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Alexander von Humboldt

(1769—1859) Baron, German explorer and scientist


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(b. Berlin, 14 September 1769; d. Berlin, 6 May 1859)

German naturalist and explorer who made major contributions to various sciences, including geology, geomagnetism, and meteorology. Together with Aimé Bonpland he undertook an expedition to South and Central America in 1799–1804, during which he studied the Peru Current, and correctly ascribed altitude sickness to lack of oxygen. He is the first person known to have prepared weather maps showing isobars and isotherms. He later advocated a worldwide network of magnetic observatories to study magnetic storms, data from which eventually proved the link with solar activity.


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