Weather maps have made our atmosphere visible, understandable, and at least moderately predictable. In Air Apparent Mark Monmonier traces debates among scientists eager to unravel the enigma of storms and global change, explains strategies for mapping the upper atmosphere and forecasting disaster, and discusses efforts to detect and control air pollution. Fascinating in its scope and detail, Air Apparent makes us take a second look at the weather map, an image that has been, and continues to be, central to our daily lives.
"Clever title, rewarding book. Monmonier . . . offers here a basic course in meteorology, which he presents gracefully by means of a history of weather maps." —Scientific American
"Mark Monmonier is onto a winner with Air Apparent. . . . It is good, accessible science and excellent history. . . . Read it." —Fred Pearce, New Scientist
"[Air Apparent] is a superb first reading for any backyard novice of weather . . . but even the veteran forecaster or researcher will find it engaging and, in some cases, enlightening." —Joe Venuti, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
"Monmonier is solid enough in his discussion of geographic and meteorological information to satisfy the experienced weather watcher. But even if this information were not presented in such a lively and engaging manner, it would still hook most any reader who checks the weather map every morning or who sits happily entranced through a full cycle of forecasts on the Weather Channel."—Michael Kennedy, Boston Globe
America has some of the most varied and dynamic weather in the world. Every year, the Gulf Coast is battered by hurricanes, the Great Plains are ravaged by tornados, the Midwest is pummeled by blizzards, and the temperature in the Southwest reaches a sweltering 120 degrees. Extreme weather can be a matter of life and death, but even when it is pleasant—72 degrees and sunny—weather is still central to the lives of all Americans. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a topic of greater collective interest. Whether we want to know if we should close the storm shutters or just carry an umbrella to work, we turn to forecasts. But few of us really understand the science behind them.
All that changes with The AMS Weather Book. The most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to our weather and our atmosphere, it is the ultimate resource for anyone who wants to understand how hurricanes form, why tornados twirl, or even why the sky is cerulean blue. Written by esteemed science journalist and former USA Today weather editor Jack Williams, The AMS Weather Book, copublished with the American Meteorological Society, covers everything from daily weather patterns, air pollution, and global warming to the stories of people coping with severe weather and those who devote their lives to understanding the atmosphere, oceans, and climate. Words alone, of course, are not adequate to explain many meteorological concepts, so The AMS Weather Book is filled with engaging full-color graphics that explain such concepts as why winds blow in a particular direction, how Doppler weather radar works, what happens inside hurricanes, how clouds create wind and snow, and what’s really affecting the earth’s climate.
For Weather Channel junkies, amateur meteorologists, and storm chasers alike, The AMS Weather Book is an invaluable tool for anyone who wants to better understand how weather works and how it affects our lives.
Whether it is used as an icebreaker in conversation or as the subject of serious inquiry, “the weather” is one of the few subjects that everyone talks about. And though we recognize the faces that bring us the weather on television, how government meteorologists and forecasters go about their jobs is rarely scrutinized. Given recent weather-related disasters, it’s time we find out more. In Authors of the Storm, Gary Alan Fine offers an inside look at how meteorologists and forecasters predict the weather.
Based on field observation and interviews at the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma, the National Weather Service in Washington, D.C., and a handful of midwestern outlets, Fine finds a supremely hard-working, insular clique of professionals who often refer to themselves as a “band of brothers.” In Fine’s skilled hands, we learn their lingo, how they “read” weather conditions, how forecasts are written, and, of course, how those messages are conveyed to the public. Weather forecasts, he shows, are often shaped as much by social and cultural factors inside local offices as they are by approaching cumulus clouds. By opening up this unique world to us, Authors of the Storm offers a valuable and fascinating glimpse of a crucial profession.
Enlightenment inquiries into the weather sought to impose order on a force that had the power to alter human life and social conditions. British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment reveals how a new sense of the national climate emerged in the eighteenth century from the systematic recording of the weather, and how it was deployed in discussions of the health and welfare of the population. Enlightened intellectuals hailed climate’s role in the development of civilization but acknowledged that human existence depended on natural forces that would never submit to rational control.
Reading the Enlightenment through the ideas, beliefs, and practices concerning the weather, Jan Golinski aims to reshape our understanding of the movement and its legacy for modern environmental thinking. With its combination of cultural history and the history of science, British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment counters the claim that Enlightenment progress set humans against nature, instead revealing that intellectuals of the age drew characteristically modern conclusions about the inextricability of nature and culture.
