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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

zones), and the steppe. The peculiarities of each of these are described by a writer in the Geographical Magazine, who derives his information from authentic sources. Of the tundras, those bare, damp, arctic wastes, mostly situated between the arctic circle and the polar ocean, he says that in winter they are frozen, and that in summer they thaw to the depth of a foot or so. The tundra area is about 144,820 square miles, and almost the sole vegetable productions are turf-moss and reindeer-moss. This region does not promise ever to be of any considerable economic value. The forest zone extends from the limit of trees southward to 60° north latitude, and embraces the greater part of Finland, the governments of Olonetz, Vologda, most of Archangel, and the northern districts of Novgorod, Vyatka, and Perm. Area, 815,790 square miles. Population, between thirteen and fourteen souls per square mile. The economic products are fur, timber, tar, and potash. The four northern governments of Archangel, Vologda, Olonetz, and Uleaborg, cannot expect ever to attain a much higher degree of cultivation than at present. The inhabitants prefer the chase to agriculture, and devote only three months in the year to the latter. The agricultural zone extends from the sixtieth parallel to the steppe. Of this zone, the northern and central portions are a diluvial deposit, forming a thin, sandy soil that requires plentiful manuring; but the southern zone, the "black-earth" region, yields rich harvests without manuring or labor. Thus this zone may be divided into two belts, northern and southern. The northern belt includes fifteen entire governments and parts of others, with a total area of 371,900 square miles; average population fifty-four to the square mile. The region yields too little wheat for the support of its inhabitants, i. e., of the minimum allowance, 2.3 chetverts per head, only 1.7 chetvert is produced at home. The industrial wealth of Russia is mostly confined to this northern agricultural zone, the centre of manufacturing industry being the government of Moscow. The forests are gradually being diminished, through supplying fuel to carry on these industries, and there is the same improvident waste of timber which is to be seen in our backwoods. The output of coal in the Moscow district rose from 1,500,000 puds in 1860 to 9,000,000 puds in 1872; in the same year the Polish yield was 17,500,000 puds. The coal-deposits on both sides of the Ural, though rich and easily worked, are only used for the neighboring iron and copper works. The southern agricultural zone is so destitute of timber that the only fuel obtainable there, besides the droppings of cattle, is dry, half-wooded grain-stalks. The total area of the "black earth" is estimated at 250,760 square miles, extending over twenty-two governments, eight of which belong to the steppe region. In addition to these, six of the West Russia governments and Poland are noted for their fertility. The wheat produced in the black-earth country amounts to more than two-thirds of Russia's total yield, while potatoes are chiefly grown in the Polish and Baltic provinces. The population of the black-earth region forms 53 per cent, of the entire population of the country, and its crops 68 per cent, of the total yield. The manufacture of sugar from the beet is carried on extensively in the Kiev government. The crying want of this region is good roads. The chief vegetation found on the steppe is grasses, spiniferous and leafless plants, bulbous plants, etc. Forest-growth and cultivation are found only near the rivers; fuel is very scarce. The population of the steppe zone is very sparse, and the chief dependence of the inhabitants is on their cattle. In the south and southeast portions of the empire horses are bred in great numbers. The steppe zone is also rich in oxen and sheep. The grape is cultivated here to a considerable extent. Southern Russia is furthermore the chief source of salt-supply to the other governments of the empire.

 

Meteorological Notes.—Prof. Loomis's ninth paper on meteorology in the American Journal of Science and Arts for July is based on the observations of the United States Signal Service made between September, 1872, and October, 1874.

In tracing the rise and phenomena of the great storms which traverse the northern United States and British America, observations made at Portland, Oregon, were stud-