meteorology

Jule Gregory Charney and the Science of Weather Prediction

Jule Gregory Charney and the Science of Weather Prediction

On January 1, 1917, American meteorologist Jule Gregory Charney was born. Working with computer scientist John von Neumann, Charney first applied the electronic computer for weather prediction (1950) and brought about a new understanding of the large-scale flow circulation within the atmosphere. He is considered the father of modern dynamical meteorology. In 1979, the Charney report studied the relations of carbon dioxide and climate and became one of the earliest modern scientific…
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Jean-Charles-Athanase-Peltier and the Peltier Effect

Jean-Charles-Athanase-Peltier and the Peltier Effect

On October 27, 1845, French physicist Jean Charles Athanase Peltier passed away. Peltier is best known today for the introduction of the eponymous Peltier effect, a thermoelectrical effect, i.e. the presence of heating or cooling at an electrified junction of two different conductors, as well as for the electrostatic induction. Jean Charles Athanase Peltier – Early Years as Clockmaker Peltier was born to a poor family; his father earned a living as a…
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Rudolf Wolf and the Discovery of the Sunspot Cycle

Rudolf Wolf and the Discovery of the Sunspot Cycle

On July 7, 1816, Swiss astronomer and astronomical historian Rudolf Wolf was born. Wolf’s main contribution was the discovery of the 11 year sunspot cycle and he was the co-discoverer of its connection with geomagnetic activity on Earth. Rudolf Wolf – Early Years and Academic Career Johann Rudolf Wolf was born in Fällanden, near Zurich, to Regula Gossweiler and Johannes Wolf, who was a minister in the Church. After studying at the Zurich Industrieschule,…
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James Pollard Espy – the Storm King

James Pollard Espy – the Storm King

On May 9, 1785, U.S. Meteorologist James Pollard Espy was born. Espy developed a convection theory of storms and developed the use of the telegraph in assembling weather observation data by which he studied the progress of storms and laid the basis for scientific weather forecasting. James Pollard Espy – Early Years The youngest of ten children, James Espy was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA. He had an ardent desire for…
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Wiley Post and the Discovery of the Jet Stream

Wiley Post and the Discovery of the Jet Stream

On November 22, 1898, US-American aviator Wiley Hardeman Post was born. Post was the first pilot to fly solo around the world and is also known for his work in high-altitude flying, where he helped to develop one of the first pressure suits and discovered the jet stream. “I cut the emergency switch just in time to keep ‘Winnie Mae’ from making an exhibition of herself by standing on her nose. That would…
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Andrija Mohorovičić and the Mohorovičić Discontinuity

Andrija Mohorovičić and the Mohorovičić Discontinuity

On January 23, 1857, Croatian meteorologist and seismologist Andrija Mohorovičić was born. He is best known for the eponymous Mohorovičić discontinuity, i.e. the boundary between the Earth’s crust and mantle discovered by him – and is considered a founder of modern seismology. Andrija Mohorovičić Background Andrija Mohorovičić proved to be a talented student from early age. By the age of 15, he spoke English, French and Italian and learned German, Czech, Latin and Ancient…
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Alfred Wegener and the Continental Drift

Alfred Wegener and the Continental Drift

On January 06, 1912, German geologist Alfred Wegener presented his theory of continental drift for the first time in public at a meeting of the Geological Society (‘Geologische Vereinigung’) at Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. “In the whole of geophysics there is probably hardly another law of such clarity and reliability as this—that there are two preferential levels for the world’s surface which occur in alternation side by side and are represented by…
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Sir Francis Beaufort and the Wind Scale

Sir Francis Beaufort and the Wind Scale

On May 27, 1774, Irish hydrographer and officer in the Royal Navy Sir Francis Beaufort was born. Beaufort was the creator of the Beaufort Scale for indicating wind force. In 1806, British Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort devised a simple scale that coastal observers could use to report the state of the sea to the Admiralty. Francis Beaufort – Early Years Francis Beaufort was born at Navan, County Meath, Ireland, the son of…
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Vilhelm Bjerknes – A Pioneer of Modern Weatherforecast

Vilhelm Bjerknes – A Pioneer of Modern Weatherforecast

On March 14, 1862, Norwegian physicist and meteorologist Vilhelm Bjerknes was born, Bjerknes is best known for being one of the founders of the modern science of weather forecasting with his 1921 published work “On the Dynamics of the Circular Vortex with Applications to the Atmosphere and to Atmospheric Vortex and Wave Motion“. Youth and Education Vilhelm Frimann Koren Bjerknes was born in Kristiania (later renamed Oslo), Norway, and enjoyed an early exposure…
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Veerabhadran Ramanathan and the Brown Clouds

Veerabhadran Ramanathan and the Brown Clouds

On November 24, 1944, Indian atmospheric scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan was born. He has contributed to many areas of the atmospheric sciences including developments to general circulation models, atmospheric chemistry, and radiative transfer. But, he is best known for his 1999 discovery of the “Asian Brown Cloud” – wandering layers of air pollution as wide as a continent and deeper than the Grand Canyon. Veerabhadran Ramanathan – Background Ramanathan was born in Chennai, India.…
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