Archive for the ‘History’ Category

History of early polar ice cores

December 12, 2014 Leave a comment


From time to time the US military produce historical works.

Chester Langway[1] in retirement wrote this work to commemorate a 50th anniversary. Published by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

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Categories: History, Ice core

Lomonosov University and the study of high atmosphere electrical events, satellite planned

August 2, 2014 Leave a comment

A new university satellite is scheduled launch 2015[1]. A web site for the project is available in English

Mikhail Lomonosov (1711 – 1765) helped establish what is now known as Moscow University, decree signed 1755, 250 years ago.

According to Lomonosov’s plan, there were originally three faculties. First all the students acquired a comprehensive knowledge in the field of science and humanities at the Faculty of Philosophy; then they could specialize and continue at the Faculty of Philosophy or join either the Law Faculty or The Faculty of Medicine. Lectures were delivered either in Latin, the language of educated people at the time, or in Russian. [2]


Aurora drawing


Atmospheric vertical circulation

Illustrations from a book published 1753. Text, perhaps embellished a little as these things are, “Mikhail Lomonosov – the Pioneer of Russian Science” nevertheless looks a good fellow.

The satellite is named Lononosov.

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Categories: education, History, Satellites

Part 1, Central England Temperature timeseries and Manley papers

May 11, 2014 5 comments

This large article was composed some time ago, last edit Oct 2013 it seems but left unpublished, one of dozens.


There is a disturbing story behind the current CET dataset as will be revealed in Part 2. The above plot sets the scene, a straight illustration of the whole dataset with timeline.

This blog article is intended as a backgrounder covering a variety of information including links to official copies of the two historic Manley papers which are the basis of the CET dataset. In my opinion CET is misrepresented as more instrument based than it is in reality. More reasonably it is an expert opinion on weather.

The Met Office CET web page[1] mentions the whole data then plays pea and thimble silently showing a plot of the later subset. Reason to be revealed in part 2.

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Categories: History, temperature, weather

Lewin on two Lamb’s tales

March 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Bernie Lewin has written an excellent two part history about Hubert Lamb of CRU, with mention of Manley, Wigley and many more.

Such sentiments were not shared by many of Lamb’s colleagues and certainly not by the new director of the Met Office, B J Mason, appointed after Sutton retired in 1965. The new director was a vocal skeptic of cyclic natural climatic change across historical time, the nature of which Lamb was intent on establishing. Mason preferred to explain recent changes as evidence of only random fluctuations on different time scales [1, 2]. He made it clear that he did not value Lamb’s work and expressed concerns about Mr Lamb’s lack of qualifications as a climatologist. But there was more behind Mason’s dim view of Lambs efforts to glean climate data from historical archives.

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Interplanetary influence

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

I’m using my own blog as a spillover from Tallbloke’s Talkshop where I co-moderate and contribute.  

Michele Casati runs an Italian language science blog called New Ice Age. He is particularly interested in earthquakes and an eclectic mix of possible external triggers for earth events. At various times I’ve put together some large articles on the Talkshop for an English airing, creating a fair degree of interest. Michele tends to reveal things hidden to the anglophone world.

He often posts links to new articles in Suggestions at the Talkshop. Let’s air a new one, of fringe interest but who knows where history leads.

Michele Casati: Alexander Sytinskaya, a little known scientist

A geophysicist, Alexander D. Sytinskaya, was born July 12, 1925 in the Yaroslavl region of Russia. Graduated in 1953, then took part in Soviet Russian Antarctic and Artic expeditions where he dealt with seismology.

I’ll leave it at that, read the whole article, in Italian but browser translate will I hope work well enough

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Feynman lectures Volume 1 made free access

September 29, 2013 2 comments

Fig. 23–6.Response of the atmosphere to external excitation. a is the required response if the atmospheric S_2-tide is of gravitational origin; peak amplification is 100:1. b is derived from observed magnification and phase of M_2-tide. [Munk and MacDonald, “Rotation of the Earth,” Cambridge University Press (1960)]

This is a welcome new facility. Well put together web site.


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Categories: History

Anders Angstrom: Nocturnal radiation at various altitudes

September 20, 2013 Leave a comment

The curves bring out some interesting facts that deserve special consideration.
For ordinary values of the humidity, the effective radiation has a maximum at 1 to 4 km. altitude. An increase of the humidity or a decrease of the temperature
gradient shifts this maximum to higher altitudes. The effective radiation gradient
is consequently positive at low altitudes and negative at high altitudes. — A. Angstrom

Fig. 14 from paper 100 years ago by Anders Angstrom on LWIR emission. This shows families of curves grouped by two different lapse rates.

Note: This Daedal Earth blog article was rapidly produced to make the PDF available for citation elsewhere. Content may change later.

Sub-extract from Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Volume 65, Number 3, published 1915. is A study of the Radiation of the Atmosphere

Physicist Dr Anders Angstrom was the son of physicist Dr Knut Anstrom (radiation instrument inventor) the son of physicist Dr Anders Angstrom after whom the wavelength unit the Angstrom is named. Confusion is understandable.

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Author copyright search, Universities of Reading and of Texas

July 16, 2013 Leave a comment

A chance finding during research on long out of print books: –


WATCH is a database of copyright contacts for writers, artists, and prominent people in other creative fields. It is a joint project of the Harry Ransom Center and University of Reading Library in England. Founded in 1994 as a resource principally for copyright questions about literary manuscripts held in the U.S. and the U.K., it has now grown into one of the largest databases of copyright holders in the world.

All individuals and organizations listed as “Contacts” in the WATCH File have indicated that they are the holder of an author’s copyright for unpublished material or that they are the holder’s representative or contact. All individuals have given written permission to have their names and addresses included in the WATCH File.

Here is the link

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Categories: History

Stratospheric ozone, Dobson history at Oxford

July 13, 2013 4 comments


Over at Tallbloke’s the subject has got around to the stratosphere, including a post by Rog reporting on a lecture he attended at Leeds Uni. given by Susan Solomon.
Link here.

Seems apt to cover Dobson as a backgrounder.

As it happens I’ve been moving in the same direction as part of unravelling atmospheric matters. Image right is a thumbnail of an old page at Oxford Uni. Physics department which gives a potted history of G.M.B Dobson, a local physicist who made a life’s work of measurement of high atmosphere ozone. The measurement unit the Dobson is in his honour. Even more remarkably his photoelectric spectrophotometer is the standard instrument today, used around the world.

Click image or link

For example, World Meteorological Organisation “Operations Handbook – Ozone Observations with a Dobson Spectrophotometer. and much more is available.

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Categories: History, solar

Colour, artists, technicians, Isaac Newton onwards.

May 20, 2012 Leave a comment

The website Dimensions of Colour by David Briggs is based on material taught at the Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney, Australia, made available for all of us to learn.

FOREWORD: COLOUR THEORY MADE DIFFICULT yet paraphrasing a gentleman but no more than necessary. Artists from all fields who use colour, oils, pastels, room decore, computer jockeys, ought to know more. If David is right, implying it has been criticised as too difficult and too simple, must be about right.

I didn’t know how fundamental Newton has been, inventing the concept of the colour wheel, is history here too.

I came across the site during investigation of colour space after hitting trouble in implementing HSL/HSI/HSV Uncle Tom and finding things are a mess. Change of tack, going to try proper matrix operations instead.

Best of luck.

Click the image or here. (both open in new window)

Categories: education, History, software