As we told you in our last lesson, convection is responsible for most of our weather. We've talked about convection within the earth and the sun, but how does convection work in the atmosphere? And how do meteorologists go about making their predictions?


Meteorology is the scientific study of the atmosphere. Its aim is to accurately forecast the weather. When you watch a weather person on TV, he or she is often identified as a meteorologist. The weather person is sometimes also said to belong to a Meteorological Society. However that doesn't mean their forecasts are always right. Meteorology has come a long way since Aristotle, who made some of the first notations on weather in his book Meteorologia, but weather forecasting is still complicated. Fortunately, storm warnings have become pretty accurate in recent years. Predictions of events like hurricanes and tornadoes regularly save many lives.

Early pioneers in meteorology include Evangelista Torricelli, an Italian mathematician who discovered the principle of the barometer in 1643, and Gabriel Fahrenheit, who perfected a superior mercury thermometer based on earlier models by Galileo and others. Fahrenheit's thermometer was so successful a temperature measurement system was named after him.

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