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The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who…

The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future

by Peter Moore

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Peter Moore masterfully chronicles the birth and early development of meteorology in The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future, weaving together the accomplishments of the key contribitors from the 19th century into a highly engaging narrative. Moore especially shines in his cinematic recounting of the wreck of the Royal Charter steam clipper in 1859, a nautical disaster which highlighted the need for a reliable storm warning system. And in a brilliantly executed coda, he parallels the early skepticism of meteorological science with today's climate change debate, now playing out like "a slow-motion weather forecast." Once again, believers vs. skeptics, only the stakes have never been higher. ( )
  ghr4 | Aug 19, 2017 |
Peter Moore’s on the history of weather forecasting book is one of those hidden gems that seem to sneak under the critics’ radar and avoid any public attention. I only encountered it by chance – one of those serendipitous discoveries that bring such delight to the fortunate reader who happens upon them.

In describing it above as a history of weather forecasting I realise that I am doing the book a great disservice. While that is indeed the central theme, Moore offers us so much more than that, detailing the major advances from the Age of Enlightenment right up to the modern day. En route we are taken through a brief history of the Ordnance Survey, the development of the methodology for classifying clouds, analysis and measurement of the winds and an history of Samuel Morse’s development of the telegraph. What emerges most clearly is how, right from the start, efforts to predict the weather were adopted by the military establishment. Indeed, the Met Office was founded by Admiral Robert Fitzroy.

Moore has that happy knack of being able to convey often technical information with a clarity and accessibility that enables the simplest of lay readers (i.e. me) to absorb and understand it. He also imparts a great enthusiasm to a subject that may, on the face of it, seem unpromising as the material for a popular science book. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Mar 22, 2017 |
An absolutely riviting and eminently entertaining book- well written, well researched and well worth having, if you are to any degree a weatherphile. ( )
  JNSelko | Apr 20, 2016 |
This book provides a well-written history of how the first attempts were made to forecast the weather. ( )
  M_Clark | Mar 12, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0865478090, Hardcover)

A history of weather forecasting, and an animated portrait of the nineteenth-century pioneers who made it possible

By the 1800s, a century of feverish discovery had launched the major branches of science. Physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy made the natural world explicable through experiment, observation, and categorization. And yet one scientific field remained in its infancy. Despite millennia of observation, mankind still had no understanding of the forces behind the weather. A century after the death of Newton, the laws that governed the heavens were entirely unknown, and weather forecasting was the stuff of folklore and superstition.
     Peter Moore’s The Weather Experiment is the account of a group of naturalists, engineers, and artists who conquered the elements. It describes their travels and experiments, their breakthroughs and bankruptcies, with picaresque vigor. It takes readers from Irish bogs to a thunderstorm in Guanabara Bay to the basket of a hydrogen balloon 8,500 feet over Paris. And it captures the particular bent of mind—combining the Romantic love of Nature and the Enlightenment love of Reason—that allowed humanity to finally decipher the skies.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:13 -0400)

A history of weather forecasting and an animated portrait of the nineteenth-century pioneers who made it possible. --

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