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Weather by the Numbers: The Genesis of Modern Meteorology (Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology)

Weather by the Numbers: The Genesis of Modern Meteorology (Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology)

Current price: $25.00
Publication Date: January 13th, 2012
Publisher:
The MIT Press
ISBN:
9780262517355
Pages:
320
Special Order - Subject to Availability

Description

The history of the growth and professionalization of American meteorology and its transformation into a physics- and mathematics-based scientific discipline.

For much of the first half of the twentieth century, meteorology was more art than science, dependent on an individual forecaster's lifetime of local experience. In Weather by the Numbers, Kristine Harper tells the story of the transformation of meteorology from a “guessing science” into a sophisticated scientific discipline based on physics and mathematics. What made this possible was the development of the electronic digital computer; earlier attempts at numerical weather prediction had foundered on the human inability to solve nonlinear equations quickly enough for timely forecasting. After World War II, the combination of an expanded observation network developed for military purposes, newly trained meteorologists, savvy about math and physics, and the nascent digital computer created a new way of approaching atmospheric theory and weather forecasting.

This transformation of a discipline, Harper writes, was the most important intellectual achievement of twentieth-century meteorology, and paved the way for the growth of computer-assisted modeling in all the sciences.

About the Author

Kristine C. Harper is Kristine C. Harper is Associate Professor of History at The Florida State University in Tallahassee. In 2007-2008, she was a Fellow at the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.

Praise for Weather by the Numbers: The Genesis of Modern Meteorology (Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology)

Harper's exhaustive archival research and entertaining narrative enliven the history of numerical weather prediction as an important development of meteorological science that continues to shape the way scientists understand the weather and climate, both in the present and in the futurre.—Metascience