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Elementary Meteorology

Nature volume 50, pages 293294 | Download Citation



THE necessity for the production of text-books would seem to diminish with lapse of time, but the examination of publishers' catalogues discloses no diminution in their numbers. If there be any excuse for the writing of new text-books in any branch of science, it might be found in those at present unformed departments, like meteorology, where well-directed and systematic inquiry is constantly enlarging the boundaries of knowledge by the addition of new facts, or the discovery of fresh grounds for the acceptance of facts not yet admitted as demonstrated truths. The science of meteorology is not like that of mathematics, which immediately displays its power, and has nothing to hope or fear from passing time; but appealing as it does to observation and experience, its progress must be gradual and comparative. And if any one be entitled to write text-books, it is those who having been engaged practically in teaching have felt a particular want to be ill-supplied, and who feel themselves qualified by their office and minute acquaintance with the subject to remedy the defect. For these reasons we may welcome the appearance of Prof. Davis' work on “Elementary Meteorology,” which originally intended for those engaged in the earlier years of college study, and with whom the author has been brought much into contact, may well be read by others, who wish to keep themselves acquainted with the more recently acquired facts concerning the behaviour and the processes of atmospheric circulation. In fact, Prof. Davis has had both classes of readers in his mind, as he has prepared this work; and further, recognising how many in his own country are more or less intimately connected with the national and state weather services, he has endeavoured to supply them with a well-digested treatise which may be a supplement to the meagre but precise instructions issued to observers under official authority.

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