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UNIVERSAL DICTIONARY OF KNOWLEDGE.
ME TE OROLOG Y.
Helegt. (1.) The condition of Man is so intimately connected on the verdant shores of Britain; all these, and a
Meteorology. with the various phenomena of the atmosphere, that he thousand more complicated inquiries, beset the investi
ology wa may, without impropriety, be regarded as a Meteorolo- gator at the very threshold of Meteorology, stimuIatroduce gist by nature. In all the varied circumstances of his lating him to ardent investigation, and inspiring him lory obserstate, whether as
a wild and uncultivated savage, ex- with wholesome caution. rations,
posed to the fury and inclemency of the weather, or in (3.) Meteorology, therefore, is not an insulated de- Connected the first stages of his civilization, when he has discovered partment of knowledge, detached from every other, but with many some feeble means by which he can shelter himself from is intimately related to many of its most important of the most the descending torrent and the scorching energy of the branches. With Chemistry, for example, it stands con- branches of sun; or when, as a shepherd and agriculturist, his in- nected in a highly interesting manner, and is blended knowledge.
terest leads him to watch with more anxiety the varying with almost every page of its splendid History. The Latinate ene tetion aspect of the sky, or as a mariner to connect the agita- Chemical constitution of the atmosphere, must at all with Chec Meteor. tions of the ocean with the terrible force of the sweep- times have been an interesting object of research ; and mistry. dogy with ing wind, he finds much of his happiness, and, at times, in later days, when this beautiful branch of inquiry le condieven his safety and existence, identified with the mighty has assumed so perfect a form, and unravelled so many
and changeful character of the great fluid ocean, in of the hidden mysteries of Nature, its relations to
which it has pleased the Almighty to place him. Meteorology have been contemplated with redoubled Dicult to
(2.) It would be difficult to trace the probable steps by interest. With the properties of Heat, and with the Heat:
which Man, during a long succession of Ages, has arrived distribution of temperature over the varied and unequal Seps of its at his present limited knowledge of atmospherical pheno- surface of the globe, Meteorology necessarily holds an inazly His. mena. The great causes which impeded the general timate connection. The principles are singularly curious fery, march of Physical Science, necessarily exercised their in- which mark the gradations of climate, and disclose the Gradations
fluence on this branch as on others; and when we consider interesting system of changes by which the atmospheric of climate.
one successful step can be made in this ; the subtile operations, something like the existence of laws; and
nature of the medium which is the subject of investi- by endeavouring to embudy, in general analytical forms, retarded its gation; its singular relations to moisture; the changes representative values for them. It is thus that the adrasce.
it undergoes with every alteration of temperature; in Meteorologist has been enabled to obtain at the level of
Meteor- Scientific Meteorologist has reached, which connect existing on the surface of the globe; determining the Meteorology. the temperature of the loftier regions of the air with altitudes of the loftiest mountains, fixing the elevations
ology. that of strata more accessible to Man; and in following of the sources of rivers, and of the positions of cities up the gradual system of changes which mark the de- which the enterprise of Man has reared, in many situa
crements of Heat, to the point at which water con. tions far above the level of the sea; and making Plane of geals, he has been enabled to fix in every latitude the known, in all its minutest forms, the exact conditions perpetual limits of perpetual frost in the air ; tracing it to its of the terrestrial surface, an interest of the most imfrost.
greatest point of elevation between the tropics, follow- portant kind is given to this application of the re-
which have Vicissitudes sinks to its lowest possible level in the frigid zones. In have been introduced into Barometrical measurements,
been introof this great tracing also the varying altitudes of this magnificent by the employment of corrections; for the influ- duced into plane.
plane during the uncertain vicissitudes of the seasons ; ence of capillary attraction, and the accession of the Barometri-
But it is from Atmosphe-
in the torrid and has given to Meteorology another claim to high and horary changes of the mercurial column, with a part of attentive consideration.
