Cover

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xii

By its title, this book is a historical account of half a century of observation, discovery, and research at Mauna Loa Observatory, perched on the upper slopes of the world’s largest mountain mass. However, it encompasses much...

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xiv

Preparation for this book can be traced to 1989, when I began making instruments that measured the ozone layer, sunlight, haze, and water vapor for a column in Scientific American magazine. My dream was to someday visit...

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1. Earth’s Biggest Mountain

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pp. 1-14

An arc of some 132 islands and reefs sweeps 1,500 miles (2,400 km) across the Pacific Ocean (Plate 1). The chain is the Hawaiian Archipelago, and its major islands are among the most scenic and remote on Earth. As Mark Twain reminisced...

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2. The First Scientific Expeditions (1794, 1825, and 1834)

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pp. 15-26

The remoteness of the Hawaiian Islands preserved them from discovery by Europeans for a millennium or more after the arrival of Polynesians. There are no known written records of scientific observations on...

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3. The United States Exploring Expedition (1840–1841)

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pp. 27-48

Archibald Menzies and David Douglas demonstrated that scientists could scale Mauna Loa and bring back accurate measurements of temperature and pressure from the summit. They paved the way for the United States Exploring...

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4. Robert Simpson’s Dream: The Mauna Loa Summit Observatory (1951–1954)

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pp. 49-70

The tough men of the US Exploring Expedition spent three grueling weeks at the Pendulum Peak camp on the summit of Mauna Loa during the winter of 1840–1841. Thereafter, Charles Wilkes’ pioneering measurements of temperature...

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5. Founding of the Slope Unit of the Mauna Loa Observatory (1955–1956)

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pp. 71-90

Years of planning and hard work could not meet the icy challenges thrown at the tiny Mauna Loa Observatory atop Earth’s biggest mountain. Repairing and servicing the weather instruments was...

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6. Startup: The First Science at MLO (1956–1957)

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pp. 91-126

Serious science began at the new Slope Facility of the Mauna Loa Observatory with the observations of the Martian atmosphere by the Kiess-Corliss team (Kiess et al. 1957) even before the dedication of the building on...

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7. The International Geophysical Year (1958–1959)

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pp. 127-150

On New Year’s Day of 1958, the eighteen-month International Geophysical Year was one-third complete. The team at the Mauna Loa Observatory recorded in the...

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8. Boom and Bust (1960–1963)

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pp. 151-176

The extended International Geophysical Year ended on a quiet note at the Mauna Loa Observatory at midnight on December 31, 1959. But 1960 began with a disastrous thud...

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9. Survival Mode and Making History (1964–1965)

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pp. 177-202

In less than a decade, the slope unit of the Mauna Loa Observatory had produced a remarkable record of scientific achievement. During the year before the Weather Bureau took over in the summer of 1957...

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10. The Second Decade (1966–1975)

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pp. 203-243

The Mauna Loa Observatory quietly entered its second decade staffed only by Howard Ellis, who was still officially listed as supervisory physicist, and Bernard Mendonca. Johnny Chin was taking care of the...

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11. The Third Decade (1976–1985)

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pp. 244-284

MLO did not receive notice about the termination of their office space lease at the Cloud Physics Observatory for more than a month after the notification letter was sent. Then on January...

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12. The Fourth Decade (1986–1995)

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pp. 285-326

The Mauna Loa Observatory entered its fourth decade without a crisis and in good condition. MLO director Elmer Robinson wrote...

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13. The Fifth Decade (1996–2005)

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pp. 327-361

In 1963, MLO was nearly closed by major federal budget cuts, but in December 1995 there was not even a budget to cut. The fifth decade at the Mauna Loa Observatory began with no budget. A politically charged...

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14. The Mauna Loa Observatory Today

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pp. 362-398

When its fiftieth anniversary year arrived (Plate 83), the Mauna Loa Observatory had evolved from a small building and a dozen or so instruments into a little village of buildings, domes, and...

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15. The Next Fifty Years

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pp. 399-420

On October 4, 1957, Jack Pales, Robert Williams, and Clifford Kutaka were approaching three months of duty at MLO when the former Soviet Union initiated the space race by launching...

Epilogue: “We Must Preserve This Progress”

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pp. 421-425

Appendix: The Current Science Programs

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pp. 427-447

Subject Index

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pp. 449-454

Name Index

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pp. 455-461