By Hubert H. Lamb

First released in 1972, this primary quantity of Professor Lamb’s examine of our altering weather bargains with the basics of weather and climatology, in addition to delivering worldwide facts at the modern climates of the 20 th century.

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Extra resources for Climate: Present, Past and Future: Volume 1: Fundamentals and Climate Now

Sample text

The figure means that the average flux of heat from the Earth's interior(quoted on p. 14) is of the order of 10- 4-10- 5 times the solar constant. Moonlight is weaker still - only at full moon about 10-5 times the solar constant. 2. The beginning of the Palaeozoic is dated about 560 million years ago; the Proterozoic stretches back much further (SCHWARZBACH 1961). 17 Fundamentals variations been demonstrated: for instance, monthly values of ultra-violet intensity may differ by 40% or more, and the smoothed curve shows a range of about 10% of the intensity on these wave lengths, varying in phase with the II-year sunspot cycle.

Periods of 22-23, 80-89, 178, about 400 and 1700 years have been most frequently suggested as having some significance: periods of 567 or alternatively 737 years have been attributed to the disturbing gravitational effect on the sun of conjunctions of the planets in their orbits. In some cases, notably the 1700-year periodicity, effects on world weather, traceable, for instance, through variations of lake levels in arid regions, have been alleged; indeed, these effects may sometimes have been the origin of the suggestion about some solar cycle of the length in question as the supposed cause.

The fate of human populations living near the climatic limit, whether of cold as in Greenland and Iceland, or of drought as in central Asia and parts of Africa, America and Australia, may be determined - and has been determined - by climate. So geologists, biologists, medical men, historians, archaeologists, oceanographers and others may all find something here that concerns them. It seems a reasonable hope, moreover, that the meteorological treatment and arrangement of the book may make clearer the significance of some of the evidence turned up in other fields of study.

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