the certainty which marks the anticipations of the Radiant
(4.) With all the inquiries connected with radiant Heat, Astronomer. And even in the more varying regions of DiscoverHeai. the subject of Meteorology is also most intimately con- the temperate zone, where the changes from
heat to cold able also in nected. The atmosphere is influenced in different forms are most capricious, and where the winds, ever chang
temperby the innumerable objects of the material world, eaching, seem to impress the character of perpetual uncerhaving a radiating power of its own, and all exercising tainty on every thing connected with the Barometer, the
an influence on the air. To trace in their fullest Meteorologist has been enabled to detect an analogous
it became necessary for the Meteorologist to measure (6.) The state in which aqueous vapour exists in the Various re-
Meteorology the day; to trace its power on the varied tribes of of the Hygrometer; with the series of laws regulating
vegetation; and to discover, under all its diversified the force, the weight, and the expansion of vapour; the Terrestrial circumstances, its maximum force. In like manner, in discovery of the term at which precipitation takes place radiation. order to trace the laws which regulate terrestrial radia- from an alteration of temperature ; the rate of evapora
tion, the Meteorologist has found the extent of its power tion under different temperatures and with different
saturation. Density of (5.) While, by the agency of the Thermometer, these (7.) The subject of dew likewise unfolds to the in- Dew, the air. interesting phenomena bave been disclosed, the Baro- quiring Meteorologist very interesting properties. No
meter has unfolded the most singular relations respecting other investigation developes in a more perfect man
the density of the air. The early cultivators of Meteor. ner the singular relations of radiant Heat, and the Incessant ology must have almost despaired of being able to trace laws by which caloric is communicated from one body fluctuations, any thing like uniformity, amidst the incessant fluctua- to another. The vegetable world in particular opens a
tions which the Barometer displayed. Influenced, ap- fertile and most interesting train of observation. Of the
has in every latitude disclosed, and which, as a standard (8.) With the phenomena of rain, its primary forma- Rain, hail, Applica
in so many interesting Physical investigations, is of tion, and the principles which regulate its descent; the snow. tions of the very great importance. In the applications of this formation of hail, the consideration of the laws that Barometer instrument, also, to many important objects connected occasionally impart to it its beautiful crystalline forms; to Physical with Physical Geography; in making us better ac. the still more delicate creation of snow, and the inGeography. quainted, for example, with the varied irregularities vestigation of the endless groups to which particular
Metear conditions of temperature, and the peculiar circum- is a sign to the inhabitants of St. Kilda, that the West Meteorolasy, stances attendant on the vapour actually existing in wind is very distant from them.
ology. the air give birth, it is needless to say how closely (13.) With the most exalted branch of Physical
Meteorology Meteorology is connected.
knowledge, Astronomy, the Science of Meteorology useful in Cloods,
(9.) The formation and classification of clouds, the stands in many interesting relations. In determining Practical
varied and incessant changes which they present; the the exact situation of a celestial object, the conditions Astronomy. CorCox, &c. laws which regulate their suspension, and their gradual of the internal and external temperatures require con
and sometimes sudden destruction by rain, belong all stant observation ; nor must the movements of the
and extent of the atmosphere, the most beautiful appli- extent of the Electrical (10.) With all the phenomena of Electricity, the cations of the law of gravitation have been made. The atmosphere. phenomena. Meteorologist has claimed an intimate connection, ever Mathematician, in considering the figures of the atmo
since Franklin identified lightning with the ordinary spheres of the Planets, is necessarily led, in a peculiar
impart to the feeble hand of Man, a portion of the power World, meet with some of their most interesting appliAurora
of the Supreme. The beautiful phenomena of the Aurora cations in that atmosphere, whose incessant mutations Borealis . Borealis, illuminating by their splendour those unex- it is his constant object to watch and record.
plored regions of Nature, which are covered at all times (15.) In this rapid sketch of the relations of Meteor- These difwith a hoary desolation ; their occasional descent into ology to some of the leading departments of Physical serent relathe temperate zones of the Earth; and the influence which Science, an attractive picture is exhibited of the im- tions of Metheir changeful coruscations is said to exercise in par- portance and value of the inquiry. The Meteorologist,
teorology ticular cases on the Magnetic needle, have identified in while he is engaged, either for his amusement or in- importance an especial manner the Science of Electricity with that striction, in tracing some of the steps of the great and value of Meteorology
system of atmospheric changes; in recording the in- of the inWinds. (11.) The general theory of winds, and their many cessant fluctuations of the Barometer, marking the quiry.
modifications, opens also another interesting and in- vicissitudes of temperature, or estimating the force and structive field of Meteorological inquiry. To trace influence of aqueous vapour, is thus preparing, somethe sources which produce those tremendous hurri- times unconsciously, materials for perfecting many of canes and storms, that spread desolation over the the other Sciences. While his primary object is, perfairest prospects of Nature, and which communicate haps, to arrive at some of the elements connected with likewise to the ocean its awful character and power; the great problem of climate, he is aiding the Astronoto consider the causes also of local winds; to account mer in forming his catalogues of the stars. The inquiry for the economy of Nature, in providing for the in- therefore is not only valuable in itself, but is rendered
habitants of the tropical regions the refreshing inter- doubly so by the relations which it bears to so many of Sea and changes of sea and land breezes ; and for the exist- the other Sciences. laza breezes ence of those periodical winds, which in some of the (16.) The condition of Meteorology at the present Present
regions of the Earth perform, for detinite periods, with moment is one of very great interest. Much has been condition of the most exact uniformity, their stated and particular attained, and much, very much, remains to be done. Meteorology courses ; facilitating the objects of navigation, and The chief wants appear to be improvement in the inimpressing a character of uniformity on the latitudes struments of observation, and unity amongst the obin which they abound; these, and many other inquiries servers. To copy the example of the most perfect of of an analogous kind, awaken in an uncommon degree the Physical Sciences, Astronomy, it may be remarked, the attention of the Meteorologist.
