By Lisa Yount
Whilst German meteorologist Alfred Wegener first proposed his groundbreaking concept of continental displacement, later referred to as continental float, in 1912, his geologist friends rejected his concept as the box of geology on the flip of the century used to be established in 18th- and 19th-century observations concerning the nature of the earth and the planet's improvement. Wegener's idea of continental glide proposed that the large landmasses slowly moved at the earth's floor over hundreds of thousands of years. His thought defined numerous observations made in regards to the earth, from how the continents shaped, to what explanations earthquakes, to how the earth's floor keeps to alter. An itinerant explorer, Wegener traveled all over the world, and he died whereas on a polar undertaking in Greenland. It wasn't until eventually many years after his loss of life that the continental float thought proved fruitful to different scientists within the twentieth century. In "Alfred Wegener", learn the way this bold adventurer pieced jointly a idea that later revolutionized the Earth sciences.
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Mountains of painstakingly gathered knowledge were surrounded by seas of competing theories and unanswered questions: Was Earth cooling and shrinking, or had it maintained its heat and size? Had land and sea changed places in the past, or had they always remained more or less where they now were? What lay beneath the planet’s crust, and how did that material behave? Changing Views of the earth 9 The discovery of radioactivity had recently hit the Earth sciences like a gigantic earthquake or volcanic eruption, shattering many longheld assumptions.
These bureaus, in turn, combined the stations’ data to make weather maps and forecasts. In the United States, for instance, the Smithsonian Institution established a national weather observation network of 150 stations in 1849. Britain founded the ﬁrst national meteorological service in 1854, and daily weather forecasts began appearing in British newspapers in 1860. By the dawn of the 20th century, when Alfred and Kurt Wegener were choosing their careers, the study of weather (shortterm changes in the atmosphere) and climate (changes that cover larger areas and longer periods of time) was just beginning to be considered a true science.
As the planet cooled, supporters of this theory believed, it shrank, causing its crust to wrinkle. The wrinkling pushed some areas up, forming mountain chains, and forced others below water level. Wegener did not accept either of these theories, and he pointed out recent scientists’ objections to both. The discovery of radioactivity offered a new possible heat source for the Earth, he said, so the planet’s core need not be cooling. The shrinkage theory could not explain why mountains had formed at different times or why mountain chains appeared only in certain places.
Alfred Wegener: Creator of the Continental Drift Theory by Lisa Yount