Bill’s Extreme Rains Heading Toward Global Warming’s Brown Ocean Over Central US

At 11:45 AM EST today Tropical Storm Bill slugged its way over the Texas Coastline near Matagorda Island. The storm, packing sustained winds of 60 miles per hour and a minimum central pressure near 997 mb was relatively mild as Tropical Cyclones go. But Bill is heavily entrenched in a long train of tropical moisture straddling the Gulf of Mexico and flooding up from an intensifying Pacific El Nino. It therefore represents an extreme flood risk for a massive region stretching from Texas through a good chunk of the Central US.

Bill Landfall

(Bill makes landfall along Texas’s Central Gulf Coast dragging a huge train of thunderstorms along with it. Recent extreme floods have saturated the lands of Texas, Oklahoma and the Central US creating a condition that NASA researchers now call a Brown Ocean. The water saturation of the land mass due to extreme rainfall events and increased atmospheric moisture loading associated with climate change is a condition that some scientists believe may increase the likelihood of tropical storms, like Bill, intensifying over land. Image source: NOAA.)

As Bill moves northward, it is expected to pull this massive band of moisture behind it. The result is that areas of Texas already saturated with moisture from last month’s heavy rains could see 6-10 more inches in a broad band and greater than 12 inches locally near the San Antonio and Dallas region. Bill is projected to then sweep northward through Oklahoma and on through a wide crescent of the Central US — dumping 2-6 inches of rain with locally as much as 8 inches directly along its path.

Such heavy rainfall and thunderstorms associated with Bill have the potential to set off a repeat of the kind of epic deluges this same region witnessed over Memorial Day. And due to the fact that grounds are already saturated and many streams remain near flood stage, this particular event has a high risk of producing even more extreme flooding.

Bill extreme rainfall potential

(Bill shows extreme rainfall potential over areas still recovering from record flooding late last month. Image source: National Hurricane Center.)

Bill and Global Warming’s Brown Ocean

This extreme rainfall potential arises from a combination of factors. The first is the added moisture loading over the region due to El Nino combined with the record high global temperatures of human caused climate change — which increases the atmosphere’s ability to carry water vapor and accelerates the hydrological cycle. The second is a related potential feature likely linked to this extra moisture — a circumstance that scientists have called ‘the Brown Ocean.’

The 2013 NASA Brown Ocean study showed that:

A Brown Ocean environment consists of three observable conditions. First, the lower level of the atmosphere mimics a tropical atmosphere with minimal variation in temperature. Second, soils in the vicinity of the storms need to contain ample moisture. Finally, evaporation of the soil moisture releases latent heat, which the team found must measure at least 70 watts averaged per square meter. For comparison, the latent heat flux from the ocean averages about 200 watts per square meter.

Brown Ocean Cyclones

(Since 1979 16 Tropical Cyclones have maintained TC characteristics while intensifying or keeping a steady strength over land. Bill has a potential to become one of these freakish systems. Image source: NASA.)

Brown Oceans can thus form over areas that have received extremely heavy rainfall and are experiencing hot, moist tropical conditions. The result is increased evaporation that mimics features similar to those of a warm sea surface. In such cases, Tropical Cyclones can intensify over land due to the effect of the extra moisture bleed-off. And it is these conditions that atmospheric scientists are warning now predominate over Texas:

โ€œAll the things a hurricane likes over the ocean is what we have over land right now,โ€ said Marshall Shepherd, director of atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia and one of the leads of a NASA-funded Brown Ocean study.

It’s worth noting that Brown Oceans have not been officially linked to human caused climate change. But the factors that feed Brown Oceans — high heat and humidity that is the upshot of very extreme rainfall events — are multiplied in a warming world. And it’s this kind of moist hot zone that Bill is now barreling toward.


NASA’s Brown Ocean Hurricane: Global Warming Amps Up Hydrological Cycle to Produce Cyclones that Strengthen Over Land

Brown Ocean Can Fuel Inland Tropical Cyclones

Brown Ocean May Fuel Tropical Storm Bill Over Land

National Hurricane Center


Global Warming Accelerates the Hydrological Cycle, Resulting in More Extreme Drought and Precipitation Events

Leave a comment


  1. Let’s see… melting sea ice and glaciers, mega-droughts, ocean acidification and dead zones, jet-stream disturbances, extreme weather events, methane blowholes, monster kelvin waves, temperature-induced habitat shifts, species die-offs and extinctions, rising sea levels, agricultural impacts, and now “brown oceans” over land. What’s next?

    • Mark from New England

       /  June 16, 2015

      What’s next? Another ‘hiatus’ of course ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Burgundy

       /  June 16, 2015

      It seems that as the climate transitions from one state to another, it does so in very nuanced ways. Changes which we don’t seem to be able to see in advance. Changes which appear to be catching us off guard.

      I’m beginning to wonder what else we’re not seeing that is coming our way. Brown oceans is yet another surprise, at least to me. Land based hurricanes?

      • Maybe at 4 C and during instances following an extreme flood. I would think such cases would be rather rare, though. But add 32 percent to the hydrological cycle and dump a huge amount of rain over a set region with uniform hot temperature and I suppose that might be possible.

        It’s pretty amazingly odd.

        On another note, we have dust storms pulsing off of Africa and into the Tropical North Atlantic again. This will tamp down thunderstorm and related cyclone formation in the ITC between Africa and South America.

      • Aha, so that is the next ‘hiatus’ (Atlantic storm formation) the deniers will be yapping about.

    • 12 inches of rain in El Campo Tx, they may get 3-5 inches more….

  2. JPL

     /  June 16, 2015

    Houston is going to get nailed again. This on the heels of the memorial day storm is a heck of a one-two punch!


    • The set up for this one looks pretty nasty. Usually only track the potential worst event TCs. So that should give you some idea of my concern. The region is already primed for flooding. We have this very moist storm rolling in and a potential that it could intensify over land for a time. The tropical moisture bleed off El Nino is also pretty extraordinary right now. So, yeah, looks like a high risk event from where I’m sitting.

      • Mark from New England

         /  June 16, 2015

        Robert, you’ve penned several great pieces recently, this one included. Could you explain the process of the ‘moisture bleed off E Nino’ in a bit more detail? I didn’t think we were supposed to see such in the US until later in the season. Thanks.

      • So you’ve got all this increased equatorial convection in E Pac due to the heightened SSTs there. Today and yesterday they’ve shown some pretty high peaks in the range of 3-4 C above average over decent areas. All that heat increases evaporation and cloud formation in EPAC. Due to expansion of the Hadley Cell, you get this pulse of moisture riding up over Mexico and Central America into the Gulf and the Southwestern US.

        During a typical summertime El Nino, this moisture loading is usually enough to produce some added rainfall effect. But the current El Nino is a hot feature on top of a world that is warmed in excess of 0.95 C above 1880s values. The moisture bleed is therefore stronger than it would otherwise be.

        The tendency of moisture to flow off this Nino zone into the US Central and Western regions is therefore somewhat enhanced due to increases in heat related convection.

  3. You forgot to mention increased warfare [including economic warfare], climate refugees (The UN uses the jargon “displaced persons,”). Disruption of the industrial food system. Increase in sex slavery and human trafficking. And various other forms of human exploitation.

    What’s next Robert? What is missing is the engagement of more artists to provoke the public. I am doubtful that either organized science or traditional art/culture can compete with the mass media and marketing machine that manufactures consent.

    I see a nonstop continuation of entertainment, escapism, risk taking behavior, and false pretense in human interactions. I see rapid deployment of research and technology. I see uneven distribution of resources.

    I don’t see a future for the exploited and that is unethical/intolerable. The human engineered safety margins on spaceship Earth appears to be missing.

    • We have a responsibility to generate those safety margins. Is it a tough fight? Absolutely. Is it worth winning? Look around you. Look at the sky, the ocean, the life, your children. If that’s not worth protecting then you are a heartless being immune to the urgent call of justice.

