To Measure the Atmosphere: An Exhibit on the History of Weather Instruments at the Musee des Arts et Metiers, Paris, France by James R. Fleming, Colby College Imagine entering a cloud from a busy Paris street. No, not from the Eiffel Tower or one of the airports, but directly into the ethereal atmosphere of "To Mea- sure the Atmosphere," an exhibit of historical weather instruments currently on display (until October 2000) at the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris. The exhibit, sponsored by Meteo-France, is of historical interest to all meteorologists and weather enthusiasts. "To Measure the Atmosphere" was inspired by the need to measure the current state of the earth's atmo- sphere in order to predict its future state. Since mea- surement is the foundation of all weather science, the reliability of forecasts depends on the quality and quantity of data. This requires instruments. The exhibit documents the interrelationship of theory, technology, organization, and practice that contributed to progress in forecasting the weather by scientific methods. It is a history filled with eminent scientists such as Horace Benedict de Saussure, Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, Jacques Charles, Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, Leon- Philippe Teisserenc de Bort, Vilhelm Bjerknes, and Lewis
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Oct 1, 2000
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