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vol. ii. pp. 268, 269; but, so far as I can ascertain, the record of their observations of the barometer and thermometer has never been given to the world.

In “Copernicus,” vol. iii. p. 193, et seq., Mr. Ralph Copeland has published a summary of the results of a series of meteorological observations made by him at various stations on the line of railway connecting Mollendo on the Pacific coast with Puno in Bolivia, near the lake of Titicaca, and also at La Paz and at Tacna. Two series of observations were made at Vincocaya, the summit station of the railway, 4377 metres above the sea. All the other stations are either on elevated plateaux, or on open slopes inclining gently towards the coast. The temperatures are partly derived from numerous observations and partly by taking the mean of the maxima and minima, with corrections for each station, the reasons for which are assigned by Mr. Copeland. In most of these I am inclined to concur, but there are two from which I am forced to dissent. In reducing Mr. Copeland's tables to metrical measure, I have therefore ventured to make some corrections, which do not, however, much alter the results.

I give below the heights above the sea, in metres, with the corrected mean temperature for each place, and the dates for each set of observations.

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Without entering into minute details, or discussing the small corrections for changes in the sun's declination to be allowed for latitude and for the dates of observation, we perceive that

on the western slope of the Cordillera the rate of decrease of temperature in this region is much below the ordinary average. Estimating the mean temperature of Mollendo at 22° at the beginning of February, we find between Mollendo and Arequipa a difference of 5.8° C., or a fall in summer of 1° for an ascent of 401 metres; while in mid-winter we obtain a difference of 7.7°, showing that an ascent of 364 metres is necessary to cause a fall of 1°. This abnormal condition is, no doubt, mainly due to the exceptionally low temperature of the coast-zone. Between Arequipa and Vincocaya we may reckon the fall of temperature on the ist of March at 14'2° for an ascent of 2031 metres, giving the proportion of 1° to 143 metres ; but in winter the decrease is less rapid, as we have at the end of June a difference of about 11.5° for an ascent of 2077 metres, or about 181 metres for a fall of 1°.

A remarkable contrast is shown when we compare the temperature at Vincocaya with that of places on the plateau surrounding the great lake of Titicaca. From Mr. Copeland's observations we may estimate the mean annual temperature of Vincocaya at 1° C., that of Puno at 8.5°, and that of La Paz at 8.8°. These figures would give a mean difference of 7'5° for a difference in height of 537 metres between Vincocaya and Puno, or a decrease of 1° for 72 metres. Between Vincocaya and La Paz we have a difference of 7.8° for a difference in height of 732 metres, or a fall of 1° for 94 metres. The mean of the two comparisons gives a fall of 1° for 83 metres, or about twice as rapid a change as the average of the comparison between Arequipa and Vincocaya. I am not disposed to attribute this remarkable difference of atmospheric conditions exclusively to the influence of plateaux in raising the mean temperature.

In my own slight experience in the Peruvian Andes, in ascending from Chicla, at about 3700 metres, to Casa palta, at about 4200 metres, I observed so complete and rapid a change in the character and aspect of the vegetation as to satisfy me that the difference in the annual mean temperature must be even greater than that observed by Mr. Copeland for a somewhat greater difference of height between Vincocaya and Puno. It may be that, in this comparatively dry region of the Andes, the higher stations receive more frequent, though not copious, falls of rain or snow, the evaporation of which main

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tains a constant low temperature in the surface and the surrounding air.

In comparing observations in Peru, Bolivia, or Chili with those made in the Andes of Ecuador, it must not be forgotten that the climatal conditions are essentially different. Owing to the fact that in the latter the range of the Andes is much narrower, and on one side the main valleys descend in a nearly due easterly direction, the hot, vapour-laden, easterly winds reach the plateaux still charged with moisture, and at all seasons rain is frequent and abundant. Farther south, the winds from the Atlantic have deposited the greater part of their moisture before they arrive at the western side of the main range, and the annual rainfall must be comparatively trifling.

I have sought in vain in the records of mountain observations in other parts of the world for materials from which any probable inference may be drawn as to a law regulating the ratio of decrease of temperature with increasing height above the sea-level. There is reason to admit that isolated peaks of no great height show a more rapid decrease as compared with the plain than do considerable mountain masses. Of mountains exceeding the height of 3000 metres in the tropics, the most rapid rate of decrease is that recorded for Pangerango in Java, being 1° for 178.5 metres.

