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Landmarks in the History of Science » Geoscience » 1st edition very rare Climate and Time in Their Geological Relations. A Theory of Secular Changes of the Earth's Climate, 1875

1st edition very rare Climate and Time in Their Geological Relations. A Theory of Secular Changes of the Earth's Climate, 1875

Autor: James Croll
Cod: 6272
In stoc: Da

Detalii produs
The first brilliant geological monograph of this self-educated scientist.

Croll pioneered the remarkable and counterintuitive theory of mechanism which triggers the earth’s glaciation periods: the oceans extra heat at low latitudes (during precession minima) lead to extra cooling effect at high latitudes:

"The great cold of the glacial epoch, it is probable that the quantity of snow falling in the northern regions would be enormous. This would be particularly the case during summer, when the earth would be in the perihelion and the heat at the equator great. The equator would be the furnace where evaporation would take place, and the snow and ice of temperate regions would act as a condenser. Heat to produce evaporation is just as essential to the accumulation of snow and ice as cold to produce condensation... And, again, the formation of snow and ice facilitated the rate at which the earth lost its heat; and on the other hand, the more rapidly the earth parted with its heat, the more rapidly were the snow and ice formed.’' (Croll, 1875, pp. 74-75)

''It was something altogether extraordinary to see the man [James Croll], with his large head, massive forehead, and kindly countenance, with his heavy form of body, hard horny hands and stiff arm, standing behind the counter of a tea-shop… No one, even the most casual observer, could see Croll in the character of a shopkeeper at this time without knowing that he was not a shopkeeper to the manner born, and that he was evidently in a new sphere.’'
Irons, J. C., 1896, Autobiographical Sketch of James Croll, with Memoir of his Life and Work, in: John Imbrie and Katherine Palmer Imbrie, 1979, Ice Ages. Solving the Mystery, p. 79
''This man was a phenomenon in his own era, a largely self-taught scientist who meditated so deeply on so many diverse questions – the age of the Sun, for instance, and the thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet – that it almost seems as if he plucked his theories out of some inner consciousness.  Croll had a gift that combined intuition and intellect, and among the learned men who were startled into a deep respect for him were Charles Darwin, John Herschel, Alfred Wallace, [Charles Lyell and Archibald Geikie]''
 Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the RSGS, January 26, 2016
''The book embodying the results of Mr. Croll's glacial studies of twenty years—Climate and Time in Their Geological Relations; a Theory of Secular Changes of the Earth's Climate—was published early in 1875. It was accepted at once by scientific men everywhere as a work of great importance and of equal merit and interest; and it has not fallen from the position it took then and has held since. Men might controvert some of the author's arguments or dispute his conclusions, but no one was found to deny that it was an honest and able book and a real contribution to knowledge. Honors came to him after its publication from various directions; in the form of personal acknowledgments from the most distinguished men of science in their letters to him, and in the recognition of learned institutions and societies.
The University of St. Andrews gave him the degree of LL. D.; the Royal Society of London elected him a fellow; the New York Academy of Science made him an honorary member; and he was chosen an honorary member of the Bristol Natural Society, of the Psychological Society of Great Britain, of the Glasgow Geological Society, of the Literary and Antiquarian Society of Perth, and of the Perthshire Society of Natural Science. He received also the award of the Murchison Fund in 1876 and of the Badow-Jamieson Fund in 1884. His reply to the proffer of the St. Andrews degree reveals the character of the man. He said: I hope you will not deem it affectation when I say that I do not consider that I have done anything deserving of such an honor, and that I must look upon it more as a reward to a self-taught man for a long and persevering struggle against difficulties than for any possible results which he has as yet been able to achieve.’'
Popular Science Monthly, 51/August 1897/Sketch of James Croll
''James Croll should be more generously lauded for his remarkable contribution to the study of ice ages, glacier flow and the nature of the Antarctic ice sheet. Croll was the first to calculate the link between fluctuations of the Earth's orbit and glacial/interglacial cycles, and to identify the crucial role of positive feedback processes necessary to transform minor insolation changes into major climatic changes.''
David E. Sugden,  Antarctic Science 26(6), 604–613 (2014)
''Employing the calculations of Leverrier and Lagrange of the maximum eccentricity of the Earth's orbit, and extending them over the course of four million years, Croll proposed that this 'eccentricity was sufficiently great to account for every extreme of climatic change evidenced by geology.' His theory of ice ages took into account both the precession of the equinoxes and variations in the shape of the earth's orbit. It predicted that one hemisphere or the other would experience an ice age whenever two conditions occur simultaneously: a markedly elongate orbit, and a winter solstice that occurs far from the sun. Croll rejected several older notions of climate change: that the earth was simply cooling following its hot origin, that the earth's axis had shifted, that the earth had passed through hotter and colder regions of space, and that rearrangement of landmasses was a cause of glacial and interglacial conditions. He assumed only changes in solar insolation were needed, as controlled by the well-established variations in orbital eccentricity and precession of the equinoxes. Later he added changes in the obliquity of the ecliptic. These cosmical factors provided a mechanism for multiple glacial epochs and alternating cold and warm periods in each hemisphere. In other words, when the Northern Hemisphere was in the grips of an ice age, the Southern Hemisphere would be in an interglacial. As the earth's orbital elements varied, this situation would eventually be reversed. 

