Ellen Viste

Tales of the Wind. The Air on Earth - and Everything It Carries

Vindens historier. Om luften i verden og alt den fører med seg

When the winds of the world move the air, it’s never just air. There’s something in the air. Tales of the Wind revolves around the air and everything it carries along with it.

Through narratives from science, history, and journeys in nature, we come to understand why the air rarely stays still, and how the constant flow of seeds, water vapour, pollutants, and microbes shapes the world. Columbus sought out a route to Asia but found trade winds heading for America. Vasco da Gama defied centuries of logic and battled the monsoon. You’ll read about a Briton who explored sandstorms in a Ford Model T, about how Japan used the wind to bomb the United States, about Jesuit monks who were the first to predict hurricanes, and about how Vilhelm Bjerknes’ young meteorologists revolutionised international weather forecasting from the tiny Norwegian city of Bergen.

Ellen Viste has spent years searching for stories about wind and weather. Is there a place where the wind never blows, and which part of the world has the strongest winds? Who exhaled the air you inhale? How long did it take for the radioactive waste from Fukushima to travel around the world, and will that incessant headwind ever let up? In Tales of the Wind, the reader finds a quest for order in a world of uncontrollable forces.

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Ellen viste foto bjorn damsgard
Photo: Bjørn Damsgård

Ellen Viste (b. 1973) is a meteorologist and former climate researcher, now working with climate science communication. She has a PhD in meteorology from the University of Bergen. Her experience in the dissemination of weather and climate science extends back to the 1990s. She lives in Bergen – a city known for its rain and as the cradle of modern weather forecasting.