    • “What is missing is the engagement of more artists to provoke the public.”
      Chris, got any ideas, or your own provocations? Art does need to inform as well as entertain.

      • I apologize for the poor communication. I greatly appreciate the science communication efforts here. I just wanted to continue the list Mr Vella started. My reply was to Robert A. Vella and I threaded it wrong. What a horrible start. Did I offend Mr Scribbler? My personal doubts are personal demons (clinical depression + clinical anxiety). Let’s not dwell on that. My doubts are my own and I voiced them [without context] in an effort to harness them.

        I attempted to highlight complications to communicating science that I assume everyone are familiar with and I added the angle of engaging artists. More concisely than my first attempt, I simply argue for more engagement from the artist community. I don’t think its fully tapped.

        I support urgent calls to climate action. I agree and support your message Mr Scribbler. I’ll attempt to be a less horrible communicator.

        @dtlange Yes! I do, but that requires a different audience. I suspect more artists need direct help with logistics to carry out the traditional mission of engaging the public. This discussion is off topic. I’m stopping.

        • Best to you Chris and no worries. Moderation makes me more than a bit sharp sometimes due to sifting through a lot of nonsense. So please don’t be too distressed.

  4. Colorado Bob

     /  June 16, 2015

    Bob Dylan Recorded ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ 50 Years Ago Today

  5. Good catch with the “brown ocean” article, Robert. I was reading Jeff Master’s blog entry about this, and tropical storm Erin, which occurred in 2007, saw a wind speed increase three times that of any other brown ocean event that was reviewed. I realize a single event does not signify a trend or change, but it seems to me that as warming continues, and temps and extreme rainfall events increase, the potential fuel for intensification will also increase when all the variables come together for a brown ocean event. I guess Bill will give us a little more data.

    • It’s definitely something to watch. Conditions do appear to be pretty favorable for a strengthening over land. So hold on to your hat.

      BTW, Erin’s rainfall was a bit less than what we are seeing in the potential for Bill. So this could be a relatively unprecedented event.

  6. A timely and informative post on ‘Monsoon Alley’, Robert.
    I worry about the water’s impact on the many sewage and petrochemical facilities in the area.

    • That’s something I think about often when floods occurr. It’s disturbing to think of the many toxic chemicals that get washed into rivers and oceans every time we see a flood. And it’s always flooding somewhere on the globe, and much of this Earth is paved and loaded with humans…and all of their petrochemicals and toxic concoctions.

  7. Colorado Bob

     /  June 16, 2015

    Acidification takes toll on Beaufort Sea; threats loom in Chukchi and Bering

    With their low temperatures that hold onto the carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere, their shallow depths, their rich supply of marine life and carbon dioxide carried in by currents from elsewhere in the world, and their increasing supply of runoff from melting glaciers and glacier-fed rivers, Alaskaโ€™s ocean waters are known to be highly vulnerable to acidification.

    Now comes a finding that the Beaufort Sea has already crossed an ominous ocean acidification threshold, and the Chukchi Sea and Bering Sea will follow in the foreseeable future, with water conditions that would be corrosive enough to cause many marine species to struggle. …………………………….

    The Beaufort Sea has already reached a state where its surface waters, on average throughout the year, hold too little calcium to fully support shell-building organisms, according to the new findings.

    Based on measurements made during research cruises in 2011 and 2012 aboard the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy, that threshold was crossed in 2001, the scientists found.

    Alaska Dispatch News

    • Saw this. Bob, you looking at the African dust cloud in MODIS? Seems to me like last year all over again.

      • Colorado Bob

         /  June 16, 2015

        I haven’t been watching the MODIS much , but Dr. Master’s readers in the Caribbean have been commenting on dust in the air all winter, and spring, along with the heat and drought. Some think it has shaded the Eastern Atlantic.

        When they get an event , they all comment on how “thick it is”.

  8. Colorado Bob

     /  June 16, 2015

  9. Just a note on something I saw the other day. We are getting massive cold water runoffs from Greenland and Antarctica. But temperatures are going up. Could we be setting ourselves up for the kind of environment in the low latitudes that haven’t been seen for 30 million years?

    “Our data suggest it was not a fun place,” says study co-author Randall Irmis, curator of paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Utah and assistant professor at the University of Utah. “It was a time of climate extremes that went back and forth unpredictably and large, warm-blooded dinosaurian herbivores weren’t able to exist nearer to the equator — there was not enough dependable plant food.”
    At this point it certainly seems so. Wild swings between drought and flood are going to make agriculture unpredictable. That is already having repercussions.

    • The negative feedbacks to Greenland melt are mostly local and regional. It will likely slow down the pace of atmospheric warming during major melt events, but it won’t stop it. In addition, the current melt pulse is likely mild compared to what we will see by mid century, especially under BAU.

      But, yes, if you get to 600 to 700 ppm CO2e things get pretty amazingly bad in the equatorial regions. Major wasteland formation in those zones. Current pace of ghg accumulation gets us to atmospheric concentrations that lock those kinds of conditions in place over the course of 40 to 70 years. BAU gets us there much faster.

      • You would know much more about this than I do. Given the runoff from Greenland has the potential to affect the THC. I wonder if the recent Gulf stream slow down (2009 I think) was repeated whether the affects in the tropics, as bad as they now are, would get much worse much quicker.
        I read a study where they were forecasting a dramatic slowdown within 10 to 20 years. It would seem to me that people should seriously begin thinking about where they spend the rest of their days.

        Copied from elsewhere;
        On the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.
        In particular take the link to the Nature Climate Change article. Paraphrased, the end of which states “should things continue on their current trajectory there will be a further weakening of the AMOC”
        That would imply a weakening of the Gulf stream, meaning the ocean heat would not be transported away from the equator towards Scotland. There could be no avoiding an impact on ocean nutrient and oxygen levels. Another effect would have to be increased hurricane activity in the North Atlantic. This appears to have started;
        There may be other plausible causes, but the AMOC is one of the biggest transports of temperature on the planet. It can’t change and have no impact on other systems.
        Taking this a step further, a full analysis of “The Impact of a 30 % reduction in Atlantic meridional overturning during 2009โ€“2010”
        “The spatial pattern of upper ocean temperature anomalies helped push the
        wintertime circulation 2010โ€“2011 into record-low negative NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) conditions with accompanying severe winter conditions over northwestern Europe. The warmer temperatures south of 25โ—ฆ N contributed to the high intensity hurricane season in summer 2010”

    • This study of a hot-house world with weather too violent for herbavores in the tropics is worried look into our long-term future. I’ll interview the head author, Dr. Jessica Whiteside, for an upcoming Radio Ecoshock show.

  10. climatehawk1

     /  June 17, 2015

    Tweet scheduled.

  11. earthfriendrick

     /  June 17, 2015

    Robert, you may recall a couple of tropical systems impact northeastern NC and pick up intensity over the extensive wetland systems around the sounds and the Dismal Swamp? Tropical Storm Gaston intensified in that area and dropped freaking 16 inches in Richmond in four hours…

  12. james cole

     /  June 17, 2015

    Extreme weather is the calling card of global warming, more energy in the atmosphere and oceans, This storm has it’s counter part and opposite extreme in Alaska just now too.

    ” Two Alaska wildfires that have forced hundreds of people to evacuate and destroyed dozens of homes spread on Tuesday in windy, hot and dry weather conditions conducive to extreme fire behavior, state officials said.

    One of the fires forced authorities to restrict traffic on a major highway connecting two of the state’s largest cities.

    The fires come as officials express concern about crews battling blazes amid unpredictable winds, high temperatures, low humidity and lightning strikes.

    “Considering the weather we are dealing with, these guys are going to be challenged,”

    All the predictions are coming true. Only much too fast for us all!

  13. Andy in San Diego

     /  June 17, 2015

    Red tide from Monterey Bay to Alaska. Scope & scale so early has no recoded precedent in our history. Unsure if this is a puzzle piece. When all that algae dies get ready for some more hypoxia.

