Battle against climate change turns to historic ship's log books

The Captain's log book from an old sailing ship may hold the key scientists need to understanding climate change in our region. 

Scientists are now poring over the records of a journey to the Antarctic that took place 84 years ago.

In 1935, the Discovery II was unknowingly writing its own page in the history books through its log book.

NIWA is a part of an international data collection group that is taking data like the Discovery's and putting it into international databases so past climate can be reconstructed.

"Around New Zealand obviously there's a lot of ocean so there's no climate station in the ocean, so a huge resource of data that's just beginning to be tapped into is ship's log books," climate scientist Petra Pearce told Newshub.

"We're just starting to uncover millions, there's millions, billions of weather observations that we haven't got yet."

Members of the public will soon be able to help by logging record on an open website, so we can know more about the future by using data from past.