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Climate as a Scientific Paradigm—Early History of Climatology to 1800

  • Franz Mauelshagen
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores the emergence of climate as a scientific paradigm by the early nineteenth century in Europe. Past research in this field has tended to absorb the early history of climatology into the framework of meteorology. However, in Europe and the Middle East, from ancient to early modern times “climate” was less a meteorological concept than a geographical and cartographical one. The modern conception of climate emerged from the decline of astrometerology and changing approaches to weather observation, as well as a gradual shift in the vernacular use of “climate” to refer to environmental conditions of a place. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, a paradigm shift occurred, as climate came to signify the sum of all factors influencing temperature in a given location. This shift opened the way for new discussions of climate change and climate history.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franz Mauelshagen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Advanced Sustainability StudiesUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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