    “There is concern because the current bloom is “geographically quite extensive,” says Vera Trainer, an oceanographer with the Marine Biotoxins Program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Center in Seattle. “We have reports of high domoic acid levels from Monterey Bay, California, all the way up to Homer, Alaska.”

    “This is unprecedented in terms of the extent and magnitude of this harmful algal bloom and the warm water conditions we’re seeing offshore,” she says. “Whether they’re related we can’t really say yet, but this survey gives us the opportunity to put these pieces together.””

  14. Andy in San Diego

     /  June 17, 2015

    “Earth’s largest groundwater aquifers are past ‘sustainability tipping points'”

  15. Andy in San Diego

     /  June 17, 2015

    How Big Oil Gave Up On the Climate.

    Five years ago Shell was ready to fight global warming. Now itโ€™s rooting for it.

    • Now, that’s progress! :-/

      • I don’t believe for one second that BP or Shell were honest in their so called push for a carbon tax. They were still funding Heritage and ALEC. They were talk-talking without walk-walking.

    • No ice in the Arctic nor on Greenland or Antarctica means free and easy access to all that oil, compared to now and especially compared to thirty years ago.

      • Dead oceans, uninhabitable tropics, massive sea level rise, trillions and trillions in damages, roving bands of refugees, ridiculous period of storms, vastly reduced land productivity, expanding number of collapsed states… All just to drill in the Arctic. Kinda brings a whole new meaning to the word resource curse. Of course the idiots at the oil companies suffer from the curse of ‘I know better but I commit atrocities anyway.’

  16. Andy in San Diego

     /  June 17, 2015

    Biggest Lakes in the World Under Pressure From Human and Environmental Threats

    Lake Urmia and Lake Baikal signal the toll from water diversions and pollution.

    • james cole

       /  June 17, 2015

      It seems that Lake Superior, biggest surface area fresh water lake on earth is still hanging in there. One major change has been rapidly warming waters, and little to no winter ice cover. Double edged sword that. Winter with no ice allows cold air to cool the Lake, but not to freezing point. It seems stuck in early spring to just above freezing. The failure to develop ice cover stands as a clear global warming signal though. In written history, the Lake has been a Lake that freezes every winter, many years some open water remains, but Ice Cover was the norm. I’ve seen ice cover in June when I was a kid.
      I’m not sure what happens as this lake warms, but it is warming.

  17. Andy in San Diego

     /  June 17, 2015

    U.S. Faces Era Of Water Scarcity

    The google module showing water withdrawal rates is pretty informative.

  18. Andy in San Diego

     /  June 17, 2015

    T-Minus 2 days until the Vatican releases the encyclical.

    One thing I find amusing is how the conservative media is lashing out, that the Vatican should not be involved in science (as if the Republican politicians are?) as that is not their territory.

    Our esteemed “pseudo Catholic” presidential candidates and their cohorts who hold this belief did not bother to notice that a few Catholic Clerics have in fact been involved in science over the years, such as the following. Fortunately the following were not “put in their place” by our politicians. Something tells me this pope will not be “put in his place” by them either. Although I could see a hit man on the Koch payroll….


    Josรฉ de Acosta (1539โ€“1600) โ€“ Jesuit missionary and naturalist who wrote one of the very first detailed and realistic descriptions of the new world
    Franรงois d’Aguilon (1567โ€“1617) โ€“ Belgian Jesuit mathematician, physicist, and architect.
    Lorenzo Albacete (1941โ€“2014) Priest physicist and theologian
    Albert of Saxony (philosopher) (c. 1320โ€“1390) โ€“ German bishop known for his contributions to logic and physics; with Buridan he helped develop the theory that was a precursor to the modern theory of inertia[6]
    Albertus Magnus (c. 1206โ€“1280) โ€“ Dominican friar and Bishop of Regensberg who has been described as “one of the most famous precursors of modern science in the High Middle Ages.”[7] Patron saint of natural sciences; Works in physics, logic, metaphysics, biology, and psychology.
    Giulio Alenio (1582-1649) – Jesuit theologian, astronomer and mathematician. He was sent to the Far East as a missionary and adopted a Chinese name and customs. He wrote 25 books including a cosmography and a Life of Jesus in Chinese.
    Josรฉ Marรญa Alguรฉ (1856โ€“1930) โ€“ Priest and meteorologist who invented the barocyclonometer
    Josรฉ Antonio de Alzate y Ramรญrez (1737โ€“1799) โ€“ Priest, scientist, historian, cartographer, and meteorologist who wrote more than thirty treatises on a variety of scientific subjects
    Francesco Castracane degli Antelminelli (1817โ€“1899) โ€“ Priest and botanist who was one of the first to introduce microphotography into the study of biology
    Giovanni Antonelli (1818โ€“1872) โ€“ Priest and director of the Ximenian Observatory of Florence who also collaborated on the design of a prototype of the internal combustion engine
    Nicolรฒ Arrighetti (1709โ€“1767) โ€“ Jesuit who wrote treatises on light, heat, and electricity.
    Mariano Artigas (1938โ€“2006) โ€“ Spanish physicist, philosopher and theologian who received the Templeton Foundation Prize in 1995
    Giuseppe Asclepi (1706โ€“1776) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and physician who served as director of the Collegio Romano observatory; The lunar crater Asclepi is named after him.


    Roger Bacon (c. 1214โ€“1294) โ€“ Franciscan friar who made significant contributions to mathematics and optics and has been described as a forerunner of modern scientific method.
    Bernardino Baldi (1533โ€“1617) โ€“ Abbot, mathematician, and writer
    Eugenio Barsanti (1821โ€“1864) โ€“ Piarist who is the possible inventor of the internal combustion engine
    Bartholomeus Amicus (1562โ€“1649) โ€“ Jesuit wrote on philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, and the concept of vacuum and its relationship with God.
    Daniello Bartoli (1608โ€“1685) โ€“ Bartoli and fellow Jesuit astronomer Niccolรฒ Zucchi are credited as probably having been the first to see the equatorial belts on the planet Jupiter
    Joseph Bayma (1816โ€“1892) โ€“ Jesuit known for work in stereochemistry and mathematics
    Giacopo Belgrado (1704โ€“1789) โ€“ Jesuit professor of mathematics and physics and court mathematician who did experimental work in physics
    Mario Bettinus (1582โ€“1657) โ€“ Jesuit philosopher, mathematician and astronomer; lunar crater Bettinus named after him
    Giuseppe Biancani (1566โ€“1624) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer, mathematician, and selenographer, after whom the crater Blancanus on the Moon is named
    Jacques de Billy (1602โ€“1679) โ€“ Jesuit who has produced a number of results in number theory which have been named after him; published several astronomical tables; The crater Billy on the Moon is named after him.
    Paolo Boccone (1633โ€“1704) โ€“ Cistercian botanist who contributed to the fields of medicine and toxicology
    Bernard Bolzano (1781โ€“1848) โ€“ Priest, mathematician, and logician whose other interests included metaphysics, ideas, sensation, and truth.
    Anselmus de Boodt (1550โ€“1632) โ€“ Canon who was one of the founders of mineralogy
    Theodoric Borgognoni (1205โ€“1298) โ€“ Dominican friar, Bishop of Cervia, and medieval Surgeon who made important contributions to antiseptic practice and anaesthetics
    Christopher Borrus (1583โ€“1632) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician and astronomy who made observations on the magnetic variation of the compass
    Roger Joseph Boscovich (1711โ€“1787) โ€“ Jesuit polymath known for his contributions to modern atomic theory and astronomy
    Joachim Bouvet (1656โ€“1730) โ€“ Jesuit sinologist and cartographer who did his work in China
    Michaล‚ Boym (c. 1612โ€“1659) โ€“ Jesuit who was one of the first westerners to travel within the Chinese mainland, and the author of numerous works on Asian fauna, flora and geography.
    Thomas Bradwardine (c. 1290โ€“1349) โ€“ Archbishop of Canturbury and mathematician who helped develop the mean speed theorem; one of the Oxford Calculators
    Martin Stanislaus Brennan (1845-1927) – Priest and astronomer who wrote several books about science
    Henri Breuil (1877โ€“1961) โ€“ Priest, archaeologist, anthropologist, ethnologist and geologist.
    Jan Broลผek (1585โ€“1652) โ€“ Polish canon, polymath, mathematician, astronomer, and physician; the most prominent Polish mathematician of the 17th century
    Louis-Ovide Brunet (1826โ€“1876) โ€“ Priest who was one of the founding fathers of Canadian botany
    Francesco Faร  di Bruno (c. 1825โ€“1888) โ€“ Priest and mathematician beatified by Pope John Paul II
    Ismaรซl Bullialdus (1605โ€“1694) โ€“ Priest, astronomer, and member of the Royal Society; the Bullialdus crater is named in his honor
    Jean Buridan (c. 1300 โ€“ after 1358) โ€“ Priest who formulated early ideas of momentum and inertial motion and sowed the seeds of the Copernican revolution in Europe
    Roberto Busa (1913-2011) – Jesuit wrote a lemmatization of the complete works of St. Thomas Aquinas (Index Thomisticus) which was later digitalized by IBM.


