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 Meteorology
METEOROLOGY IS THE subdiscipline of atmospheric science that studies weather and climate using physics, chemistry, and other sciences. The term meteorology is derived from Aristotle's Meteorologica (350 B.C.E.). The first official regular weather reports were seen in China (1060 B.C.E.) with the first regular European weather observations in 500 B.C.E. The Ancient Greeks were the first to divide the world into temperature zones, and Aristotle was the first to articulate the hydrologie cycle, describing the circulation and conservation of the Earths water using the evaporation and condensation cycle. It was not until Rene Descartes's Les Météores (1637 CE.) that an attempt was made to establish the scientific basis of meteorology. Meteorology was nothing more than observational speculation prior to the scientific age, when devices for measuring and studying weather were invented, and the keeping of systematic weather records began. Galileo Galilei invented the water thermometer for measuring absolute temperatures in ...