Digging Up the Past to Prove a Point, and It’s a Very Pointy Point!

So Whats My Pointy Point?

CO2 doesn’t control the climate or have anything to do with extreme weather events. It never has and it never will… good luck proving me wrong.

historic-floodI spend a fair portion of my spare time researching a lot of different topics of interest as well as a variety of scientific fields, but more recently one of my favourite things to do is searching out archived news articles from the past several decades related specifically to climate predictions, climate science, and extreme weather events.

I was first turned onto this kind of commando style research by none other than Tony Heller over at Real Climate Science, aka, @SteveSGoddard. It’s become a fun little past time of mine and I really enjoy sharing the fruits of my labor both here on my Blog and with my Followers on Twitter.

If you’re interested in partaking in this past time as well, you’re in luck, because it’s easy, free and fun! Do I sound like a used car salesman to you yet? Good, let us proceed…

I’m going to give you a couple of quick and easy examples to get you started, you’ll see it’s very easy and once you do a couple of searches it gets to be pretty addictive, so keep an eye on the clock or you could lose hours doing this!

Using Google News Archive

Here we go! Go to Google.com and simply copy and paste this into the Google search field (not your Browser search field): glaciers site:news.google.com/newspapers 

Try it now, open a new Tab or Browser Window and give it a go!

You should get something that looks like this as a search result page.


NOTE: I’ve highlighted in red what to look for when dating your search results. Using the first search result at the top of the above screen capture, highlighted in red you’ll see 20011007 – this article is dated from (in order):

2001 (2001), October (10), 7th (07) – 20011007

This is the same for every search result. Simply look under the Article Title for the dat=yyyymmdd&id…this is your original article date of publication. You should be able to easily figure out the bottom three that I’ve left un-highlighted. Try it out.

Simply change the word/s in the search string to search for a different keyword/s. Here are three more examples:

  • heat wave site:news.google.com/newspapers
  • floods site:news.google.com/newspapers
  • glaciers growing site:news.google.com/newspapers

Using Trove To Search The Past

Head on over to Trove, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to sign up for a free account so you can bookmark your delicious finds. Having done that now proceed to this specific URL: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ and type your keyword/s into the search field there. Using the example of GLACIERS as our keyword, you should get a search results page that looks something similar to this.


The dates of the original articles are clearly displayed in the search result listing so things are a bit easier on the eyes here. Simply search for the keyword/s you’re interested in finding articles about… and away you go!

Once I have My Article – It’s Screen Capture Time!

Now that you’ve got the hang of this, you may want to share your finds with the world. The easiest way is to simply take a screenshot of either the article and/or the headline. It’s up to you, just don’t forget to include a link to the actual article too, you want to make it easy for people to check it out for themselves.

If you’re not familiar with taking screenshots I’ve included two links for you, I hope this helps!

Wrapping Up

These are just two basic examples of this type of historical research, and I use them fairly regularly, but there are paid subscription services if you want to really get serious and you have a few bucks to part ways with. Personally, I get plenty of good stuff using just what I’ve outlined here, so I feel no necessity to spend any hard-earned cash… just yet, anyway.

Let me know how you make out in the comments below or over on Twitter. And if you have any tricks or tips of your own, please share them with the community, I would love to hear them. Good luck and have fun!

One thought on “Digging Up the Past to Prove a Point, and It’s a Very Pointy Point!

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