This work fills a tremendous gap in our available knowledge in a fundamental area of Civil War studies, that of basic quotidian information on the weather in the theater of operations in the vicinity of Washington, DC, and Richmond, Virginia. Krick adds to the daily records kept by amateur meteorologists in these two locations. Anecdotal descriptions of weather found in contemporary soldiers’ dairies and correspondence combines these scattered records into a chronology of weather information that also includes daybreak and sunset times for each day. The information in Civil War Weather in Virginia is indispensable for students of the Civil War in the vital northern Virginia/Maryland theater of operations, and of the effects of weather on military history in general.
Though efforts to understand human-caused climate change have intensified in recent decades, weather observers have been paying close attention to changes in climate for centuries. This book offers a close look at that work as it was practiced in Canada since colonial times. Victoria C. Slonosky shows how weather observers throughout Canada who had been trained in the scientific tradition inherited from their European forebears built a scientific community and amassed a remarkable body of detailed knowledge about Canada’s climate and its fluctuations, all rooted in firsthand observation. Covering work by early French and British observers, the book presents excerpts from weather diaries and other records that, more than the climate itself, reveal colonial attitudes toward it.
Kew Observatory was originally built in 1769 for King George III, a keen amateur astronomer, so that he could observe the transit of Venus. By the mid-nineteenth century, it was a world-leading center for four major sciences: geomagnetism, meteorology, solar physics, and standardization. Long before government cutbacks forced its closure in 1980, the observatory was run by both major bodies responsible for the management of science in Britain: first the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and then, from 1871, the Royal Society. Kew Observatory influenced and was influenced by many of the larger developments in the physical sciences during the second half of the nineteenth century, while many of the major figures involved were in some way affiliated with Kew.
Lee T. Macdonald explores the extraordinary story of this important scientific institution as it rose to prominence during the Victorian era. His book offers fresh new insights into key historical issues in nineteenth-century science: the patronage of science; relations between science and government; the evolution of the observatory sciences; and the origins and early years of the National Physical Laboratory, once an extension of Kew and now the largest applied physics organization in the United Kingdom.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress QC859.S4613 2010 | Dewey Decimal 551.5
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, dramatist, statesman, and adviser to the emperor Nero, all during the Silver Age of Latin literature. The Complete Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca is a fresh and compelling series of new English-language translations of his works in eight accessible volumes. Edited by world-renowned classicists Elizabeth Asmis, Shadi Bartsch, and Martha C. Nussbaum, this engaging collection restores Seneca—whose works have been highly praised by modern authors from Desiderius Erasmus to Ralph Waldo Emerson—to his rightful place among the classical writers most widely studied in the humanities.
Written near the end of Seneca’s life, Natural Questions is a work in which Seneca expounds and comments on the natural sciences of his day—rivers and earthquakes, wind and snow, meteors and comets—offering us a valuable look at the ancient scientific mind at work. The modern reader will find fascinating insights into ancient philosophical and scientific approaches to the physical world and also vivid evocations of the grandeur, beauty, and terror of nature.
This guide covers how to reach tenure through service, research, and teaching while empowering your graduate students and maintaining balance between your career and personal life. Sundar A. Christopher uses his own experience and hypothetical situations to illustrate best practices in goal setting, developing leadership amid institutional politics, and ways to benefit those you mentor. With a strong focus on research and tenure application and an inclusive point of view, this guide will be a key companion in many a professors’ development.
Victorian Britain, with its maritime economy and strong links between government and scientific enterprises, founded an office to collect meteorological statistics in 1854 in an effort to foster a modern science of the weather. But as the office turned to prediction rather than data collection, the fragile science became a public spectacle, with its forecasts open to daily scrutiny in the newspapers. And meteorology came to assume a pivotal role in debates about the responsibility of scientists and the authority of science.
Studying meteorology as a means to examine the historical identity of prediction, Katharine Anderson offers here an engrossing account of forecasting that analyzes scientific practice and ideas about evidence, the organization of science in public life, and the articulation of scientific values in Victorian culture. In Predicting the Weather, Anderson grapples with fundamental questions about the function, intelligibility, and boundaries of scientific work while exposing the public expectations that shaped the practice of science during this period.
