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the culture of the vine was carried to greater perfection in southern Germany and wine could more easily be carried into northern Germany, the cultivation of the vine must have been given up in regions where favorable years were only the exception. When the first decade of the nineteenth century proved very unfavorable to vine cultivation, a number of vineyards were suppressed even in the best situations, such as Rhenish Hesse and Rheingau, which were afterwards restored with the return of better times, namely, after 1834 and 1835. With the present facilities for communication and the competition in the wine business resulting therefrom vine culture is no longer profitable in many places where thirty years ago it was so; in many places even grain cultivation is declining, because the grain can be procured from a distance cheaper than the cost of cultivation, as is especially the case in Alpine countries. No one would conclude that this is owing to the deterioration of the climate, and with equal right one can not attribute the decline of vine culture in high latitudes, where it is now no longer profitable, to change of climate. Herodotus describes the fertility of Assyria, notwithstanding that it seldom rains there. No one, he says, could bring himself to believe in its productiveness who was not convinced of it by seeing for himself. At present the fruitfulness of that region is very limited. But Herodotus also describes the excellent irrigation of that country in his time, and Alexander the Great is said to have found on the Scythian frontier an inscription dedicated to Semiramis (2000 B.C.): “I forced the streams to flow where I willed, and I willed only what was useful; I made the dry earth fruitful by watering it with my streams.” At the present day the countries in question produce only very meager crops, with the exception of the regions on the Tigris, near Bagdad; in Mesopotamia, near Urfa; in northern Syria, near Aintab, and Messir and other places, where recently irrigation canals have again been laid and magnificent cultivation thereby revived. No change of climate has taken place; human energy alone has altered. Similar changes are seen in Palestine, in Arabia, in Sicily, and many other countries. Should the Chinese in many portions of their country neglect irrigation for even short periods they would quickly see only deserts where now garden cultivation reigns, while the climate would not change in the least. No one acquainted with the true cause would attribute to change of climate the increased productiveness of Lombardy since the restoration of its excellent system of canals and irrigation, or the great decrease of grain culture in Switzerland. Without this knowledge only perverted and false conclusions would be derived. The diminution of forests in the extreme north of Europe, in Iceland, and in the high Alpine regions is more simply to be explained by the partial deforestation done by the hand of man, rendering the remainder sparser and less capable of resistance to wind and weather than by hypothesis of change of climatic conditions. At the same time it will not be denied that by irrigation and drainage, by important changes in the system of cultivation, by various natural phenomena of nature, etc., many changes of a climatic character take place. These changes, however, are only local and disappear as soon as the causes which produced them are removed. Besides, there is in climatic conditions only a moderate stability, subject to steady and in all probability periodic variations and interchanges, which are difficult to recognize in consequence of the manifold combinations of the numerous effective factors. Climatic changes, extending over long periods of time, are indicated by geological periods, which latter themselves demonstrate again only the gradual and not any sudden alterations of climate. Sudden. and even very moderate slow changes of climate cause the destruction of the vital organism. The comparison of the climatic conditions of individual years, the differences in the yield of fruits of various kinds, as already mentioned above, the unfavorable years in central Europe at the end of the sixteenth and eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries, and the very favorable seasons for grain and wine in the last quarter of the seventeenth and at the beginning of the eighteenth century and in the first third of the nineteenth century, together with the recurring failure under similar conditions of crops, particularly of wine, in 1847 and 1881, caused by the cool weather at the end of summer and beginning of autumn, in spite of the hot summer which had preceded it, etc., and furthermore the exact numerical researches based on results of observations of the meteorological elements, all show a variability of climate such as is accomplished within a century, or even within the lifetime of a man, and which can be most positively recognized from year to year, from decade to decade. To find the causes of these changes belongs to those who have devoted themselves to researches in the laws of meteorology, and particularly to discovering the methods by which to prognosticate the conditions of weather for long periods in advance.

Distribution of good and poor wine crops, by decades, since 1600.

[From Fritz (1889), p. 301.]

Germany Switzerland | Germany Switzerland
(Rhine). (Zurich). (Rhine). (Zurich).

Decade. Above | Below Above | Below Decade. Above Below Abovel Below aver- aver- "aver- aver- aVer- a Ver.- aver- average. age. age. age. age. age. age. age.

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Wheat crop in Ohio, by years, since 1850.

(From Fritz (1889), p. 303. The figures for 1850–1877 refer to the average of two counties, viz, Belmont in the southeast and Erie on the north border of the State. The figures for 1878–1883 are averages for the whole State.]

