Meteorology A Hisotry

Continuing on yesterday’s brief summery of meteorology I wanted to look at the history of the science.

Ancient peoples predicted the time based on the observation of the stars. Through the movement of the Sun, the stars and planets, the ancient Egyptians could predict the seasons and the floods of the Nile River, so essential to the survival of the Egyptian people. However, the history of meteorology can be traced from the Ancient Greece. Aristotle is considered the father of meteorology, and in 350 BC, wrote the book “meteorology”, where he describes with reasonable accuracy what we know today as the water cycle, and outlined that the planet is divided into five climatic zones: the torrid region around the equator, two frigid zones at the poles and two temperate zones. In the 9th century, the Kurdish Al-Dinawari naturalist writes the book of plants, where details the applications of meteorology to agriculture; in that historic moment the Islamic world lived a significant agricultural revolution. Al-Dinawari, in his book, describes the sky, the planets, the constellations, the Sun and the Moon, the lunar phases and noted the dry seasons and wet. Also detailed meteorological phenomena, like the wind, storms, lightning, snow, floods, valleys, rivers, lakes, wells and other water sources.

In 1021, Alhazen Arabic wrote about the atmospheric refraction of light and showed that atmospheric refraction of sunlight happens only when the solar disk is 18° or less below the horizon. On this basis, Alhazen, using complex geometry resources, also concluded that the height of the Earth’s atmosphere should be about 79 km, which is quite reasonable with actual results. Alhazen also concluded that the atmosphere reflects the light, by the fact that the bright stars in the sky begin to disappear when the Sun is still 18° below the horizon, indicating the end of dusk or early morning. In 1121, Al-Khazini, a Muslim scientist of Byzantine Greek origin, published the Book of the balance of Wisdom, the first study on the hydrostatic balance. In the 13th century German Albertus Magnus was the first to propose that each drop of rain had the form of a small sphere, and that this means that the Rainbow is produced by light interacting with each droplet of rain. The English philosopher Roger Bacon was the first to calculate the angular size of the Rainbow and claimed the top of the Rainbow can’t erect more than 42° above the horizon. In the late 13th century and early 14th century, German Theodoric of Freiberg and kamāl al-dīn al-Fārisī continued the work of, and were the first to give coherent explanations for the Rainbow phenomenon. However, Theodoric goes further and also explains the secondary Rainbow.

In 1441, the Korean King Sejong’s son, Prince Munjong, invented the first standardized rain gauge. Several gauges were sent throughout the territory dominated by the Joseon dynasty as an official tool for the collection of taxes, based on the potential of crop that a fertile area could offer. In 1450, the Italian Alberti developed a swinging-plate anemometer, which became known as the first historical record of an instrument capable of measuring the wind speed. In 1494, Christopher Columbus experience in your browsing a tropical cyclone, which leads to the first written account by a European of a hurricane. In 1592, Galileo Galilei built the first thermoscope, which saw the rise of an oil column in a capillary tube with temperature increase. In 1611, Johannes Kepler writes the first scientific treatise on snow crystals: Nive Sexangula yours Strena (“Hexagonal Snow, a new year’s gift”). In 1643, Evangelista Torricelli invented the barometer of mercury. In 1648, the Frenchman Blaise Pascal rediscovers that atmospheric pressure decreases with height, and deduces that there is a vacuum above the atmosphere. In 1654, Ferdinando II de ‘ Medici establishes the first weather observing network, that consisted of meteorological stations in Florence, Cutigliano, Vallombrosa, Bologna, Parma, Milan, Innsbruck, Osnabrück, Paris and Warsaw. The data collected were sent to central in Florence, at regular intervals of time. In 1662, the English Sir Christopher Wren invented the tipping rain gauge automatic drainage. In 1686, the Englishman Edmund Halley presents a systematic study of the trade winds and monsoons and identifies solar heating as the cause of atmospheric motions. In 1716, Halley suggests that aurorae borealis and australis are caused by “magnetic effluvia” moving along the Earth’s magnetic field lines.

In 1714, German Gabriel Fahrenheit creates reliable scale for measuring the temperature with a Mercury thermometer. In 1735, the Englishman George Hadley draws up an ideal explanation for the global atmospheric circulation through the study of the trade winds. In 1738, the Dutchman Daniel Bernoulli published a book, Hydrodynamics, initiating the kinetic theory of gases and established the fundamental laws of the theory of gases. In 1742 Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius, suggests that the centigrade scale of temperature measurement would be more appropriate, which would be the predecessor of the current Celsius scale. The following year, when the American Benjamin Franklin is prevented from watching a lunar eclipse by a hurricane, Franklin concluded that hurricanes roam in the opposite direction of its winds. In 1761, the Scotsman Joseph Black discovered that ice absorbs heat without changing its temperature at the time of the merger. In 1772, the student Daniel Rutherford discovers nitrogen, which he calls “air flogistado”, which would be the gaseous combustion residue, according to the Phlogiston theory. In 1777, the French Antoine Lavoisier discovered oxygen and develops an explanation for combustion, and in his book of 1783, entitled Réflexions sur le phlogistique, Lavoisier despises the Phlogiston theory and proposes a caloric theory.

