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The emergence of "global warming" as a prominent organizing theme in science and social science can be seen, for example, in the first issues of this journal. Our ability to anticipate future climates rests on our appreciation of current and past climates. Recognizable precursors of our standard meteorological instruments date from the seventeenth century, yet the systematic collection of standardized data from a sufficiently dense network of sites is, in most nations, barely a century-old activity. A history of meteorology can be doubly useful in providing reviews of early efforts at data collection and in providing context for current questions. Who better than Thomas to tell the story of the first meteorological observations in Canada and the organization of the national meteorological network. Thomas, undoubtedly the doyen of the Canadian climatological community, has had a long career in the national meteorological service collecting, organizing, analyzing, and explaining data.