    Niccolรฒ Cabeo (1586โ€“1650) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician; the crater Cabeus is named in his honor
    Nicholas Callan (1799โ€“1846) โ€“ Priest & Irish scientist best known for his work on the induction coil
    John Cantius (1390-1473)โ€”Priest and Buridanist mathematical physicist who further developed the theory of impetus
    Jean Baptiste Carnoy (1836โ€“1899) โ€“ Priest who has been called the founder of the science of cytology[by whom?]
    Giovanni di Casali (died c. 1375) โ€“ Franciscan friar who provided a graphical analysis of the motion of accelerated bodies
    Paolo Casati (1617โ€“1707) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician who wrote on astronomy and vacuums; The crater Casatus on the Moon is named after him.
    Laurent Cassegrain (1629โ€“1693) โ€“ Priest who was the probable namesake of the Cassegrain telescope; The crater Cassegrain on the Moon is named after him
    Benedetto Castelli (1578โ€“1643) โ€“ Benedictine mathematician; long-time friend and supporter of Galileo Galilei, who was his teacher; wrote an important work on fluids in motion
    Bonaventura Cavalieri (1598โ€“1647) โ€“ Jesuate known for his work on the problems of optics and motion, work on the precursors of infinitesimal calculus, and the introduction of logarithms to Italy. Cavalieri’s principle in geometry partially anticipated integral calculus; the lunar crater Cavalerius is named in his honor
    Antonio Josรฉ Cavanilles (1745โ€“1804) โ€“ Priest and leading Spanish taxonomic botanist of the 18th century
    Francesco Cetti (1726โ€“1778) โ€“ Jesuit zoologist and mathematician
    Tommaso Ceva (1648โ€“1737) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician and professor who wrote treatises on geometry, gravity, and arithmetic
    Christopher Clavius (1538โ€“1612) โ€“ Respected Jesuit Astronomer and mathematician who headed the commission that yielded the Gregorian calendar; wrote influential astronomical textbook.
    Guy Consolmagno (1952โ€“ ) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and planetary scientist
    Nicolaus Copernicus (1473โ€“1543) โ€“Renaissance astronomer and canon famous for his heliocentric cosmology that set in motion the Copernican Revolution
    Vincenzo Coronelli (1650โ€“1718) โ€“ Franciscan cosmographer, cartographer, encyclopedist, and globe-maker
    George Coyne (1933โ€“ ) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and former director of the Vatican Observatory
    James Cullen (mathematician) (1867โ€“1933) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician who published what is now known as Cullen numbers in number theory
    James Curley (astronomer) (1796โ€“1889) โ€“ Jesuit who was the first director of Georgetown Observatory and determined the latitude and longitude of Washington D.C.
    Albert Curtz (1600โ€“1671) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer who expanded on the works of Tycho Brahe and contributed to early understanding of the moon; The crater Curtius on the Moon is named after him.
    Johann Baptist Cysat (1587โ€“1657) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician and astronomer, after whom the lunar crater Cysatus is named; published the first printed European book concerning Japan; one of the first to make use of the newly developed telescope; most important work was on comets
    Jean-Baptiste Chappe d’Auteroche (1722โ€“1769) โ€“ Priest and astronomer best known for his observations of the transits of Venus


    Ignazio Danti (1536โ€“1586) โ€“ Dominican mathematician, astronomer, cosmographer, and cartographer
    Armand David (1826โ€“1900) โ€“ Lazarist priest, zoologist, and botanist who did important work in these fields in China
    Francesco Denza (1834โ€“1894) โ€“ Barnabite meteorologist, astronomer, and director of Vatican Observatory
    Vรกclav Prokop Diviลก (1698โ€“1765) โ€“ Czech priest who studied electrical phenomenons and constructed, among other inventions, the first electrified musical instrument in history
    Alberto Dou (1915-2009), Spanish Jesuit priest who was president of the Royal Society of Mathematics, member of the Royal Academy of Natural, Physical, and Exact Sciences, and one of the foremost mathematicians of his country.
    Johann Dzierzon (1811โ€“1906) โ€“ Priest and pioneering apiarist who discovered the phenomenon of parthenogenesis among bees, and designed the first successful movable-frame beehive; has been described as the “father of modern apiculture”


    Francesco Faร  di Bruno (c. 1825โ€“1888) โ€“ Priest and mathematician beatified by Pope John Paul II
    Honorรฉ Fabri (1607โ€“1688) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician and physicist
    Jean-Charles de la Faille (1597โ€“1652) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician who determined the center of gravity of the sector of a circle for the first time
    Gabriele Falloppio (1523โ€“1562) โ€“ Canon and one of the most important anatomists and physicians of the sixteenth century. The Fallopian tubes, which extend from the uterus to the ovaries, are named for him.
    Gyula Fรฉnyi (1845โ€“1927) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and director of the Haynald Observatory; noted for his observations of the sun; The crater Fรฉnyi on the Moon is named after him
    Louis Feuillรฉe (1660โ€“1732) โ€“ Minim explorer, astronomer, geographer, and botanist
    Placidus Fixlmillner (1721โ€“1791) โ€“ Benedictine priest and one of the first astronomers to compute the orbit of Uranus
    Paolo Frisi (1728โ€“1784) โ€“ Priest, mathematician, and astronomer who did significant work in hydraulics
    Josรฉ Gabriel Funes (1963โ€“ ) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and current director of the Vatican Observatory


    Joseph Galien (1699 โ€“ c. 1762) โ€“ Dominican professor who wrote on aeronautics, hailstorms, and airships
    Jean Gallois (1632โ€“1707) โ€“ French scholar, abbot, and member of Academie des sciences
    Pierre Gassendi (1592โ€“1655) โ€“ French priest, astronomer, and mathematician who published the first data on the transit of Mercury; best known intellectual project attempted to reconcile Epicurean atomism with Christianity
    Agostino Gemelli (1878โ€“1959) โ€“ Franciscan physician and psychologist; founded Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan
    Johannes von Gmunden (c. 1380โ€“1442) โ€“ Canon, mathematician, and astronomer who compiled astronomical tables; Asteroid 15955 Johannesgmunden named in his honor
    Carlos de Sigรผenza y Gรณngora (1645โ€“1700) โ€“ Priest, polymath, mathematician, astronomer, and cartographer; drew the first map of all of New Spain
    Andrew Gordon (Benedictine) (1712โ€“1751) โ€“ Benedictine monk, physicist, and inventor who made the first electric motor
    Christoph Grienberger (1561โ€“1636) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer after whom the crater Gruemberger on the Moon is named; verified Galileo’s discovery of Jupiter’s moons.
    Francesco Maria Grimaldi (1618โ€“1663) โ€“ Jesuit who discovered the diffraction of light (indeed coined the term “diffraction”), investigated the free fall of objects, and built and used instruments to measure geological features on the moon
    Robert Grosseteste (c. 1175 โ€“ 1253) โ€“ Bishop who was one of the most knowledgeable men of the Middle Ages; has been called “the first man ever to write down a complete set of steps for performing a scientific experiment.”[8]
    Paul Guldin (1577โ€“1643) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician and astronomer who discovered the Guldinus theorem to determine the surface and the volume of a solid of revolution
    Bartolomeu de Gusmรฃo (1685โ€“1724) โ€“ Jesuit known for his early work on lighter-than-air airship design


