The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
Oldenhage, H. H.
Climatology of Wisconsin, pp. -128 PDF (3.9 MB)
CLIMATOLOGY OF WISCONSIN. By PROF. H. H. OLDENHAGE. The climate of a country, or that peculiar state of the atmosphere in regard to heat and moisture which prevails in any given place, and which directly affects the growth of plants and animals, is determined by the following causes: ist. Distance from the equator. 2d. Distance from the sea. 3d. Height above the sea. 4th. Prevailing winds; and 5th. Local influences, such as soil, vegetation, and proximity to lakes and mountains. Of these causes, the first, distance from the equator, is by far the most important, The warmest climates are necessarily those of tropical regions where the sun's rays are vertical. But in proceeding from the equator toward the poles, less and less heat continues to be received by the same extent of surface, because the rays fall more and more obliquely, and the same amount of heat-rays therefore spread over an increasing breadth of surface; while, however, with the increase of obliquity, more and more heat is absorbed by the atmosphere, as the amount of air to be penetrated is greater. If the earth's surface were either wholly land or water, and its atmosphere motionless, the gradations of climate would run parallel with the latitudes from the equator to the poles. But owing to the irregular distribution of land and water, and the prevail- ing winds, such an arrangement is impossible, and the determination of the real climate of a given region, and its causes, is one of the most difficult problems of science. On the second of these causes, distance from the sea, depends the difference between oce- anic and continental climates. Water is more slowly heated and cooled than land; the climates of the sea and the adjacent land are therefore much more equable and, moist than those of the interior. A decrease of temperature is noticeable in ascending high mountains. The rate at which the temperature falls with the height above the sea is a very variable qua'ntity, and is influenced by a variety of causes, such as latitude, situation, moisture, or dryness, hour of the day and season of the year. As a rough approximation, however, the fall of r° of the thermometer for every 300 feet is usually adopted. Air in contact with any part of the earth's surface, tends to acquire the temperature of that surface. Hence, winds from the north are cold; those from the south are warm. Winds from the sea are moist, and winds from the land are usually dry. Prevailing winds are the result of the relative distribution of atmospheric pressure blowing from places where the pressure is high- est, toward places where it is lowest. As climate practically depends on the temperature and moisture of the air, and as these again depend on the prevailing winds which come charged with the temperature and moisture of the regions they have traversed, it is evident that charts show- ing the mean pressure of the atmosphere give us the key to the climates of the different regions of the world. The effect of prevailing winds is seen in the moist and equable climate of West- ern Europe, especially Great Britain, owing to the warm and moist southwest winds; and in the extremes of the eastern part of North America, due to the warm and moist winds prevailing in summer and the Arctic blasts of winter.
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