Rudolf Geiger

Rudolf Oskar Robert Williams Geiger ( born August 24, 1894 in Erlangen, † January 22, 1981 in Munich) was a German meteorologist. He is one of the most representative pioneers of micro- climatology.


Rudolf Geiger comes from a family of scholars; his father was the Indologist Wilhelm Geiger, his brother, the physicist Hans Geiger. He attended a humanistic gymnasium in Erlangen and studied since 1912, with interruptions caused by war service, mathematics at the universities of Erlangen and Kiel. In 1920 he acquired in obtaining a doctorate with a thesis on "Indian Geodesy in antiquity and the Middle Ages".

After the graduation violinist was hired as an assistant at the Physics Institute of the Technical University of Darmstadt. Here he found the way to meteorology. From 1923 he worked as a research assistant at the members of the Bavarian State Meteorological Observatory Meteorological Department of Forest Research Station Munich. In 1927 he completed his habilitation at the University of Munich with a treatise on the climate of near-surface air layer. From 1937 to 1945 he was Director of the Meteorological Institute of Physics Forestry University Eberswalde. During the Second World War, he was temporarily employed as a teacher of marine meteorologists. In 1948 he became head of the Meteorological Institute of the University and the Forest Research Institute in Munich as a full professor. In 1958 he became Professor Emeritus, but after that he was more scientifically active.

Research services

Geiger has collected since 1923 by a systematic attempt employment in Bavarian forests extensive data, especially on the temperature conditions in near-surface air layers of changes in inventory climate as a function of exposure and on the influence of ground vegetation on the site climate. With these long-term forestry - climatic site investigations, he was one of the pioneers of the relevant micro- climatology.

The first results of his field studies summarized in his 1927 habilitation dissertation Geiger. She appeared in the same year as a book entitled " The climate of the near-ground layer of air " and was after a few years to the international standard works of climatology. The didactically example designed book offers the ultimate in vivid information and is regarded as violinist main scientific work. Several decades has continued to work in this textbook of micro- climatology and published in 1942, 1950 and 1961, substantially revised editions Geiger. Also, translations in English, Spanish and Russian languages ​​are available. In the second half of the 20th century, the micro- climatology gained an increasing importance in the context of environmental issues.

Numerous articles on the microclimate and on basic questions of climatology Geiger has published in meteorological journals and manuals. His professional interest was also the world climatology. Together with Wladimir Peter Köppen he published 1930-1943 in five volumes a "Handbook of Climatology " and wall maps of the climates of the earth. After his retirement, he created twelve new school wall maps for climatology.

Honors and Awards

Major works

  • The climate of the near-surface air layer. Publisher F. Vieweg & Sohn Braunschweig 1927 = Science Vol 78; 2nd edition 1942 ibid.; from 3rd ed title with the addition of manual micro- climatology ibid 1950; 4th edition ibid. 1961 -. More Issues in English, Spanish and Russian. 5th edition under the title, The Climate near the Ground edited by Robert H. Aron, and Paul Todhunter. Publisher F. Vieweg & Sohn Braunschweig 1995.
  • Handbook of climatology in five volumes. Edited by W. R. Koeppen and Geiger ( 5 volumes, 19 parts). Publisher brothers Borntraeger Berlin from 1930 to 1943.