    Johann Georg Hagen (1847โ€“1930) โ€“ Jesuit director of the Georgetown and Vatican Observatories; The crater Hagen on the Moon is named after him
    Nicholas Halma (1755โ€“1828) โ€“ French abbot, mathematician, and translator
    Jean-Baptiste du Hamel (1624โ€“1706) โ€“ French priest, natural philosopher, and secretary of the Academie Royale des Sciences
    Renรฉ Just Haรผy (1743โ€“1822) โ€“ Priest known as the father of crystallography
    Maximilian Hell (1720โ€“1792) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and director of the Vienna Observatory; the crater Hell on the Moon is named after him.
    Michaล‚ Heller (1936โ€“ ) โ€“ Polish priest, Templeton Prize winner, and prolific writer on numerous scientific topics
    Lorenz Hengler (1806โ€“1858) โ€“ Priest often credited as the inventor of the horizontal pendulum
    Hermann of Reichenau (1013โ€“1054) โ€“ Benedictine historian, music theorist, astronomer, and mathematician
    Pierre Marie Heude (1836โ€“1902) โ€“ Jesuit missionary and zoologist who studied the natural history of Eastern Asia
    Franz von Paula Hladnik (1773โ€“1844) โ€“ Priest and botanist who discovered several new kinds of plants, and certain genera have been named after him
    Giovanni Battista Hodierna (1597โ€“1660) โ€“ Priest and astronomer who catalogued nebulous objects and developed an early microscope
    Victor-Alphonse Huard (1853โ€“1929) โ€“ Priest, naturalist, educator, writer, and promoter of the natural sciences


    Maximus von Imhof (1758โ€“1817) โ€“ German Augustinian physicist and director of the Munich Academy of Sciences
    Giovanni Inghirami (1779โ€“1851) โ€“ Italian Piarist astronomer who has a valley on the moon named after him as well as a crater


    Franรงois Jacquier (1711โ€“1788) โ€“ Franciscan mathematician and physicist; at his death he was connected with nearly all the great scientific and literary societies of Europe
    Stanley Jaki (1924โ€“2009) โ€“ Benedictine priest and prolific writer who wrote on the relationship between science and theology
    รnyos Jedlik (1800โ€“1895) โ€“ Benedictine engineer, physicist, and inventor; considered by Hungarians and Slovaks to be the unsung father of the dynamo and electric motor


    Georg Joseph Kamel (1661โ€“1706) โ€“ Jesuit missionary and botanist who established the first pharmacy in the Philippines
    Karl Kehrle (1898-1996) – Benedictine Monk of Buckfast Abbey, England. Beekeeper. World authority on bee breeding, developer of the Buckfast bee.
    Eusebio Kino (1645-1711) – Jesuit missionary, mathematician, astronomer and cartographer who drew maps based on his explorations first showing that California was not an island as then believed and who published an astronomical treatise in Mexico City of his observations of the Kirsch comet.
    Otto Kippes (1905โ€“1994) โ€“ Priest acknowledged for his work in asteroid orbit calculations; the main belt asteroid 1780 Kippes was named in his honour
    Athanasius Kircher (1602โ€“1680) โ€“ Jesuit who has been called the father of Egyptology and “Master of a hundred arts”; wrote an encyclopedia of China; one of the first people to observe microbes through a microscope
    Wenceslas Pantaleon Kirwitzer (1588โ€“1626) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and missionary who published observations of comets
    Jan Krzysztof Kluk (1739โ€“1796) โ€“ Priest, naturalist agronomist, and entomologist who wrote a multi-volume work on Polish animal life
    Marian Wolfgang Koller (1792โ€“1866) โ€“ Benedictine professor who wrote on astronomy, physics, and meteorology
    Franz Xaver Kugler (1862โ€“1929) โ€“ Jesuit chemist, mathematician, and Assyriologist who is most noted for his studies of cuneiform tablets and Babylonian astronomy


    Ramon Llull (ca. 1232 โ€“ ca. 1315) Majorcan writer and philosopher, logician and a Franciscan tertiary considered a pioneer of computation theory
    Nicolas Louis de Lacaille (1713-1762) – French deacon and astronomer noted for cataloguing stars, nebulous objects, and constellations
    Eugene Lafont (1837โ€“1908) โ€“ Jesuit physicist, astronomer, and founder of the first Scientific Society in India
    Antoine de Laloubรจre (1600โ€“1664) โ€“ Jesuit and first mathematician to study the properties of the helix
    Bernard Lamy (1640โ€“1715) โ€“ Oratorian philosopher and mathematician who wrote on the parallelogram of forces
    Pierre Andrรฉ Latreille (1762โ€“1833) โ€“ Priest and entomologist whose works describing insects assigned many of the insect taxa still in use today
    Georges Lemaรฎtre (1894โ€“1966) โ€“ Belgian priest and father of the Big Bang Theory
    Thomas Linacre (c. 1460โ€“1524) โ€“ English priest, humanist, translator, and physician
    Francis Line (1595โ€“1675) โ€“ Jesuit magnetic clock and sundial maker who disagreed with some of the findings of Newton and Boyle
    Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz (1606โ€“1682) โ€“ Cistercian who wrote on a variety of scientific subjects, including probability theory


