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Main page » Non-Fiction » Encyclopedia of Weather and Climate

Encyclopedia of Weather and Climate


Science author Allaby (Illustrated Dictionary of Science; A Dictionary of Earth Sciences) has compiled more of a dictionary than an encyclopedia, covering roughly 3000 alphabetically arranged terms pertaining to climatology and meteorology, as well as geology, biology, and astronomy. The longest entries (mostly biographical) run nearly two pages, but the majority are brief definitions. Allaby succinctly describes noteworthy named storms and also includes local weather terms, from the Indian andhis to the Argentinean zonda. Unfortunately, he omits some terms of particular interest to American and Canadian users, including Alberta clipper, humidex, first heave, Mount Washington Observatory, and storm chaser. The entries are extensively cross-referenced and sometimes include a reference or two to web sites or books. Quite a few of the print references, and a full quarter of the titles in the "Bibliography and Further Reading," are to other works by the author. Five appendixes complete the work: a "Chronology of Disasters" (selection criteria unspecified), a "Chronology of Discoveries," a chart of the geological time scale, a list of destructive "Tornadoes of the Past," and a list of web sites. Given the brevity of the entries, this is an optional purchase for libraries with large scientific and technical reference collections. Smaller academic and public libraries might find it useful but should also consider the less expensive The Facts On File Weather and Climate Handbook, also compiled by Allaby, or even a dictionary, such as Storm Dunlop's A Dictionary of Weather or The Facts On File Dictionary of Weather and climate.

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Tags: Dictionary, Science, climatology, terms, meteorology