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The meteorological observations of Bento Sanches Dorta, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 1781–1788

Abstract

Bento Sanches Dorta was an astronomer and geographer in the Portuguese colony of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil from 1781 to 1788. He recorded daily readings of meteorological and geomagnetic variables during that period. This dataset provides, to the best of our knowledge, the earliest known continuous 8-year-long instrumental meteorological observations for any South American site. His data show that the winters in this period were relatively cool, and that 1785 was the rainiest and hottest year, and 1787 the driest and coolest. The records display a distinct seasonal cycle and a variability that are comparable with the modern data.

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Notes

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    We take 1span = 23.5 cm.

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Acknowledgments

This work was partially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Environment (MMAMRM200800050083542, Salvá-Sinobas project) and the Junta de Extremadura.

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Correspondence to R. M. Trigo.

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Farrona, A.M.M., Trigo, R.M., Gallego, M.C. et al. The meteorological observations of Bento Sanches Dorta, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 1781–1788. Climatic Change 115, 579–595 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-012-0467-8

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Keywords

  • Wind Direction
  • Rain Gauge
  • Late 20th Century
  • Meteorological Observation
  • Modern Data