    Jean Mabillon (1632โ€“1707) โ€“ Benedictine monk and scholar, considered the founder of palaeography and diplomatics
    James B. Macelwane (1883โ€“1956) โ€“ “The best-known Jesuit seismologist” and “one of the most honored practicioners of the science of all time”; wrote the first textbook on seismology in America.
    John MacEnery (1797-1841) – Archaeologist who investigated the Palaeolithic remains at Kents Cavern
    Paul McNally (1890โ€“1955) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and director of Georgetown Observatory; the crater McNally on the Moon is named after him.
    Manuel Magri (1851โ€“1907) โ€“ Jesuit ethnographer, archaeologist and writer; one of Malta’s pioneers in archaeology
    Emmanuel Maignan (1601โ€“1676) โ€“ Minim physicist and professor of medicine who published works on gnomonics and perspective
    Charles Malapert (1581โ€“1630) โ€“ Jesuit writer, astronomer, and proponent of Aristotelian cosmology; also known for observations of sunpots and of the lunar surface, and the crater Malapert on the Moon is named after him
    Nicolas Malebranche (1638โ€“1715) โ€“ Oratorian philosopher who studied physics, optics, and the laws of motion and disseminated the ideas of Descartes and Leibniz
    Marcin of Urzฤ™dรณw (c. 1500โ€“1573) โ€“ Priest, physician, pharmacist, and botanist
    Joseph Marรฉchal (1878โ€“1944) โ€“ Jesuit philosopher and psychologist
    Marie-Victorin (1885โ€“1944) โ€“ Christian Brother and botanist best known as the father of the Jardin botanique de Montrรฉal
    Edme Mariotte (c. 1620โ€“1684) โ€“ Priest and physicist who recognized Boyle’s Law and wrote about the nature of color
    Francesco Maurolico (1494โ€“1575) โ€“ Benedictine who made contributions to the fields of geometry, optics, conics, mechanics, music, and astronomy, and gave the first known proof by mathematical induction
    Christian Mayer (astronomer) (1719โ€“1783) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer most noted for pioneering the study of binary stars
    James Robert McConnell (1915-1999) – Irish Theoretical Physicist, Pontifical Academician, Monsignor
    Gregor Mendel (1822โ€“1884) โ€“ Augustinian monk and father of genetics
    Pietro Mengoli (1626โ€“1686) โ€“ Priest and mathematician who first posed the famous Basel Problem
    Giuseppe Mercalli (1850โ€“1914) โ€“ Priest, volcanologist, and director of the Vesuvius Observatory who is best remembered today for his Mercalli scale for measuring earthquakes which is still in use
    Marin Mersenne (1588โ€“1648) โ€“ Minim philosopher, mathematician, and music theorist who is often referred to as the “father of acoustics”
    Paul of Middelburg (1446โ€“1534) โ€“ Bishop of Fossombrone who wrote important works on the reform of the calendar
    Maciej Miechowita (1457โ€“1523) โ€“ Canon who wrote the first accurate geographical and ethnographical description of Eastern Europe, as well as two medical treatises
    Franรงois-Napolรฉon-Marie Moigno (1804โ€“1884) โ€“ Jesuit physicist and mathematician; was an expositor of science and translator rather than an original investigator
    Juan Ignacio Molina (1740โ€“1829) โ€“ Jesuit naturalist, historian, botanist, ornithologist and geographer
    Louis Morรฉri (1643โ€“1680) โ€“ 17th century priest and encyclopaedist
    Thรฉodore Moret (1602โ€“1667) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician and author of the first mathematical dissertations ever defended in Prague; the lunar crater Moretus is named after him.
    Landell de Moura (1861โ€“1928) โ€“ Priest and inventor who was the first to accomplish the transmission of the human voice by a wireless machine
    Gabriel Mouton (1618โ€“1694) โ€“ Abbot, mathematician, astronomer, and early proponent of the metric system
    Jozef Murgaลก (1864โ€“1929) โ€“ Priest who contributed to wireless telegraphy and help develop mobile communications and wireless transmission of information and human voice
    Josรฉ Celestino Mutis (1732โ€“1808) โ€“ Canon, botanist, and mathematician who led the Royal Botanical Expedition of the New World


    Jean Franรงois Niceron (1613โ€“1646) โ€“ Minim mathematician who studied geometrical optics
    Nicholas of Cusa (1401โ€“1464) โ€“ Cardinal, philosopher, jurist, mathematician, astronomer, and one of the great geniuses and polymaths of the 15th century
    Julius Nieuwland (1878โ€“1936) โ€“ Holy Cross priest, known for his contributions to acetylene research and its use as the basis for one type of synthetic rubber, which eventually led to the invention of neoprene by DuPont
    Jean-Antoine Nollet (1700โ€“1770) โ€“ Abbot and physicist who discovered the phenomenon of osmosis in natural membranes.


    Hugo Obermaier (1877โ€“1946) โ€“ Priest, prehistorian, and anthropologist who is known for his work on the diffusion of mankind in Europe during the Ice Age, as well as his work with north Spanish cave art
    William of Ockham (c. 1288 โ€“ c. 1348) โ€“ Franciscan Scholastic who wrote significant works on logic, physics, and theology; known for Ockham’s Razor
    Nicole Oresme (c. 1323โ€“1382) โ€“ One of the most famous and influential philosophers of the later Middle Ages; economist, mathematician, physicist, astronomer, philosopher, theologian and Bishop of Lisieux, and competent translator; one of the most original thinkers of the 14th century
    Barnaba Oriani (1752โ€“1832) โ€“ Barnabite geodesist, astronomer and scientist whose greatest achievement was his detailed research of the planet Uranus, and is also known for Oriani’s theorem


    Tadeusz Pacholczyk (1965- ) โ€“ Priest, neuroscientist and writer
    Luca Pacioli (c. 1446โ€“1517) โ€“ Franciscan friar who published several works on mathematics and is often regarded as the Father of Accounting
    Ignace-Gaston Pardies (1636โ€“1673) โ€“ Jesuit physicist known for his correspondence with Newton and Descartes
    Franciscus Patricius (1529โ€“1597) โ€“ Priest, cosmic theorist, philosopher, and Renaissance scholar
    John Peckham (1230โ€“1292) โ€“ Archbishop of Canterbury and early practitioner of experimental science
    Nicolas Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580โ€“1637) โ€“ Abbot and astromer who discovered the Orion Nebula; lunar crater Peirescius named in his honor
    Stephen Joseph Perry (1833โ€“1889) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and Fellow of the Royal Society; made frequent observations of Jupiter’s satellites, of stellar occultations, of comets, of meteorites, of sun spots, and faculae
    Giambattista Pianciani (1784โ€“1862) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician and physicist
    Giuseppe Piazzi (1746โ€“1826) โ€“ Theatine mathematician and astronomer who discovered Ceres, today known as the largest member of the asteroid belt; also did important work cataloguing stars
    Jean Picard (1620โ€“1682) โ€“ Priest and first person to measure the size of the Earth to a reasonable degree of accuracy; also developed what became the standard method for measuring the right ascension of a celestial object; The PICARD mission, an orbiting solar observatory, is named in his honor
    Edward Pigot (1858โ€“1929) โ€“ Jesuit seismologist and astronomer
    Alexandre Guy Pingrรฉ (1711โ€“1796) โ€“ French priest astronomer and naval geographer; the crater Pingrรฉ on the Moon is named after him, as is the asteroid 12719 Pingrรฉ
    Andrew Pinsent (1966- ) โ€“ Priest whose current research includes the application of insights from autism and social cognition to ‘second-person’ accounts of moral perception and character formation. His previous scientific research contributed to the DELPHI experiment at CERN
    Jean Baptiste Franรงois Pitra (1812โ€“1889) โ€“ Bendedictine cardinal, archaeologist and theologian who noteworthy for his great archaeological discoveries
    Charles Plumier (1646โ€“1704) โ€“ Minim friar who is considered one of the most important botanical explorers of his time
    Marcin Odlanicki Poczobutt (1728โ€“1810) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and mathematician; granted the title of the King’s Astronomer; the crater Poczobutt on the Moon is named after him.
    Lรฉon Abel Provancher (1820โ€“1892) โ€“ Priest and naturalist devoted to the study and description of the fauna and flora of Canada; his pioneer work won for him the appellation of the “Father of Natural History in Canada”


    Louis Receveur (1757โ€“1788) โ€“ Franciscan naturalist and astronomer; described as being as close as one could get to being an ecologist in the 18th century
    Franz Reinzer (1661โ€“1708) โ€“ Jesuit who wrote an in-depth meteorological, astrological, and political compendium covering topics such as comets, meteors, lightning, winds, fossils, metals, bodies of water, and subterranean treasures and secrets of the earth
    Louis Rendu (1789โ€“1859) โ€“ Bishop who wrote an important book on the mechanisms of glacial motion; the Rendu Glacier, Alaska, U.S. and Mount Rendu, Antarctica are named for him
    Vincenzo Riccati (1707โ€“1775) โ€“ Italian Jesuit mathematician and physicist
    Matteo Ricci (1552โ€“1610) โ€“ One of the founding fathers of the Jesuit China Mission and co-author of the first European-Chinese dictionary
    Giovanni Battista Riccioli (1598โ€“1671) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer who authored Almagestum novum, an influential encyclopedia of astronomy; The first person to measure the rate of acceleration of a freely falling body; created a selenograph with Father Grimaldi that now adorns the entrance at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
    Richard of Wallingford (1292-1336) – Abbot, renowned clockmaker, and one of the initiators of western trigonometry
    Johannes Ruysch (c. 1460โ€“1533) โ€“ Priest, explorer, cartographer, and astronomer who created the second oldest known printed representation of the New World


