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Open Access The riddles of foehn – introduction to the historic articles by Hann and Ficker

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Two key papers on the topic of foehn are introduced. The first one, published in 1885 by Julius Hann, discusses the history of the “thermodynamic foehn theory”, and the role of the various scientists who contributed to its evolution. Emphasis is placed on the early recognition of important aspects by J. P. Espy which was not properly recognised in Europe at the time of publication (around 1850). Hann's article is very interesting also because it permits insight into the role of social factors for the acceptance of scientific theories, involving two of the most important meteorologists of the 19th century, W. Dove and J. Hann himself. The second paper was published in 1910 by Heinrich Ficker and discusses theories for the process of foehn break-through which are evaluated on the base of Ficker's mesonet in the area of Innsbruck and surroundings. Finally, the most important developments in foehn research in the past 100 years, since the appearance of Ficker's article, are very briefly sketched.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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