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Patrick LockerbyRSS Feed of this column.

Retired engineer, 71 years young. Computer builder and programmer. Linguist specialising in language acquisition and computational linguistics. Interested in every human endeavour except the scrooge... Read More »

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John Mayow - Climate Science Pioneer

#2 in a series.

Sir William Ramsay wrote an excellent history of the study of our atmosphere.  Below is the part of his book concerning John Mayow.  The previous part was about Robert Boyle.  The text courtesy archive.org. is error-checked for typos.


Robert Boyle - Climate Science Pioneer

Apart from his experiments with the compression of gases, Robert Boyle deserves to be remembered for his proposals about 'unmingled bodies' (atoms), his promotion of the experimental method, his debunking of promoters of bad science, and his major contributions to our understanding of the atmosphere.

Robert Boyle lived in an age when men of learning were coming to reject what we now call pseudoscience. Alchemy was reformed into a protoscience by applying the experimental method, giving rise to what we now know as chemistry.


Great Scott! Climate Change Deniers Accept Models!

A recent study of old log books, coupled with the use of computer modelling of ice estimates show that the summer sea ice edge then was further from the land in the Weddell sea but that ice conditions were surprisingly comparable to the present day in other sectors
Dear Mr. Trump, Please Can We Study Our Climate?

To the President-elect,

Sir,

    please consider that if climate scientists of the past had not been supported by wealthy patrons we of the 21st century would know little if anything about how to warn people that a hurricane, storm surge or tornado is imminent.
Back to Square 1 - First Steps in Climate Science


Step 1 - we humans discover that the Arctic accumulates more heat on a summer's day then the equatorial regions.

Step 2 - we realise that our atmosphere is heated not so much directly by the sun but by heat from the surface.


George Best not the footballer  circa 1580



Step 3 - we discover that heat and light are two separate forms of radiant energy
The Pitch and the Pendulum

(Pace1 Edgar Allan Poe)
Some people take comfort in the back-and-forth sway of the political pendulum. It is part of the greatness of our ‘two-party system’, they contend; it reflects the American aversion to extremism on ‘either side’. For the mainstream media, charting each degree of the pendulum’s swing is the essence of the 24-hour news cycle.
New Internationalist Magazine, November 2010