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Changes in infrastructure also affect the Bureau’s network.
Over time, towns and cities grow, new roads and airports are built, and rural land use changes.
These developments can force the movement and replacement of thermometers and other equipment.
Each site relocation has the potential to disrupt the continuity of records, since no two sites have exactly the same climate.
Within months of the arrival of the First Fleet, Australia’s first ‘meteorologist’, Lieutenant William Dawes, set up an astronomical observatory and commenced recording weather observations.
Over the next century, amateur and official meteorologists continued taking observations in settlements dotted around the continent, providing documentary evidence of climate variability in Australia.
The Bureau employs world-leading methods and analysis techniques to account for such changes so that records can be confidently compared from one period to another throughout the last century.
While equipment has been standardised and calibrated by the Bureau since 1908, there have been large changes in technology since that time.
The data is robust and comparable through time, which will enable climate researchers to better understand long-term changes in monthly and seasonal climate, as well as changes in day-to-day weather, such as the frequency of heat and cold extremes.