when extreme weather events were putting pressure on agriculture and pastoralism in New South Wales, it addressed the question of whether the Australian climate was undergoing permanent change. An historical understanding of ideas about climate cycles illuminates current debates on how to address the problems associated with anthropogenic climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-27
Number of pages10
JournalHistorical Records of Australian Science
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'What's happening to the weather? Australian climate, H. C. Russell, and the theory of a nineteen-year cycle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this