Hannah Barrett

ImageReconstruction of El Niño Southern Oscillation using Ship's logbook data.

Supervisors: Dr Julie Jones and Professor Grant Bigg
Start Date: September 2014
Funding: ICERS (Ice and Climate Research at Sheffield)

Current Research:

The aim of my PhD research is to reconstruct El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) using data from ships’ logbooks, 1815-1854. This reconstruction will extend the ENSO record further back than the instrumental-based Southern Oscillation Index, which extends back to 1876. The data from ships’ logbooks is a valuable source of information for climatic research as it contains daily and sub-daily information on variables including wind speed and direction, temperature and pressure. This research uses data digitised through projects including Climatological Database of the World’s Oceans (CLIWOC) and from English Easy India Company (EEIC) archives. The logbook-based reconstructions are compared to a range of additional existing documentary and multi-proxy ENSO reconstructions. Historical and paleo-climate models are used to explore the relationship between ENSO-zonal wind further and to explore ENSO diversity.

Research interests:

  • Climate Variability
  • Tropical Climate
  • Historical Climatology


Barrett HG, Jones JM, Bigg GR (2017) Reconstructing El Niño Southern Oscillation using data from ships’ logbooks, 1815–1854. Part I: methodology and evaluation. Climate Dynamics. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-017-3644-7

Barrett HG, Jones JM, Bigg GR (2017) Reconstructing El Niño Southern Oscillation using data from ships’ logbooks, 1815–1854. Part II: Comparisons with existing ENSO reconstructions and implications for reconstructing ENSO diversity. Climate Dynamics. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-017-3797-4

Academic Background:

MSc Applied Meteorology, University of Reading (2013-2014) Distinction
Dissertation: ‘What was special about winter 2013-2014?’ Investigating the large-scale atmospheric circulation dynamics which lead to a record breaking wet and stormy winter in the UK.

BSc Geography with International Study, University of Manchester with a year at the University of British Columbia (2009-2013) First Class
Dissertation: ‘The interannual variability of winter snowfall in southern British Columbia and its relation to El Niño Southern Oscillation, 1951-2011’


Bursary from the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators for high academic performance in MSc Applied Meteorology (2014)

British Hydrology Student Award (2013) for best undergraduate dissertation.


GEO163 – Information and Communication skills for Geographers

GEO206 – Environmental Change

GEO249 – Physical Geography Spain Field class

GEO259 – Atmospheres and Oceans

Contact details:

Address: Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK

Email: hbarrett2@sheffield.ac.uk

Twitter: @climate_hannah