Home > View & Discuss > Joelle Gergis on our sunburnt country

Joelle Gergis on our sunburnt country

  • Date recorded: 26 Jul 2018

  • Duration: 42:04

The science is crystal clear: climate change is happening right now. We are already committed to dangerous levels of climate change, and Australia is the most vulnerable nation in the developed world.

– Dr Joëlle Gergis

About this recording

In this timely and important lecture, Dr Joëlle Gergis looks at the long-term history of Australian climate variability and extremes as she discusses themes from her book Sunburnt country, published by Melbourne University Press in April 2018.

Dr Gergis details her role in the South-Eastern Australian Climate Reconstruction Project (SEARCH), which harnessed the State Library's invaluable historical resources such as colonial-era manuscripts and artworks to reconstruct Australia's climate history back to 1788 and beyond.

Using these data sources to establish just how unusual recent climate extremes are in a longer-term record, the project produced the region's first 1000-year temperature reconstruction.


Dr Joëlle Gergis is an award-winning climate scientist and writer from the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on reconstructing Australian climate using scientific data such as tree rings, corals and ice cores, as well as historical records including colonial diaries, government records, early newspapers and artworks uncovered in Australia's archives.