From Latin observatio, the observation is the action and effect of observing (examine carefully, look modestly, warn). It is an activity carried out by living beings to detect and assimilate information. The term also refers to the recording of certain events through the use of instruments.
Observation is part of scientific method since, next to the experimentation, allows to carry out the empirical verification of the phenomena. Most of the sciences use both resources in a complementary way.
The astronomy is usually taken as an example of the Sciences They are based on observation. In this case, experimentation is not possible since the object of study cannot be transferred to the laboratory.
The scientific observation Consists of the measurement and recording of observable events. This activity must be carried out objectively, without opinions, feelings and emotions influencing the work technique.
Broadly speaking, we can distinguish three steps or stages that characterize the work of scientific observation:
* a hypothesis, which tries to explain the phenomenon studied;
* a prediction logic, based on previous results or simply on specific knowledge, and is often experienced from these ideas;
* Finally, professionals are in a position to reach a conclusion and, in this way, continue to contribute to the knowledge of humanity.
Observation is also carried out in the field of art and consists of a detailed look to appreciate the characteristics of a work. By observing an artistic piece carefully, it is possible to analyze the visual qualities and understand the meaning of what the artist wanted to express.
Advances in the observation of the high altitude wind that took place during the Second World War, and also later, were the starting point for the development of new theories about weather prediction and highlighted the need to modify some of the old concepts related to the circulation atmospheric.
Throughout this period, the Swedish meteorologist Carl-Gustav Rossby stood out who, together with his American assistants, made a large number of important contributions to science, such as the discovery of the so-called jet stream (an air mass surrounding the Earth, moving at high speed).
In the 1950s, the first computers allowed the principles of thermodynamics and hydrodynamics to be applied to weather prediction; In just a few decades, the evolution of weather forecasts has given human beings the possibility of improving their industries and their lives in general.
Basically, you can distinguish between two types of weather observations:
* those carried out from the earth’s surface, which outnumber those made from higher heights. Are used to to size the pressure of the atmosphere, humidity, temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation (both rain and snowfall), visibility and to count the clouds and deduce their position on the vertical axis. Instruments used in ground-level observations include the mercury barometer, various types of thermometer, and the hygrometer.
* those that take place in the upper atmosphere, more modern, and used to quantitatively measure wind, temperature, humidity and pressure. There are hundreds of stations distributed throughout the world (mainly in the northern hemisphere) and dozens of ships, from which these observations take place. The devices used in these cases present more advanced technologies; some examples are the so-called radiosonde, satellites and airplanes.