Bushels Bushels Bushels

per acre. per acre. per acre. 1850-------------------- 17.0 || 1862.------------------- 13.8 || 1874------------------- 17.8 1851-------------------- 14.7 || 1863------------------- 12.8 || 1875. -----------. ------ 13.3 1852-------------------- 14.6 || 1864------------------- 6.7 || 1876. ------------------ 14.5 1853------------------- 11.8 || 1865------------------- 6.8 || 1877------------------- 11.6 1854-------------------- 9.1 || 1866------------------- 10.5 || 1878------------------- 16.9 1855-------------------- 15.6 || 1867 ------------------- 13.0 || 1879. ------------------ 17.7 1856-------------------- 11.4 || 1868. ------------------ 12.9 || 1880------------------- 17.1 1857-------------------- 10.7 || 1869----------------------------- 1881------------------- 13.8 1858-------------------- 9.7 || 1870-------------------|---------- 1882------------------- 15.6 1859-------------------- 17.0 || 1871-------------------| 14.3 || 1883. ------------------ 16.6 1860-------------------- 13.8 || 1872. ------------------ 8.5 1861-------------------- 13.4 |isis............. 14.4 |


Relative to the acclimatization of the grasses Spörer (1867) says:

As in the Alps and Himalayas up to altitudes of 15,000 to 16,000 feet, so also in the farthest north, beyond the limit of trees, the grasses flourish. The varieties that compose the grassy carpet of Taimyr are still somewhat numerous. They embrace 10 families and 21 species; about one-half belong to “the Sour-grass family, the binse or rushes, ried (reed), woold or cotton grass. But fully one-half are the sweet grasses, such as in central Europe are esteemed the best fodder, and not less So in Taimyr Land, where they extend to the shores of the icy Arctic Ocean beyond latitude 75° 30′ north, including among them the “wiesen’’ or meadow grass, the rispen or ray grass (Poa pratensis), and the “rasen Schmiele " or turfy hair grass, Aira deschampsia caespitosa. It is not surprising, therefore, that the best milch cattle, the so-called “cholmogor breed,” the successors of the cattle transported thither from the Netherlands by the care of Peter the Great, should flourish in the desert polar regions at Mesenja. The sour grasses, as genuine early spring plants, form their flowers in the previous summer season, and at the beginning of the northern Summer (July 10 to 20) are in the fullest bloom and have already turned brown when the sweet grasses begin to show their flower buds. In general the ground thaws only to the depth of a few inches and the roots do not penetrate into the frozen soil. The tundra of northern Russia and Siberia rests on such a frozen soil; the steppe or prairie or llamo rests on unfrozen, deeper, and dryer soil. The modest circle of plants that surrounds our Arctic Circle is not so complexly constituted under different longitudes as are those of the warmer phenological girdles of the globe; everywhere we have the same species of plants and the same families; everywhere the gramineae, the cruciferae, the caryophylleae, and the saxifragaceae, are the dominating families, and among the genera the Draba Sawifraga, Ranunculus, Carea, and the meadow grasses; all these

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high northern varieties are enduring; only a few of them fail annually to set their fruit and ripen their . An annual plant disappears when for a single season it fails to ripen its seed.

A comparison of the flora of Spitzbergen and the high portions of the Alps and Pyrenees shows that the former are the lost children of European flowers that have since the Glacial epoch survived at great altitudes in the mountains as well as in the damp, cold morasses of central Europe.

A comparison of the flora of Taimyr and the mountains of southern Siberia shows that the northern flora has wandered thither and become acclimatized from the southern, and that this process is still going on.


The elaborate report of Brewer on cereals, in the Tenth Census of the United States, contains the fullest information as to the relation of climate and soil to our cereals. From pages 10 to 27 of this volume I quote the following general remarks:

We may say that, as a rule, in all former times, and until modern means of transportation came into use, the grain most largely consumed for bread in any country or region was the one most easily and most surely grown at home, or at least at no great distance away; the bread, of necessity, had to be made of such grain as could be grown or procured with the facilities then enjoyed. Rye, buckwheat, oats, barley, and millet had among our ancestors an importance as bread plants that they have now lost and will probably never regain. This fact, apparently so obvious and yet so hard to realize in practice, lies at the bottom of that agricultural revolution already alluded to, which is now going on everywhere among nations and peoples of our civilization, and most notably in western Europe. Seven species (calling buckwheat a cereal) are cultivated in Amer; ica in sufficient abundance to be returned in the census tables, and three or four more are occasionally cultivated in a few localities. Taken altogether, these include all the more important cereals of the world. Of the seven species we have to deal with, six are natives of the Eastern Hemisphere and one of the western. No cultivated grain has originated on an island, if we except canary grass, and none in southern Africa or Australia, regions otherwise very rich, botanically, in species. Humboldt called it a striking phenomenon “to find on one side of our planet nations to whom flour and meal from smalleared grasses, and the use of milk, were completely unknown; while the nations of almost all parts of the other hemisphere cultivated the cereals and reared o animals. The culture of the different kinds of grasses may be said to afford a characteristic distinction between the two parts of the world.” The genera to which the principal cereals belong are: Oryza, or rice; Triticum, which includes all the varieties of wheat and spelt; Avena, oats of various kinds; Hordeum, the various kinds of barley; Secale, rye, and Zea, Indian corn. Among the true cereals—that is, belonging to the grass family—there are various species of millet, belonging to several different genera (Panicum, Pennicillaria, Emil%um, Setaria, Holcus, and Sorghum); durra, a species of Sorghum.

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