The History of Meteorology: to 1800 pp 99-122 | Cite as

# Meteorological Observations

Chapter

## Abstract

The development of the instruments discussed in the preceding chapters was necessary to overcome the impediment which had developed in the fifteenth century to the evolution of scientific meteorology. The advent of the thermometer, barometer, hygrometer, etc., as scientific instruments, opened the way for a more comprehensive study of the atmosphere.

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## References

- 1.Sir William Napier Shaw,
*Manual of Meteorology*(Cambridge: The University Press, 1926), 1:11.Google Scholar - 2.There is no evidence that the Greek Tower of the Winds, mentioned in Chapter Three, was used as an observation station. Rather this temple was probably a place where the devout could offer prayers and gifts in view of obtaining the wind and weather most desired for agricultural and nautical purposes. See Richard Inwards, “Meteorological Observations,”
*Quart. Jour. of the Roy. Meteor. Soc.*22, No. 98 (1896): 81–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - 3.Gustav Hellmann, “The Dawn of Meteorology,”
*Quart. Jour. of the Roy. Meteor. Soc.*34 (1908): 230.Google Scholar - 4.
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*Ibid.*, p. 306.Google Scholar - 7.Gustav Hellmann,
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*Die Anfängechrw(133)*, pp. 6–7.Google Scholar - 10.
*Ibid.*, p. 16.Google Scholar - 11.For example, Descartes in 1647 proposed to take meteorological observations in concert with Mersenne. See René Descartes,
*Oeuvres de Descartes*, ed. Chas. Adam et Paul Tonnery (Paris: 1903), 5: 99.Google Scholar - 12.A. Wolf,
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*op. cit.*, p. 312.Google Scholar - 15.Hellmann, in his article “The Dawn of Meteorology,” states that he found 123 different series of meteorological observations belonging to the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. This number undoubtedly represents a small proportion of the total number of such observations throughout Europe.Google Scholar
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*Evangelista Torricelli, Esperienza dell’argento vivo. Accademia del Cimento,chrw(133)*(Berlin: A. Asher & Co., 1897), pp. 11–22.Google Scholar - 17.Thomas Sprat,
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*Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Science*(Paris: 1710) pp. 356–358.Google Scholar - 20.
*Ibid.*, pp. 356–357.Google Scholar - 21.A. Wolf,
*A History of Science, Technology, and Philosophy in the 18th Century*(New York: The Macmillan Co., 1939), p. 284.Google Scholar - 22.James Jurin, “Invitatio ad Observationes Meteorologicas communi consilio instituendas,”
*Phil. Trans.*32 (1723): 422–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - 23.H. Howard Frisinger, “Isaac Greenwood: Pioneer American Meteorologist,”
*Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society*48, No. 4 (1967): 265–267.Google Scholar - 24.Isaac Greenwood, “A New Method for Composing the Natural History of Meteors,”
*Phil. Trans.*35 (1728): 390–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - 25.Greenwood was not the first to take regular meteorological observations on the American Continent. This honor apparently goes to Rev. John Campanius, who from 1644–1645 maintained a weather record at Swedes’ Fort, near Wilmington, Del. See “A Chronological Outline of the History of Meteorology in the United States of North America,”
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*Quart. Jour. of the Roy. Meteor. Soc.*7 (1881): 66–68.Google Scholar - 29.In the back of his work
*Physicae experimentales et geometricaechrw(133)*(Lugduni Batavorum: 1729), Musschenbroek has included the printed record of the meteorological observations which he made at Utrecht in 1728, and in which he employed these symbols to represent meteorological phenomena.Google Scholar - 30.Wolf,
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*Nouveaux Memoires de l’Academie Royale des Science*(Berlin: 1771): 60–65.Google Scholar - 32.Blaise Pascal,
*The Physical Treatises of Pascal*, trans. I.H.B. and A.G.H. Spiers (New York: Columbia University Press, 1937), p. xvi.Google Scholar - 33.
*Ibid.*, pp. xvi-xvii.Google Scholar - 34.Napier Shaw,
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*Science Progress*21 (1927): 477.Google Scholar - See also C. Adam, “Pascal et Descartes,”
*Revue Philosophique*24 (1887), pp. 612–624; 25 (1888): 65–90Google Scholar - R. Duhem, “Le Pere Marin Mersenne et la pesanteur de l’air,”
*Revue Generale des Sciences*17 (1906): 809–817.Google Scholar - 36.Pascal,
*op. cit.*, p. 164.Google Scholar - 37.Here Torricelli is apparently referring to the experiments of Galileo.Google Scholar
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*Isis*12 (1929): 499–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - For an English translation of the letters between Pascal and Perier concerning this experiment, see Forest R. Moulton and Justus J. Schifferes (eds.),
*The Autobiography of Science*(New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1953), pp. 148–152.Google Scholar - 39.Florian Cajori, “History of determinations of the heights of mountains,”
*Isis*12 (1929): p. 500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - 40.Pascal,
*op. cit.*, pp. 63–66.Google Scholar - 41.Robert Boyle,
*The Work of the Honourable Robert Boyle*(London: 1744), 1:97–104.Google Scholar - 42.Another probable factor was that he was a close assistant in Boyle’s experiments with the elasticity of air. See Margaret Espinasse,
*Robert Hooke*(London: William Heinemann, Ltd., 1956), p. 46.Google Scholar - 43.Robert Hooke,
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*Ibid.*, p. 228.Google Scholar - 45.Bernard De Lindenau,
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*Oeuvres de M. Mariotte*(La Haye: 1740), 1: 148–182.Google Scholar - 47.Twelve successive applications of this process gave an altitude of nearly thirty-five miles. Mariotte stopped here as he had no evidence that air could be expanded beyond the degree of rarefaction which it would have at this altitude.Google Scholar
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*Isis*12 (1929): 504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - 49.Mariotte,
*op. cit.*, pp. 174–175.Google Scholar - 50.Edmund Halley. “On the height of the Mercury in the Barometer at different Elevations above the Surface of the Earth; and on the Rising and Falling of the Mercury on the Change of Weather.”
*Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London*(1686): 104–116.Google Scholar - 51.Logarithms had been first invented in 1614 by John Napier. For a thorough account of the history of logarithms, see Cargill G. Knott,
*Napier memorial volumes*(London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1915).Google Scholar - 52.Halley,
*op. cit.*, p. 109. The development by Halley of this formula can be summarized in modem mathematical notation as follows: by Boyle’s Law pv = constant = 30 x 900 (Halley’s constant). Thus, the cylinder of air reaching from sea-level to the place where the barometric reading is*h*, is \(\begin{array}{*{20}{c}} {\int {vdp = \int_h^{30} {(30 \times 900)\frac{{dp}}{p}} = [(30 \times 900)\log p]} \int_h^{30} {} } \\ { = 30 \times 900 \times (\log 30 - \log h)} \end{array}\) Changing from natural to common logarithms, by dividing by the modulus 0.434295, and by simplifying, Halley’s formula is obtained.Google Scholar - 53.Halley,
*op. cit.*, p. 109.Google Scholar - 54.Later in this work by Halley, he attempts to explain the reasons for the changes in the barometric readings at sea-level.Google Scholar
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*Historia Mathematica*1 (1974): 263–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© American Meteorological Society 1983