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Meteorology in India

Nature volume 140, pages 499500 (18 September 1937) | Download Citation



THE Meteorological Department of the Government of India has for several years had to contend with serious financial obstacles in the shape of reduced grants, when the increasing requirements of aviation have demanded increased departmental activity. The report on the Administration of the Meteorological Department of the Government of India in 1935–36 (Delhi: Manager of Publications, 1936) describes how various economies have been devised in order that the demands of aviation and other interests may be met so far as is possible. By taking full advantage of aeronautical wireless stations for the exchange of weather telegrams between aerodromes, and aided by cheaper telegrams, a saving of more than half a lakh of rupees annually has resulted. Economy was not made any easier by the disastrous earthquake of May 31, 1935, at Quetta, which demolished the Meteorological Office there, as well as the observers' quarters. This led to the pilot balloon station at Quetta being moved to Dera Ismail Khan for a tune, and to the setting up of a temporary surface observatory at Quetta when the situation there was well enough in hand again. Research work did not slacken. Dr. T. Royds, director of the Kodaikanal Observatory, joined the expedition organized by the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society to observe the solar eclipse of June 19, 1936. He took with him what is described as "perhaps the most powerful spectro-graph ever used at an eclipse". The discovery of oxygen in the sun's chromosphere was announced from Kodaikanal in 1936 (see NATURE of April 11, 1936). Several pieces of research were carried out in the office at Poona with the voluntary aid of students guided by the official meteorologists. These included the development of a spectrograph for the study of ozone in the earth's atmosphere.

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