Frost and ice on a screen


Modern expeditions often depend upon thorough understanding of the expected climatic and meteorological conditions but the availability of this knowledge relies heavily on the achievements of many historic expeditions. During his expedition Captains James Cook tested out a range of temperature and pressure recording instruments and his findings of the most reliable informed the choice of instruments carried by vessels and trusted by key individuals in the history of meteorology such as Howard, Beaufort and FitzRoy. Meanwhile the pioneering Antarctic expeditions of the early 20th Century, especially Scott’s Terra Nova expedition of 1910 – 1913 provided the baseline data and crucial climatological understanding of polar regions and their relation to weather and climate around the world. The National Meteorological Archive holds books and papers relating to a number of significant expeditions and some of these are featured here.