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CHAPTER VIII.

Meteorological Registration and Delineation.- Delineation of the Daily Observa

tions.—Comparative Observations and Delineations.—Explanation of the Delineation prefixed. --The Barometer at Greenwich and Orkney Delineated. --Connection of the Barometer with the Wind. -- Great Exception and apparent Fault. --- Importance of Relative Conditions. — The Barometer exquisitely truthful and correct. - The Gale at Greenwich quiescence at Orkney. — Orkney Observations in a Philosophical Magazine." -- The Barometer the balance of the Firmament.--Mr. Glaisher on the Storm of January 14th, 1843.—Gale of January, 1845, at Greenwich and Orkney.Greenwich and Orkney responding Areas.-- Value of Delineation for Inspection.-- The Delineation displays all the Points. -S.W. Winds flowing into the Polar Regions.

CHAPTER VIII.

METEOROLOGICAL REGISTRATION AND DELINEATION.

The different methods adopted by each and every meteorologist of recording their observations, is an anomaly among the physical sciences. It bespeaks at once the total deficiency of any recognized order, and the absence of any established principles.

established principles. And nothing whatever can more powerfully retard its progress, or diminish its influence and reputation with the public, than the Babel-like confusion which pervades the communications respecting the weather. It would seem to be most desirable to establish and adopt some approach to uniformity; for otherwise all the materials for the most part are useless, and admit of no comparison or research whatever--the difficulty and labour is so very great. And no fact whatever is conveyed by many of the contributions, which only overlay the science with a load of figures. Some uniform system of registration, and some established mode of delineation, would greatly

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DELINEATION OF THE DAILY OBSERVATIONS.

advance and enhance the value of labours now almost useless. Without this, there is no co-operation, and the best instruments, and the most accurate observations, and the most diligent attention, fail of any productive effect. “The Times” has most liberally and generously for some years devoted a portion of its columns to the meteorological reports from the Highfield House Observatory, near Nottingham ; and the “Illustrated London News” is equally desirous and anxious to extend the favour of a helping hand by giving several contributions from talented observers.

A rigorous adhesion to time-exact time-must be combined with accurate observations and good instruments — an uniform system of registration, whereby the observations are simply recorded without any applied corrections, so that the register of the facts shall be as if they were photographic impressions from the instruments themselves. The altitudes need not be reduced to the level of the sea, but serve more important purposes by being given as they are. It is indispensable, for a correct and practical knowledge, not only to have a table of figures for each day's work, but to have some approved form of delineation, wherein all the observations are laid down, and reduced to a given scale and order. This is the most useful of all, and forms as important a part of meteorology as a map does of geography. A good delineation will display by simple inspection the most conspicuous and leading traits, whereas a number of tables, clustered with figures, are difficult to analyze. There is no reason to doubt but

COMPARATIVE OBSERVATIONS AND DELINEATIONS. 213

that in a short time we may have maps of the atmospheric areas, which will be great aids in physical geography and in the general study of natural history.

And without some mode of delineation and of registration, meteorology cannot advance in proportion to the labour, talent, and ability bestowed upon instrumental observation. The almost exclusive use of, and dependance upon, the instruments, supersedes in a great degree any observation

upon the atmosphere itself, and certainly the apathy and neglect of co-operation is the barrier to improvement. For isolated observations in meteorology are scarcely of any value whatever; they require a comparison with other states in order to comprehend the reason of the conditions of the atmosphere they instrumentally record.

Why a stiff breeze or gentle gale blows for ten or twelve hours and then suddenly lulls---ought we not to search out the reason and discern the cause ? It is to be learnt. Why not cast off the hermit's mind and associate with others ?

The delineation which I have prefixed to the present volume is a comparison of the actions of the barometer at Greenwich and Orkney, places distant from each other about 500 miles, Orkney being in latitude 59°, and about the northern extremity of the kingdom. It is a capital meteorological station, and the Rev. C. Clouston has long been a faithful contributor to the

Philosophical Magazine.” I am much indebted to his courtesy and kindness in furnishing me with a correct delineation, and I have long been in the habit of

It is easy

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