, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 233–236 | Cite as

The first volley in an earth science revolution

Mott T. Greene: Alfred Wegener. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015, 675pp, $44.95 HB
  • Roger M. McCoy
Book Review

Alfred Wegener (1880–1930) was known in his lifetime for two quite disparate types of achievements: Arctic climate research and continental drift theory. He made significant discoveries for which he is little known outside the atmospheric science community. In that field he developed an important theory on the formation of precipitation in low temperature clouds; he developed the correct explanation for the formation of tornadoes and waterspouts; he was the first to find a relationship between the height of a meteor and the color of its tail; he correctly identified the cause of lunar craters to be impacts by large objects in space falling to the surface; and most important in his own opinion was his discovery of distinct layers in the atmosphere. Wegener also made a major contribution with his book on the thermodynamics of the atmosphere, which became the standard textbook in Germany for many years. Despite all these achievements Wegener is primarily remembered as the originator of...


  1. Wegener, Alfred L. 1924. The origin of continents and oceans. New York: Dutton (Translated from the third German edition).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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