Also in 1783, the first hair hygrometer is presented by Switzerland’s Horace-Bénédict de Saussure. In 1802-1803, English Luke Howard writes the book on the modification of Clouds in which he assigns Latin names to the various cloud types. In 1804, the Scotsman John Leslie observes that a matte black surface radiates heat more effectively than a polished surface, suggesting the importance of black body radiation; the behavior of the atmosphere also depends on the heat radiated by the continents and oceans. In 1806, the Englishman Francis Beaufort introduced his system for classifying wind speed, now known as Beaufort scale. In 1808, the Englishman John Dalton defends caloric theory in a new system, and describes the combinations of matter, especially gases, and even proposes that the heat capacity of gases varies inversely with atomic weight. In 1824, the French Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot analyzes the efficiency of steam engines using caloric theory and develops the notion of reversibility and to postulate that such a thing does not exist in nature, lays the Foundation for the second law of thermodynamics. The arrival of the electric telegraph in 1837 allowed, for the first time, a practical method for quickly gathering surface weather data from a large area. Such data could be used to produce maps of atmospheric surface and study how the atmosphere will evolve over time. To make successive weather forecasts based on these data, it would be necessary to have a trusted network of atmospheric observation, but that wasn’t possible until 1849, when the Smithsonian Institute began to establish an observation network in the United States under the leadership of Joseph Henry.

Similar atmospheric observation networks were established in Europe at this time. In 1854, the United Kingdom Government appointed Robert FitzRoy to the new Office of Meteorological Statist to the Board of Trade, with the role of gathering weather observations at sea. FitzRoy’s Office became the United Kingdom Meteorological Agency in 1854, the first national weather service worldwide. In 1856, the American William Ferrel proposed the existence of a circulation cell in mid-latitudes, and the air would then be deflected eastward to create the westerlies. At the end of the 19th century, the full extent of the large scale interaction of pressure gradient force and deflecting force, which causes air masses to move along isobars was understood. Yet right now, the first atlas of clouds were published, including the International Cloud Atlas, which is active in the press ever since. The first daily weather forecasts made by the daily Office of FitzRoy were published in The Times newspaper in 1860. The following year he was introduced to a storm warning system, based in hoisting of cones, in major British ports. During the second half of the 19th century, many countries have established national meteorological services. The India Meteorological Department (1875) was founded as a result of the successive passages of tropical cyclones and severe monsoons that were related to hunger in the previous decades. The Finnish Meteorological Central Office (1881) was founded as part of Magnetic Observatory of Helsinki University. The Meteorological Observatory of Japan in Tokyo was the forerunner of the Japan Meteorological Agency and began the preparation of surface weather maps in 1883. The Weather Agency of the United States (1890) was established under the authority of the United States Department of agriculture. The Australian Agency of the United States (1906) was established by law to unify existing State meteorological services.

In 1904, Norwegian scientist Vilhelm Bjerknes was the first to argue in his article the weather as a problem of mechanics and physics that the weather should be possible from calculations based on natural laws. But only at the end of the 20th century that advances in the understanding of atmospheric physics led to the founding of numerical weather prediction. Kinematic understanding of exactly how the rotation of the Earth affects global atmospheric circulation was not yet complete in the 19TH century. The Frenchman Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis published a paper in 1835 on the energy production of the rotational parts, such as water wheels. However, only in 1912 discovered the presence of this force in the atmosphere. Shortly after the first world war, a group of meteorologists in Norway, led by Vilhelm Bjerknes developed the Norwegian cyclone model that explains the generation, intensification and the end of the life cycle of extratropical cyclones, introducing the idea of fronts, that is, sharply defined boundaries between air masses, the Norwegian weather research group included Carl-Gustaf Rossby , who was the first to explain the large-scale atmospheric flow according to fluid dynamics, Tor Bergeron, who determined the mechanism by which the rain, and Jacob Bjerknes. In 1922, Lewis Fry Richardson published English weather by Numerical Processes, after gathering notes and derivations during the period in which he worked as an ambulance driver in World War I. Richardson noted that small terms in the forecasts of the equations involving fluid dynamics in the Earth’s atmosphere could be despised, and numerical solutions of the time could be found to relate to atmospheric variables graphically in time and space. However, the large number of calculations required was too large to be done without the use of computers, and the size of the weather network and the distance between weather station and another, in addition to the large time intervals used in the calculations took the realistic results in analyses of meteorological phenomena on strengthening. Later, it was concluded that such realistic results were due to numerical instability.

From 1950, became viable numerical predictions by using computers. The first weather forecasts derived from computational operations used barotropic, i.e. templates used only to variables of the atmospheric pressure, which prediziam with reasonable success the development of areas of high or low pressure.

In 1960, the chaotic nature of the atmosphere was first observed and mathematically described by Edward Lorenz, founder of chaos theory. These advances have led to the current use of the joint forecast in most major centers of prediction, and to take into account the uncertainty arising from the chaotic nature of the atmosphere. In recent years, climate models have been developed that feature a resolution comparable to older weather prediction models. These climate models are used to investigate long-term climate shifts, such as the effects that can be caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases. In April of that year, was successfully launched the first successful weather satellite, TIROS-1, and scored early when the weather information became available globally.

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