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ROUGH GUIDE TO WEATHER, THE (pb)2002
Author: HENSEN
ISBN: 1858288274
Year: 2002
Publisher: PENGUIN BOOKS LIMITED (UK)
Category: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Series: ROUGH GUIDE
Edition: 1
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 416
 ABOUT THE TITLE
Savour it ignore it obsess over it – however you approach weather it’s a significant part of our daily lives. Since the earliest times when humans scurried into their caves to avoid a storm people have taken the weather into account. No doubt those same primitive people stood in front of their dwellings a few hours later to admire a rainbow or gaze at a spectacular cloud bank on the horizon. What’s changed over the centuries is how people interpret the dance of meteorological elements. Most of us no longer worry as our ancestors did about currying favour with those spirits who shuffle the atmospheric cards to punish or reward us. Today when the weather doesn’t go our way we tend to look for a more scientific explantion. It’s the fault of the jet stream a low-pressure centre or trendy scapegoats like El Niño and the North Atlantic Oscillation. There is still a lot we don’t understand about weather. We can now predict some aspects of climate as much as a year in advance but nobody can tell you if a cold front will arrive on your doorstep a fortnight from now or if a thunderstorm will strike at precisely 4pm tomorrow. We understand the basic physical laws that drive our atmosphere but we’re still hampered by our inability to observe every nuance of the present weather and by the finite (though rapidly increasing) speed of the computers that project weather into the future. There’s also another factor restraining our knowledge: even as we learn more about different parts of our atmosphere the interplay between them can produce something more than the sum of its parts – a crescendo that atmospheric scientists call non-linear behaviour . Where does that leave you the consumer of weather information? Your cable TV service probably offers weather details on at least one if not several of its channels. You can find hundreds of maps and forecasts on the Internet and can dig up enough raw data to satisfy even the most hardcore of atmospheric appetites. But as the gurus of the information revolution keep reminding us data isn’t the same thing as information. You might be searching for a very specific forecast say to plan a wedding or to take a boat trip. Maybe you’re heading into the backcountry for a few days and want to know the weather signs that could spell trouble. Or perhaps you’re travelling to a city halfway across the world and you need a sense of the typical weather at your destination including the worst as well as the best that you might expect. The Rough Guide to Weather aims to help you get the weather knowledge you’re seeking. We’ve collected descriptions and statistics of the weather in dozens of countries and over two hundred destinations around the world. We also take you behind the scenes of the government forecasting centres the TV studios and other places where your daily dose of weather information is crafted. For all the gains that forecasting has made with the help of computer guidance humans have not yet been rendered obsolete. Particularly when the weather turns threatening skilled forecasters can go a step beyond computer guidance and save lives in the process. You’ll learn how the experts decide what to tell you about the upcoming weather and what they may choose to withhold due to limits of time and space their own uncertainty politics and other factors. In the end weather is what people choose to make of it. Every maze of red and blue fronts on the TV screen every weather warning that crackles across the radio passes through the filter of our own likes dislikes hopes and fears. It’s hoped that this book makes the weather you experience as enjoyable understandable and as memorable as possible. AUTHOR: Robert Henson
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