Feedback mechanisms, such as radiative effects of the ice fields, enhanced formation of cloud and fog, changes in sea level, and the mixing and redirection of warm and cold ocean currents would serve to enhance the climatic changes initiated by the orbital elements. According to Croll, 'The cause of secular changes of climate is the deflection of ocean currents, owing to the physical consequences of a high degree of eccentricity in the earth’s orbit.' That is, 'glacial cycles may not arise directly from cosmical causes, they may do so indirectly!’

Both Croll and Milankovitch were visionaries, both very extremely disciplined and principled; both had to face and overcome extreme challanges to advance their theories; both had the Herculean task of trying to unite heaven and earth; both provided missing link(s) between celestial mechanics and geology.
If Croll’s theory that the earth’s climate ‘revolves’ around the sun started a Copernican revolution in climate dynamics, then Milankovitch’s served as the Newton of this field.''

James Rodger Fleming, 2006, James Croll in Context: The Encounter between Climate Dynamics and Geology in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

''Although Croll had no doubt that variations in the earth’s orbit were responsible for changes in climate, he was worried that the magnitude of the climatic changes demonstrated by the geologic record might be too great to be explained by the rather subtle changes in orbital geometry, even if these were amplified by the reflection of sunlight. Was is really possible that an increase in orbital eccentricity of only two or three percent would result in the developments of ice sheets  massive enough to cover most of Europe and North America? Croll’s concern anticipated objections that were later raised by other researchers. He attacked the problem with characteristic ingenuity by hypothesizing that the orbital changes operated as a triggering mechanism capable of setting off a major response within the earth’s climate system. In the attempt to discover what this climatic response might be, Croll turned to the great warm currents of the Atlantic Ocean.

Today, the westward-flowing currents that moves across the equator is deflected northward by the coast of Brazil and joints the Gulf Stream. In this way heat is transported into the northern hemisphere from the southern hemisphere. But if some agency were to shift the Equatorial Current so that it stuck the coast of Brazil south of its easternmost point, that warm current would be deflected southward, heat would be carried to the opposite direction, and northern hemisphere would grow cooler.

What agency could be capable of shifting the Equatorial Current? To find an answer to this question, Croll developed an original (and essentially correct) theory that explained why the major oceans current flow in the direction they do. Croll pointed out that the westward-flowing currents, which flow near the Equator, and the poleward-flowing currents such as the Gulf Stream, both move in response to the trade winds, much as the water in a teacup is moved by blowing on it, and that the velocity of these trade winds depends, in turn, on the temperature in the polar regions. If the polar region in one hemisphere were to become colder, more heat transport should be required to balance the earth’s radiation budget in that hemisphere, and the trade winds there would blow harder.

In short, the colder the poles, the stronger the winds. Croll concluded from this analysis than when the precessional cycle causes the ice sheets to expand in one hemisphere, the resulting increase in the strength of the trade winds in that hemisphere forces the warm equatorial currents in all of the oceans  to shift  towards the other hemisphere so that even more heat is lost. This effect, Croll felt, would do especially pronounced in low-latitude portions of the Atlantic Ocean, were a bulge in the coastline of Brazil would  deflect the Equatorial Current either northward or southward. Thus, the direct climatic effect of any astronomically induced change in radiation, already amplified once by the reflection-feedback effect, is amplified once again by the changing  pattern of ocean currents.’'

 John Imbrie and Catherine Palmer Imbrie, 1979, Ice Ages. Solving the Mystery, pp. 85-86

The future orbital configuration of the earth will lead to the inception of a new Ice Age.

London, Daldy, Isbister & Co, 1st edition, 1875, 8vo
xvi p., 577 p., col. front., illus., VII col. pl. (incl. maps, 2 fold.) : diagrs., index. Notes:
''List of papers which have appeared in Dr. A. Petermann's Geographische Mitteilungen relating to the Gulf-stream and 
thermal conditions of the Arctic regions'', p. 556-559
''List of papers by the author to which reference is made in this volume'', p. 560-562.

Original blue cloth wrappers; recased; minor discolorations on spine; minor foxing on leaves, good condition.

Items no 6272 and no 6315 are the same.

Price: $ 99,000.00