While at a flea market, I saw a vendor that had a box of old books. This book immediately jumped out at me based on the title and the obvious age of the book:
This book was compiled and printed through the United States Department of Agriculture and was printed in 1941.
I have read about 60 pages.
Part One of the book is “Climate as a World Influence.” The first chapter then is “Climatic Change Through the Ages”.
There are a few things to note right away. This book several times (in the sections that I have read) speak of Earth being 1.5 billion years old, the Theory of Continental Drift is just that, a theory and not accepted yet.
“There are two broad types of climatic pattern indicated by the geologic record, the normal and the glacial.
The characteristic of glacial climates is the existence of frozen seas during the summer in polar regions. Such is the case today.”
“The oceans of normal times were much warmer than those of today. In the absence of polar ice, from which cold water, heavy because of its temperature, now creeps to abysmal depths and accumulates, it is probable that bottom temperatures were considerably higher.”
“A second type of geochronology is based on the amount of wood added as tree rings each year. Records of this kind extend back only about 3,000 years in living trees, but careful research may add another thousand or so.
Tree-ring studies were first undertaken in the plateaus of Arizona by A.E Douglass, who demonstrated a close relationship between annual rainfall and the widths of rings in yellow pine trees.”
“The early seventeenth century in Europe was particularly wet. Alpine glaciers extended far down valleys, and northern Italy suffered from disastrous floods. Glaciers retreated between 1640 and 1770 and then advanced until the middle of the nineteenth century. Since then they have retreated back to sixteenth century positions. This appears to be a world wide condition and suggests that the last century has had higher summer temperatures than the eighteenth century just preceding.”
Some Theories Of Climatic Change
The Earth’s Surface
“Much has been written about varying amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a possible cause of glacial periods. The theory received a fatal blow when it was realized that carbon dioxide is very selective as to the wave lengths of radiant energy it will absorb., filtering out only such waves as even very minute quantities of water vapor dispose of anyway. No probable increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide could materially affect either the amount of isolation reaching the surface or the amount of terrestrial radiation lost to space.”
Variations In The Earth’s Heat
The first thing that I noticed when I was reading this was that this book reads like a classic science book. It does not read like a position paper that most “peer” reviewed climate literature put out today sounds like.
Below are a few photographs of some of the graphs/diagrams/installations from the book.
It would be a hoot to be able to take the data that is being used today to graph and illustrate climate history, and compare it to what this book shows.