The greater mountain masses in or near the tropics show nearly the same rate of decrement, by comparison with the sea-level, that I have been led to infer from the observations in Ecuador. The average rate for the Himalayas is about 1° for 194 metres of ascent, and for the less lofty peaks of Mexico Humboldt's observations show a decrease of 1° for 188 metres. The great irregularities due to local conditions make it impossible to derive any positive conclusions as to the comparative rate of decrease in successive zones of elevation.

In Europe and North America comparisons between the temperatures at mountain summits and the sea-level give rates of decrease varying between 1° for 160 metres, and 1° for 170 metres ; but it must be remarked that the averages are mainly founded on observations made in summer, and it is certain that the rate of decrease is much slower in winter. Where the difference of height is not very great, it not uncommonly happens that in winter the phenomenon is reversed, and that

we experience an increase of temperature in ascending above the plain. The same result on a small scale may often be remarked on clear cold nights, when the temperature rises for a distance of some hundred feet in ascending isolated eminences, the effect being due to the cooling effect of radiation from the surface.

It seems most probable that in the winter of the temperate and polar zones the distribution of temperature in the atmosphere is subject to conditions widely different from those prevailing in summer ; and, if that be true, we should have intermediate conditions in the spring and autumn; so that even if we could arrive at comparatively accurate results for one season of the year, these would not be applicable at other periods.

The general result to which I have arrived is that to ascertain the distribution of temperature in the atmosphere in successive zones of elevation is a problem of extreme complexity, towards which the existing materials do not furnish even an approximate solution. I hold, however, that it ought to be possible to obtain much more definite knowledge than we now possess by means of properly conducted observations in various parts of the world.

Foremost of these I would suggest the importance of wellconducted balloon ascents within the tropics. In selecting stations for such ascents we are somewhat restricted by local considerations, especially the extension of forests in many regions, such as the greater part of tropical Brazil. In British India there would be no difficulty in selecting suitable stations, and there would be additional value in comparing the results obtained from ascents in Bengal, and in the very different climate of the North-west Provinces. Elsewhere in the tropics we might expect valuable results from ascents in Queensland, and from the llanos of Venezuela. It seems not impossible that, with a considerably smaller outlay, useful results may

hereafter be obtained by means of improved self-recording instruments sent up in captive balloons ; but in most countries such a record would be liable to interruption owing to storms.

The next desideratum is to obtain for a series of years simultaneous observations at successive stations, at vertical intervals of 500 or 600 metres, situated on the flanks and at the summits of high mountains to be chosen for the purpose. Some

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of these might with advantage be chosen on islands, and among these the following may be suggested :the Peak of Teneriffe, Mauna Kea in the Sandwich Islands, Fusiyama in Japan, the Piton de Neige in the island of Réunion, and Etna in Sicily. It would add much to the value of these observations if in each case there were a double series of stations, one series being on the windward, the other on the leeward side of the mountain. It would also be important to obtain observations at similar series of stations in continental regions, removed from the immediate influence of the sea. Pike's Peak in Colorado, which already possesses an observing station at the summit, and Mount Whitney in California, which Mr. Langley has selected as eminently suited for an observatory, both offer many advantages for the desired purpose. Another desirable station might easily be found in the Caucasus, or in Armenia, and one or more could be selected on the southern declivity of the Himalayes. In South America, where railways have been carried to such great heights, it may be hoped that regular observations may at some future time be secured at the successive railway stations. It would be worthy of the enlightened governments of Chili and Argentaria to make a commencement, by providing for such a series being obtained at the stations on the railway now in course of construction over the Uspallata Pass.

For the realization of most of these desires, as well as many others affecting the progress of human knowledge, and the general welfare of our race, we must be content to await the advent of a happier era, when the fruits of industry, and the efforts of rulers, shall no longer be mainly devoted to the maintenance and development of the arts of destruction.

While awaiting such additional knowledge as may hereafter be obtained, it is necessary in the mean time to form some provisional hypothesis on which to base the formulæ for determining the difference of heights of two stations, by barometric observations, and for ascertaining the amount of atmospheric refraction; and the subject might with advantage be discussed at a congress of scientific men. I have no authority to decide

a question of such difficulty, nor do I pretend to be thoroughly versed in the somewhat voluminous literature of the subject. I may remark, however, that in one of the fullest and most elaborate works by recent writers, Dr. Rühl


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