Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
History of Climatology
CLIMATOLOGY IS THE branch of atmospheric science dedicated to the description and analysis of the Earths climate and its biospheric interactions over extended periods of time. Climatology began as the observation and description of weather on subcontinental and continental levels. The Ancient Greeks believed that climates were nothing more than temperature gradients varying along latitude belts. Climatology was primarily observational speculation prior to the dawning of the scientific age, when devices for measuring and studying weather were invented, and the keeping of systematic weather records began. The scientific roots of climatology, a subdiscipline of meteorology until the late 20th century, were planted in the work of Edmund Halley s 1686 mapping of the trade winds and his assertion of a relationship between solar heating and atmospheric change. His work introduced the idea of weather and climate systems interacting with the physical features of the Earth. It was not until the ...