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XXVII. Results of the Thermometrical Observations made at Leith Fort, every Hour of the Day and Night, during the whole of the Years 1824 and 1825

  • David Brewster

In the year 1820, I had occasion to suggest to the Royal Society the propriety of establishing Registers of the Thermometer in various parts of Scotland.

In a country embracing so many varieties of soil, climate and elevation, and extending over nearly six degrees of latitude, it was an object worthy of a public body to determine the Law of the Distribution of Temperature, even if such a subject had not possessed a separate interest in relation to the Horticulture and Agriculture of the Country. The Society did not hesitate in adopting this suggestion, and many intelligent individuals were found, who undertook to observe the thermometer twice a-day, and to measure occasionally the temperature of Springs and Wells, During the first year, viz. 1821, nearly sixty Meteorological Journals were regularly kept in different parts of Scotland. The number diminished considerably in subsequent years; but, notwithstanding this diminution, there is now in our possession a rich series of observations during five complete years, the results of which are nearly ready to be submitted to the Society.

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page 363 note * Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. IV. Part II. p. 392.

page 364 note * Since this was written, we understand that similar observations, suggested by the present series, are now carrying on at Toulon and at Montreal, the last of which will possess a peculiar interest. The first example of this class of observations having been set in Scotland, we may be here allowed to express a hope, that similar hourly registers will be established by learned Societies both in Europe and America.

page 372 note * It is probable that the Royal Society of Edinburgh will publish a series of Plates representing the daily curve for each day of 1824 and 1825.

page 375 note * Edinburgh Transactions, vol. iv. p. 214, and vol. v. p. 293, 294. Mr Playfair also adds, that 10 o'clock p.m. is “as near as circumstances will allow to the time of greatest cold.” These opinions prove how little was then known of the form of the daily curve. It will be seen from Plate XVIII. that, both in the winter and the summer curve, the maximum temperature is never before 3 o'clock, and that 10 o'clock at night is nearer the mean than the minimum temperature of the day.

page 379 note * At Salem, Massachussets, where a very accurate register has been kept by Dr Holyoke for twenty-six years, the morning mean temperature always occurs before 8 o'clock in the morning.

page 379 note † According to a very accurate register kept by Mr Fairlie, schoolmaster of this parish, the results for 1825 are,

page 380 note * It now became interesting to compare with these results those deduced from Mr Coldstream's hourly register for one day in each month of the year, and also those obtained by Professor Dewey at Williamstown in North America.

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Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • ISSN: 1755-6910
  • EISSN: 1755-6929
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