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Evidence of Change INTERESTING SPECULATIONS
The Fair,, which was held on the frozen Thames, at which a whole bullock was roristedi some years ago, is probably well within the memory of some who are now living* Still, many more will remember tlie days when the Serpentine, at Hyde
Pd.rk, and the St. James's Park lake, Lou i oh, wore the exhilarating sport areas of he skater. Those who have reached near to the allotted span of .three score years iuid ten will agree that the climate of Aus tralia, during their lifetime, has materially; Changed to what it is to-day. Our own tveather during the past week will, per haps, add slightly to the. evidence. f . Students of geology are satisfied that there have been, not one, but niany glacial periods. Those who have folloAved astro nomy are aware that the eccentricity of the earth in its. of bit. round the eun, and the change. in the ecliptic are constantly altering. Calculated over a period of no less thau 4,000,000 years no uniformity has been discoverefl, aiid consequently no! fdr thula: on which to base an exact calcula tion is available'. ? .'? ..'??. The traveller to-day sees with his pperi eyes hbw, all over the world, land is either rising from or receding to the sea; or, perhaps, to put. it more correctly, how the sea is encroaching iipbii 6t receding from the laud; ; . . , ... * , ; . Those who have followed the reports of the Arctic a'nd\ Antarctic expitirers, will lave endeavored td assign some cause for the existence .of coal measures, aiid the presence] .d£ tlie remains of tropical. and semi-tropical flora and fauna, wnich have been discovered ih these regions. Scien tists are now keenly investigating ih order that the'y may discover a cause for the climatic changes which' are generally admit ted to be taking place. A new fdcfc came to light only last week, when it was re ported that icebergs had been seen apprdfri hiate to the route between South Africa and Australia. According to the teachings of maiiy femi^ nent geologists and physicists, the 'earth, in its path round the suiij changes' its posi tion both in- eccentricity . and eclipticity once in about every 26,000 years. Thus, within this period, there are alternate cole and heat epochs, in both hemispheres; In this range of. time the summer, in the Arc tic regions, is lengthened from the cause mfenlionfed by no less than 3'i days during the year, and cdnversely at the Antarctic. Due to the lengthened summer, obviously, more ice melts, mdre water is poured into the sea, and more land is encroached Upon until the level is found. As, however, the ice increases in the Southern Hemisphere, the water remains at a higher level in the Northern Hemisphere, as it has no outlet to ..find a lower level. That such changes do take place arid are taking place may be sedn by anyone who cares to walk from Frema'nYie filflng
our coast, northwards. The sea has re ceded. Whether the presence of the ice bergs, which' were recently eeen, is indica tive of a break-up of the ice at the Soiith Pole, and with it a return of sea encroach ment, must be for scientists to declare. At the same time, the phenomenon is worth consideration, especially in view of the cli niatic changed which we have experienced during the last decade. Another point of interest is how far the earth has proceeded along the path of the 26,000 years, when the complete change between north and south is said to take place. Theoretically it should be felt more srradually than is the case in the light oi' the fa6ts which are constantly presenting themselves. It may be, however, that the calculations of the scientists have been falsified, by both natural and artificial causes. We know, for instance, that iu all parts of the world the rock matter of tlie mountains' is disintegrating, and the debris therefrom finding its way to the sea in silt to the.exteflt of millions of tons daily via the great rivers. Precipitated on the sea floor, this debris. may be the. means of altering the centre of gravity. The change of axis thus brought about, dyeii to the smallest extent, might pSssibly work a great change as regards climate. Again, within the last decade, the Panama Canal has beeti opened. It would be interesting to learn hbw far this has changed the course of the Gulf Stream, and brought still greater heat to the climate of Northern Europe, and, conversely, a milder climate, such as we have recently been experienc ing^ iii the; Southern Hemisphere; The subject is full of interest, and drie upon which an exposition from qualified scien tists Vrould be welcome.