Download Weather by the Numbers: The Genesis of Modern Meteorology by Kristine C. Harper PDF

By Kristine C. Harper

For a lot of the 1st 1/2 the 20th century, meteorology used to be extra artwork than technology, depending on someone forecaster's life of neighborhood event. In Weather via the Numbers, Kristine Harper tells the tale of the transformation of meteorology from a "guessing technology" right into a subtle medical self-discipline in accordance with physics and arithmetic. What made this attainable was once the advance of the digital electronic desktop; prior makes an attempt at numerical climate prediction had foundered at the human lack of ability to unravel nonlinear equations fast adequate for well timed forecasting. After global battle II, the combo of an extended statement community constructed for army reasons, newly educated meteorologists, savvy approximately math and physics, and the nascent electronic machine created a brand new approach of drawing close atmospheric concept and climate forecasting. this variation of a self-discipline, Harper writes, used to be crucial highbrow success of twentieth-century meteorology, and cleared the path for the expansion of computer-assisted modeling in the entire sciences.

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Annually, 100 percent of the lower civil service grades turned over: the bureau was training meteorological observers who then left for better-paying jobs. Meteorologists with a bachelor’s degree working for the Army Signal Service started at more than $2,500 per year, while Weather Bureau meteorologists (with master’s degrees and 10 years of experience) only earned $1,800 per year—less than most shop employees earned at the Bureau of Standards or than most clerks received at the Department of Agriculture’s Office of Experiment Stations.

45 But unbeknownst to bureau officials, a political storm was brewing on the horizon that would profoundly affect their operation. The Weather Bureau’s leaders knew there were functional areas needing improvement, but viewed their work as being the best their budget allowed. The American Society of Civil Engineers, however, was not content with the services received by the engineering community. ” The five-member committee presented its report at the ASCE Annual Meeting held 18 January 1933, and published the report in the January 1933 issue of the Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

President Woodrow Wilson convened a special board that heard arguments in support of and in opposition to separate military meteorology services. The Weather Bureau’s leaders vehemently opposed any suggestion that it should not provide all of the nation’s weather services. While acknowledging the necessity of maintaining a small number of trained personnel serving meteorological units at flying fields, naval bases, and ordnance proving grounds, the bureau argued that the United States had too few qualified meteorologists to spread them among several agencies.

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