A cogent analysis of the remarkable history of weather forecasting in Victorian Britain, Predicting the Weather will be essential reading for scholars interested in the public dimensions of science.
From the time of Aristotle until the late eighteenth century, meteorology meant the study of "meteors"—spectacular objects in the skies beneath the moon, which included everything from shooting stars to hailstorms. In Reading the Skies, Vladimir Jankovic traces the history of this meteorological tradition in Enlightenment Britain, examining its scientific and cultural significance.
Jankovic interweaves classical traditions, folk/popular beliefs and practices, and the increasingly quantitative approaches of urban university men to understanding the wonders of the skies. He places special emphasis on the role that detailed meteorological observations played in natural history and chorography, or local geography; in religious and political debates; and in agriculture. Drawing on a number of archival sources, including correspondence and weather diaries, as well as contemporary pamphlets, tracts, and other printed sources reporting prodigious phenomena in the skies, this book will interest historians of science, Britain, and the environment.
In 2010, while editing a report on the effects of climate change in Iowa, ecologist Cornelia Mutel came to grips with the magnitude and urgency of the problem. She already knew the basics: greenhouse gas emissions and global average temperatures are rising on a trajectory that could, within decades, propel us beyond far-reaching, irreversible atmospheric changes; the results could devastate the environment that enables humans to thrive. The more details she learned, the more she felt compelled to address this emerging crisis. The result is this book, an artful weaving together of the science behind rising temperatures, tumultuous weather events, and a lifetime devoted to the natural world. Climate change isn’t just about melting Arctic ice and starving polar bears. It’s weakening the web of life in our own backyards.
Moving between two timelines, Mutel pairs chapters about a single year in her Iowa woodland with chapters about her life as a fledgling and then professional student of nature. Stories of her childhood ramblings in Wisconsin and the solace she found in the Colorado mountains during early adulthood are merged with accounts of global environmental dilemmas that have redefined nature during her lifespan. Interwoven chapters bring us into her woodland home to watch nature’s cycles of life during a single year, 2012, when weather records were broken time and time again. Throughout, in a straightforward manner for a concerned general audience, Mutel integrates information about the science of climate change and its dramatic alteration of the planet in ways that clarify its broad reach, profound impact, and seemingly relentless pace.
It is not too late, she informs us: we can still prevent the most catastrophic changes. We can preserve a world full of biodiversity, one that supports human lives as well as those of our myriad companions on this planet. In the end, Mutel offers advice about steps we can all take to curb our own carbon emissions and strategies we can suggest to our policy-makers.
The land that is now called Wisconsin has a place in weather history. Its climate has ranged from tropical to polar over hundreds of millions of years—and even today, that’s the seeming difference between July and January here. And Wisconsinites have played key roles in advancing the science of meterology and climatology: Increase Lapham helped found the National Weather Service in the nineteenth century; Eric Miller was the first to broadcast regular weather reports on the radio in the 1920s; Verner Suomi pioneered tracking weather by satellite; and Reid Bryson has been a leader in studying global climate change. Wisconsin's Weather and Climate is written for weather buffs, teachers, students, outdoor enthusiasts, and those working in fields, lakes, and forests for whom the weather is a daily force to be reckoned with. It examines the physical features of Wisconsin that shape the state’s climate—topography, mid-latitude location, and proximity to Lakes Superior and Michigan—and meteorological phenomena that affect climate, such as atmospheric circulation and air mass frequency. Authors Joseph M. Moran and Edward J. Hopkins trace the evolution of methods of weather observation and forecasting that are so important for agriculture and Great Lakes commerce, and they explain how Wisconsin scientists use weather balloons, radar, and satellites to improve forecasting and track climate changes. They take readers through the seasonal changes in weather in Wisconsin and give an overview of what past climate changes might tell us about the future.
Appendices provide climatic data for Wisconsin, including extremes of temperature, snowfall, and precipitation at selected stations in the state. The authors also list sources for further information.
Vignettes throughout the book provide fascinating weather lore:
o Why there are cacti in Wisconsin
o The famous Green Bay Packers–Dallas Cowboys "Ice Bowl" game of 1967
o The Army Signal Corps’ ban on the word tornado
o Advances in snow-making technology
o The decline of the Great Lakes ice industry