    Giovanni Girolamo Saccheri (1667โ€“1733) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician and geometer
    Johannes de Sacrobosco (c. 1195 โ€“ c. 1256) โ€“ Irish monk and astronomer who wrote the authoritative medieval astronomy text Tractatus de Sphaera; his Algorismus was the first text to introduce Hindu-Arabic numerals and procedures into the European university curriculum; the lunar crater Sacrobosco is named after him
    Gregoire de Saint-Vincent (1584โ€“1667) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician who made important contributions to the study of the hyperbola
    Alphonse Antonio de Sarasa (1618โ€“1667) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician who contributed to the understanding of logarithms
    Christoph Scheiner (c. 1573โ€“1650) โ€“ Jesuit physicist, astronomer, and inventor of the pantograph; wrote on a wide range of scientific subjects
    Wilhelm Schmidt (linguist) (1868โ€“1954) โ€“ Austrian priest, linguist, anthropologist, and ethnologist.
    George Schoener (1864โ€“1941) โ€“ Priest who became known in the United States as the “Padre of the Roses” for his experiments in rose breeding
    Gaspar Schott (1608โ€“1666) โ€“ Jesuit physicist, astronomer, and natural philosopher who is most widely known for his works on hydraulic and mechanical instruments
    Franz Paula von Schrank (1747โ€“1835) โ€“ Priest, botanist, entomologist, and prolific writer
    Berthold Schwarz (c. 14th century) โ€“ Franciscan friar and reputed inventor of gunpowder and firearms
    Anton Maria Schyrleus of Rheita (1604โ€“1660) โ€“ Capuchin astronomer and optrician who built Kepler’s telescope
    George Mary Searle (1839โ€“1918) โ€“ Paulist astronomer and professor who discovered six galaxies
    Angelo Secchi (1818โ€“1878) โ€“ Jesuit pioneer in astronomical spectroscopy, and one of the first scientists to state authoritatively that the sun is a star
    Alessandro Serpieri (1823โ€“1885) โ€“ Priest, astronomer, and seismologist who studied shooting stars, and was the first to introduce the concept of the seismic radiant
    Gerolamo Sersale (1584โ€“1654) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and selenographer; his map of the moon can be seen in the Naval Observatory of San Fernando; the lunar crater Sirsalis is named after him
    Benedict Sestini (1816โ€“1890) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer, mathematician and architect; studied sunspots and eclipses; wrote textbooks on a variety of mathematical subjects
    Renรฉ Franรงois Walter de Sluse (1622โ€“1685) โ€“ Canon and mathematician with a family of curves named after him
    Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729โ€“1799) โ€“ Priest, biologist, and physiologist who made important contributions to the experimental study of bodily functions, animal reproduction, and essentially discovered echolocation; his research of biogenesis paved the way for the investigations of Louis Pasteur
    Valentin Stansel (1621โ€“1705) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer who made important observations of comets
    Johan Stein (1871โ€“1951) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory, which he modernized and relocated to Castel Gandolfo; the crater Stein on the far side of the Moon is named after him
    Nicolas Steno (1638โ€“1686) โ€“ Bishop beatified by Pope John Paul II who is often called the father of geology[9] and stratigraphy,[7] and is known for Steno’s principles
    Pope Sylvester II (c. 946โ€“1003) โ€“ Prolific scholar who endorsed and promoted Arabic knowledge of arithmetic, mathematics, and astronomy in Europe, reintroducing the abacus and armillary sphere which had been lost to Europe since the end of the Greco-Roman era
    Alexius Sylvius Polonus (1593 โ€“ c. 1653) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer who studied sunspots and published a work on calendariography
    Ignacije Szentmartony (1718โ€“1793) โ€“ Jesuit cartographer, mathematician, and astronomer who became a member of the expedition that worked on the rearrangement of the frontiers among colonies in South America


    Andrรฉ Tacquet (1612โ€“1660) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician whose work laid the groundwork for the eventual discovery of calculus
    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881โ€“1955) โ€“ Jesuit paleontologist and geologist who took part in the discovery of Peking Man
    Francesco Lana de Terzi (c. 1631โ€“1687) โ€“ Jesuit referred to as the Father of Aviation[10] for his pioneering efforts; he also developed a blind writing alphabet prior to Braille.
    Theodoric of Freiberg (c. 1250 โ€“ c. 1310) โ€“ Dominican theologian and physicist who gave the first correct geometrical analysis of the rainbow
    Joseph Tiefenthaler (1710โ€“1785) โ€“ Jesuit who was one of the earliest European geographers to write about India
    Giuseppe Toaldo (1719โ€“1797) โ€“ Priest and physicist who studied atmospheric electricity and did important work with lightning rods; the asteroid 23685 Toaldo is named for him.
    Josรฉ Torrubia (c. 1700โ€“1768) โ€“ Franciscan linguist, scientist, collector of fossils and books, and writer on historical, political and religious subjects
    Franz de Paula Triesnecker (1745โ€“1817) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and director of the Vienna Observatory; published a number of treatises on astronomy and geography; the crater Triesnecker on the Moon is named after him.


    Luca Valerio (1552โ€“1618) โ€“ Jesuit mathematician who developed ways to find volumes and centers of gravity of solid bodies
    Pierre Varignon (1654โ€“1722) โ€“ Priest and mathematician whose principle contributions were to statics and mechanics; created a mechanical explanation of gravitation
    Jacques de Vaucanson (1709โ€“1782) โ€“ French Minim friar inventor and artist who was responsible for the creation of impressive and innovative automata and machines such as the first completely automated loom.
    Giovanni Battista Venturi (1746โ€“1822) โ€“ Priest who discovered the Venturi effect
    Fausto Veranzio (c. 1551โ€“1617) โ€“ Bishop, polymath, inventor, and lexicographer
    Ferdinand Verbiest (1623โ€“1688) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer and mathematician; designed what some claim to be the first ever self-propelled vehicle โ€“ many claim this as the world’s first automobile
    Francesco de Vico (1805โ€“1848) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer who discovered or co-discovered a number of comets; also made observations of Saturn and the gaps in its rings; the lunar crater De Vico and the asteroid 20103 de Vico are named after him
    Vincent of Beauvais (c.1190โ€“c.1264) โ€“ Dominican who wrote the most influential encyclopedia of the Middle Ages
    Benito Viรฑes (1837โ€“1893) โ€“ Jesuit meteorologist who made the first weather model to predict the trajectory of a hurricane.[11][12][13]
    Jรกnos Vitรฉz (archbishop) (c.1405โ€“1472) โ€“ Archbishop, astronomer, and mathematician


    Martin Waldseemรผller (c. 1470โ€“1520) โ€“ German priest and cartographer who, along with Matthias Ringmann, is credited with the first recorded usage of the word America
    Godefroy Wendelin (1580โ€“1667) โ€“ Priest and astronomer who recognized that Kepler’s third law applied to the satellites of Jupiter; the lunar crate Vendelinus is named in his honor
    Johannes Werner (1468โ€“1522) โ€“ Priest, mathematician, astronomer, and geographer
    Witelo (c. 1230 โ€“ after 1280, before 1314) โ€“ Friar, physicist, natural philosopher, and mathematician; lunar crater Vitello named in his honor; his Perspectiva powerfully influenced later scientists, in particular Johannes Kepler
    Julian Tenison Woods (1832โ€“1889) โ€“ Passionist geologist and mineralogist
    Theodor Wulf (1868โ€“1946) โ€“ Jesuit physicist who was one of the first experimenters to detect excess atmospheric radiation
    Franz Xaver von Wulfen (1728-1805) – Jesuit botanist, mineralogist, and alpinist


    John Zahm (1851โ€“1921) โ€“ Holy Cross priest and South American explorer
    Giuseppe Zamboni (1776โ€“1846) โ€“ Priest and physicist who invented the Zamboni pile, an early electric battery similar to the Voltaic pile
    Francesco Zantedeschi (1797โ€“1873) โ€“ Priest who was among the first to recognize the marked absorption by the atmosphere of red, yellow, and green light; published papers on the production of electric currents in closed circuits by the approach and withdrawal of a magnet, thereby anticipating Michael Faraday’s classical experiments of 1831[14]
    Niccolรฒ Zucchi (1586โ€“1670) โ€“ claimed to have tried to build a reflecting telescope in 1616 but abandoned the idea (maybe due to the poor quality of the mirror).[15] May have been the first to see the belts on the planet Jupiter (1630).[16]
    Giovanni Battista Zupi (c. 1590โ€“1650) โ€“ Jesuit astronomer, mathematician, and first person to discover that the planet Mercury had orbital phases; the crater Zupus on the Moon is named after him.

