The Old Weather Project is looking for volunteers to extract data and weather observations from digital versions of handwritten historical ship log books, which are difficult for a computer to read.

Covering 280 ships between 1905 and 1929, the information will enable scientists to reconstruct wind speed, weather, cloudiness, precipitation and pressure for a better understanding of the current and future climate. On the website, volunteers can track a specific ship, recording weather events or temperatures.

"If we can correctly account for what the weather was doing in the past, then we can have more confidence in our predictions of the future," said Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the UK Met Office.