that that splendid department of knowledge has adNatural (12.) The cultivation of Meteorology is connected vanced to its present perfection, by the improvements
also, in an especial manner, with many of the depart that have been gradually imparted to its instruments ments of Natural History. With the habits of particular of observation, and to the cautious and accurate deducanimals it is intimately identified, the sagacious ob- tions that have been drawn from their successful emserver being enabled to anicipate many atmospheric ployment. In like manner must Meteorology advance, if changes from an attentive observation of them. The similar methods be adopted. It is true that the elements common Swallow has always been considered as connected with the inquiries of this Science are much weather-guide; and not only may the approach of more uncertain and variable; but an extension of the field rain be expected when she dips her wings in the of observation, both as regards space and time, must surstream, but even the gradations of climate may be mount many of them. The successive improvements marked by her approach. The voice of the solitary of the Telescope have revealed to the Astronomer unCrow, the clamours of the Pintado, and the activity of numbered clusters of stars; and the Micrometer, advance Ants, are all indications of coming rain ; and by the ing from year to year in improvement, has enabled him mariner, the approach of the stormy Peterel, seeking for to measure, with unhoped-for accuracy, the minutest shelter under the wake of his vessel, is regarded as the intervals of space. So must an improved construction harbinger of a storm. So that of the Fulmar to land, of the Barometer and other instruments employed in
History, ledications ci iginals.
Meteor. Meteorological observations, guided by a more cau
been gradual, from the less general to the more gene
tious spirit of induction, lead, in process of time, to ral laws of Nature; and it would be singular, indeed, if, vlogy.
“it is humiliating to those who have been much occupied tions of Sources of error which (17.) The great error which the cultivator of Meteor- in cultivating the Science of Meteorology, to see an phenomena, the Meteor- ology has to avoid, is that tendency, which has more agriculturist or a waterman, who has neither instruologist has or less existed in different stages of its History, to a ments nor theory, foretell the future changes of the to avoid.
premature generalization departing from the narrow weather many days before they happen, with a preci
and cautious path which Bacon laid down. To sion, which the Philosopher, aided by all the resources His objects, accomplish an analysis of all the complicated phe- of Science, would be unable to attain." But there
nomena of the atınosphere into simple and original are no just grounds for the humiliation which the Swiss
directs uneducated men in the business of life, not in
are to be ascertained only by the most patient atten- that they often group together facts, which, like the General
There is something specious and seductive in instinct of animals, serve to guide them in their theories
all attempts at generalization, and it seeins as if the predictions. The local sign which directs them may Exampies. specious and mind, from the influence of improper habits, rather be a fog which rises at a particular hour, in some
clung to the consideration of general principles, than peculiar locality, the appearance of a cloud on the
as if the mind delighted general. His aiın is not to limit his conclusions to a More gene. in hanging every thing on a single point, and adopt- single locality, but to develop them under their most ral views of
the Philoing some principle as an infallible rule, to make general form ; and it is then that the superiority of well
sopher. the whole framework of Nature bend to its dictates, directed observations becomes manifest. If, indeed, “It required nothing less," says an eminent Philoso- the Scientific Meteorologist could be constantly occupied pher, † “ than the united splendour of the discoveries like the agriculturist and the waterman, in watching brought to light by the new Chemical School, to tear the appearances of the heavens, our knowledge of atthe minds of men from the pursuit of a simple and mospheric phenomena would soon be prodigiously inprimary element ; a pursuit renewed in every Age with creased; but unable thus to employ himself, it will be an indefatigable perseverance, and always renewed in the object of the genuine cultivator of Meteorology to vain;" and the History of Meteorology is filled with draw from the experience of even uneducated men all like impotent attempts. But checked as its growth the helps he is able. has been by the application of mistaken rules, it (19.) In the present rage for innovation, and for must yet advance with success, if the principles of the Inductive Logic be rigorously applied to it. In
In which beset the Philosophy of the Mind. Many of the reasonings
Physics as to Metaphysics.
+ This beautiful and highly Philosophic maxim is taken from