    • One of the precepts of Catholic faith I do admire is the value they attribute to conscientious reflection. As a result the faith tends to have a rather rich liberal and inquisitive undercurrent that results in a degree of delightful flexibility. This, of course, juxtaposed by some rather darker, stultified bits.

    • That’s an impressive list! The list of Republicans who deny objective reality is only slightly longer ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • james cole

       /  June 17, 2015

      US Congress will be in a pinch when the Pope speaks. They mostly favor the Pope and his role in the world as a moral authority. But big money from fossil fuel has captured the congress in near totality. Congressmen may remain silent though. Fearful of attacking a popular religious figure, but angered over any mention of global warming. I expect the cowards to run and hide from media for a couple weeks after the Pope makes his thoughts known. Congress will wait for it to blow over, and return to their support of fossil fuel producers. A political system based on money, as ours clearly is, has no moral authority in my mind.

  19. Great post and a great thread.

    Robert – from your post in the previous thread:
    “In past collapse events where the civilization managed to survive, leaders and the so called elites did not hoard wealth. In fact, the notion of individual property was not critical or crucial to these leaders who developed and exemplified the morality of shared resources and appropriate personal constraint.”

    I would be interested to know to what historical events you are alluding.

    • The elegant civilization of Tikopia for one — a Pacific Island with extreme resource constraints that underwent a resource and population crisis nearly a thousand years ago. Effective action by leaders (who basically showed no propensity for wealth hoarding, which almost certainly better enabled them to think in civilization survival terms) prevented collapse. Medieval Japan where wealthy land owners forbade and restrained tree harvesting in order to prevent ecological collapse on the islands. The result was a short term loss of revenues from wood sales but reforestation revitalized Japan’s agriculture. Without the constraints on tree harvesting, agriculture would have went into decline and starvation and poverty would have torn ever deeper rents in the fabric of Japan’s civilization. The Great Depression in the US where private wealth was turned toward public works that revitalized the both the US economy and US agriculture (the war effort extended this public cooperation which led to the prosperity of the latter 20th Century — the neoliberal nightmare apparently ignored past lessons in an effort to return to the abuses [and related power and wealth concentrations] of the Gilded Age), creating many of the resiliency enhancing structures that we still rely upon today.

      It’s well known among risk analyst circles that income inequality is an enabler for unrest and civilization collapse. Inherent to that risk is not just the social stress caused by stratifying society into haves and have-nots. It is also due to negative impact of the exploitative leaders in high income inequality societies as a whole. The exploitative leadership of high income inequality societies tends to fail to innovate, to not generate public works, to not invest in civilization structures, to not invest for the long term, and to loot commons resources without providing for their sustenance.

      High inequality is not necessarily a feature of a particular political ideology (although neo-liberalism could probably be defined by its inherent inequality generating structures and drives). Pure capitalism has been pretty terrible example historically. But capitalism tempered by higher taxation of the wealthy, a strong social safety net, strong regulations against bad actors, and a generous, non resource dominating, and charitable wealthy class has tended to work (when the wealthy’s incomes have tended to range perhaps x10 that of the poorer individuals not the x100s or x1000s or x10000s we see today). Communism, in the case of the old Soviet Union and, to a lesser degree China, multiplied inequality by transporting resources only to party members and has greatly suffered from a different brand of the inequality Marx warned of. European Socialist societies with mixed economies have tended to remain quite stable only seeing unrest when the support systems were threatened.

      The most unequal, exploitative states see the most unrest, the most destruction of public goods and the commons, the greatest failures to plan for the long term. States with no public supports and future planning fail utterly. On the other end of the spectrum, states that are least exploitative of its commons and constituents have tended to not fall due to internal issues. The main danger to those civilizations has been due to outside contact with other civilizations. The civilizations of the Susquehanna River valley — the Powhatan, the Mattaponi, the Pomunkey — lasted for over seven thousand years. Long enough to remember the flooding of the Chesapeake Bay at the end of the last ice age. They fell to exploitative European civilizations whose exploitative propensity has been globalized and now threatens a good chunk of life on Earth if the exploitation doesn’t stop (especially as it relates to coal, oil, and gas).

      If we go down now, Western Civilization will have lasted at best one third the time of those we replaced — the ones whose oral traditions included tales from the end of the last ice age.

    • And the issue now is that all the world is basically one civilization now — for better or for worse. Sure we are broken into a vast number of separate groups and sub-cultures. But we are all connected in so many ways we’ve never been connected before. So conquest no longer is possible or even practical in the old sense. Force of arms is low efficiency and low impact power these days. Low efficiency, but high consequence. The worst of both worlds.

      Our struggle is not, therefore, one against other civilizations, but one of survival. And an internal survival struggle involves reducing exploitation and externalities of all kinds, of planning for resiliency through cooperative effort. Conquest doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t have a future. Not in the current world with current connections and current technology. Not in a world where we all live on the same block.

      So we’d better start looking at the non-conquest optimized civilizations that managed to survive over the long haul. At technology that optimizes for that survival and for the systems that enable cooperation, fairness and inclusion — not exploitation and exile. How we treat one another and how we treat the environment are thus linked. Good behavior by leaders in one enables good behavior by leaders in the other. And exploitative behavior of any kind by leaders breeds more of the same. A propensity that is now directly anti-survival anti human prosperity/welfare anti-life as it pertains to the natural world.

      • Fascinating read on Tikopia. It is only 5km^2, so they had to live within their means. Your point on “The main danger to those civilizations has been due to outside contact with other civilizations.” was evidenced on Tikopia;

        The introduction of Christianity resulted to the banning of traditional birth control, which had the consequence of a 50% increase of the population: 1,200 in 1920 to 1,800 in 1950.

        RS, your a wealth of information.

        • It truly is like a ship in the middle of the ocean. No place on Tikopea where one cannot hear the sound of the waves. And 1,200 people survived there for nearly 2,000 years. How did they do it? Cooperation, living within their means, no greed.

        • They also turned the whole island into one big vertical farm. Permaculture in action that.

  20. james cole

     /  June 17, 2015

    As we face the real effects of global warming, I am noticing a trend around the world. This trend is to ignore this looming disaster, and to instead begin an almost medieval return to religious, ethnic, resource and pure power politics strife. We see things that would never have happened at the height of the Soviet threat. I remember we had our fingers on the triggers of nuclear depth charges and torpedoes, ready to nuke Soviet Fleet Ballistic Submarines out of existence, but nobody on either side was as reckless with their words and deeds as today. This seems to defy logic. My gut tells me nations with real power, us included, are jockeying for position for the day collapse comes. I can not believe that all the world’s intelligence agencies and military Intelligence groupings DO NOT know global warming is real and going to cause collapse in many areas and very soon. It seems to me, nations are looking for a military solution, i.e “be the last man standing”, when global warming destroys habitability. Like in the Middle East and parts of Africa already.
    Nobody who knows the science could possibly consider today’s politicians and leaders as engaged in a rational response to world events and environmental science’s predictions for future weather disasters.
    Recently some people posted on here about the rich elite’s building of luxury shelters in remote parts of the world. In market economics, this can be seen as a “Market Signal”. The top elites are “pricing in” a disaster. Their money is being used as a “price discovery mechanism”. How much value does a remote shelter have in today’s conditions. The rich are signalling that “yes” that price is very high.

  21. Hub’s in that general area right now. Don’t really like when he’s near the gulf; dangerous weather and currents.


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