Read e-book online Storm Watchers: The Turbulent History of Weather Prediction PDF

By John D. Cox

ISBN-10: 047138108X

ISBN-13: 9780471381082

ISBN-10: 0471444863

ISBN-13: 9780471444862

A person who watched the marvelous computer-generated photos of typhoon Ike nearing the coast of Texas this month may locate this e-book particularly attention-grabbing. It strains the historical past of climate prediction and the improvement of the technological know-how of meteorology over the last two hundred years and a fascinating tale it truly is, replete with colourful person geniuses who driven the frontiers of information ahead -- and dumb bureaucrats and politicians who attempted to dam them at each turn.
The e-book starts with Benjamin Franklin who was once the 1st to note that the winds in a typhoon relocating northwards may perhaps truly be blowing in a southerly course. yet many of the different males profiled during this ebook who made the main amazing contributions to meteoroloy -- american citizens, Britons and such a lot notably Norwegians and Swedes -- I had by no means heard of.
there has been the chemist Luke Howard who labeled different types of clouds and gave them the names we all know this present day -- cumulus, stratus, nimbus.
William Redfield used to be now not a informed scientist yet in 1821 the recent Yorker was once the 1st to explain the round movement of winds in a typhoon. 20 years later, Elias Loomis, a professor of arithmetic and philosophy, was once the 1st to supply a climate map. yet for far of the nineteenth century, climate forecasting confronted large competition from those that acknowledged it used to be opposite to God's will in addition to manufacturers of renowned almanacs who confronted the lack of their business.
Robert FitzRoy, who captained the Royal army send The Beagle which took Charles Darwin on his old voyage to the Galapagos, coined the notice "forecasting." yet development within the usa floor to a halt after the Civil battle whilst climate prediction used to be positioned less than the regulate of the military. issues grew even worse on the finish of the nineteenth century while political appointees antagonistic to technology took over within the management of Grover Cleveland.
The comparability to present day debate over international warming and the Bush administration's refusal for thus decades to confess the matter, less grapple with it, are too noticeable to be overlooked, even though the writer of this ebook doesn't belabor them.
the results of blindly ignoring technological know-how have been graphically and tragically tested within the nice typhoon that destroyed Galveston in 1900. Isaac Cline used to be accountable for climate forecasts within the urban, notwithstanding he used to be now not a number one scientist. He baldly acknowledged, in keeping with no trustworthy info, there has been no likelihood of a typhoon impressive Galveston. He inspired the town fathers to demolish the ocean wall conserving town. the govt additionally took the distastrous step of denying climate watchers in Cuba entry to the telegraph method simply because "hurricane warnings unnecessarily riled the natives." After the catastrophe within which he misplaced his personal spouse, Cline introduced a coverup, falsely pointing out that he had published storm warnings -- and emerged a hero.
there are various attention-grabbing tales during this booklet that's a stark caution of what occurs whilst politicians and bureaucrats adverse to technological know-how begin their meddling. In 1944, there has been an incredible conflict among forecasters, one well known scientist Sverre Petterssen and the opposite Irving Krick, a charlatan who had one way or the other equipped himself a profession within the box. They disagreed over the elements at the day put aside for the D-Day landings in Normandy. Thank God Petterssen prevailed. If normal Eisenhower had listened to Krick, who guaranteed him the elements will be nice, the landings could were a catastrophe. fortunately he heeded Petterssen's suggestion and postponed the landings by way of one day.
There are a few faults with this publication. The writing could be a bit plodding and the characters infrequently burst to existence from the web page. nonetheless, i discovered it splendidly attention-grabbing and suggest it to someone who want to find out about the nightly climate forecasts we now take for granted.

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Read e-book online Storm Watchers: The Turbulent History of Weather Prediction PDF

An individual who watched the outstanding computer-generated snap shots of storm Ike nearing the coast of Texas this month may perhaps locate this publication rather interesting. It strains the heritage of climate prediction and the improvement of the technology of meteorology during the last 2 hundred years and an engaging tale it really is, replete with colourful person geniuses who driven the frontiers of information ahead -- and dumb bureaucrats and politicians who attempted to dam them at each flip.

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Extra info for Storm Watchers: The Turbulent History of Weather Prediction from Franklin's Kite to El Nino

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This cold north-west wave advanced more rapidly than the center of the storm,” he wrote. ” At the time, of course, the big question among meteorologists had to do with the winds. Loomis showed the diagrams of Espy’s radial winds and Redfield’s circling winds and pronounced neither of them fit to explain what happens with the big storms of winter. “The accompanying charts will show that neither of these diagrams faithfully represents the storms here investigated,” he said, “and it is doubtful whether either of them ever accurately represents the motion of the wind over any large portion of the earth’s surface.

Government. S. Congress. He sought federal funds for a national system of simultaneous weather observations and funds for his own salary to oversee such a network. He also sought a provisional appropriation 02 cox part 2 6/20/02 11:17 AM Page 39 James P. Espy • 39 of $10,000 to be paid him, proportionally, if he were able to bring rain to 10,000 square miles during a drought. A visit from “Mr. Espy, the storm breeder,” was recorded by John Quincy Adams, who, after serving as president, had become a member of the House of Representatives.

New York City had never seen such damage from a storm. Elsewhere along the seaboard, the hurricane laid waste to the low-lying agricultural lands surrounding Chesapeake Bay. It drenched Philadelphia and caused widespread wind damage in the city. Hardest hit were the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the busy sea harbor of Norfolk, Virginia. It came to be known as the Great Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane of 1821, but that name came later. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, storms went by a variety of names that were used interchangably.

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Storm Watchers: The Turbulent History of Weather Prediction from Franklin's Kite to El Nino by John D. Cox

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