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The first mathematical models of dynamic meteorology: The Berlin prize contest of 1746

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The first models of dynamic meteorology were published in 1747 as a result of a prize contest of the Academy of Prussia. The topic of the contest concerned the determination of the winds "if the Earth were surrounded everywhere by an ocean". D'Alembert formulated a shallow water model for the first time in his prize-winning contribution and attempted to calculate tidal motions within the fluid layers. Daniel Bernoulli viewed the atmosphere as a boundary layer wherein the winds rotating with the earth at low elevations have to adjust their motion to a solar atmosphere at large heights. He is first in applying the principle of angular momentum conservation in continuum geophysics when calculating the zonal wind profile. An account of the historical background of the contest is given, as well as some later reactions to d'Alembert's solution.

Die ersten Modelle der dynamischen Meteorologie wurden 1747 im Rahmen eines Preisausschreibens der Preussischen Akademie vorgestellt. Die Preisaufgabe betraf die Bestimmung der Winde, die man zu erwarten hätte, wenn die Erde überall von einem Ozean bedeckt wäre. D'Alembert führt in seinem Beitrag, der den ersten Preis erhielt, ein Flachwassermodell ein und versucht in dessen Rahmen die Gezeitenwinde zu bestimmen. Daniel Bernoulli betrachtet die Atmosphäre als eine Grenzschicht innerhalb derer sich die Winde bodennah an die Erdrotation anpassen, während sie in großen Höhen denen einer Sonnenatmosphäre folgen. Bei der Berechnung des zugehörigen zonalen Windprofils wird zum ersten Mal das Prinzip der Erhaltung des Drehimpulses auf die Lufthülle angewandt. Auf die historischen Umstände sowie einige spätere Reaktionen auf d'Alemberts Artikel wird eingegangen.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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