I've been trying to pull together a history of climatology on WIRED Science - Correlations.
While the large scale behavior of the atmosphere is complex and hard to grasp, it occurred to me that the basic ideas for understanding a rainstorm cloud were in place by the early nineteenth century. I wondered if history had captured the story of the person who had put the pieces together. I wasn't able to find an answer last week, but I inquired on a couple of mailing lists, and my question on the global change mailing list caught the attention of Tom Adams, who came up with some very interesting information.
The genius in question was the American, James Pollard Espy, who published his theory in 1841, to less than universal acclaim.
Read more on Correlations.