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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/89

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SUN-POWER AND GROWTH.

lose in weight instead of gaining, with the progressive rise in temperature in spring and in early summer, and that in fall the opposite relation should obtain. If heat alone were the active medium, the warmth indoors in winter would exert some influence; this was, however, not the case. Many other observations indicated that local changes of temperature were not the looked-for cause, as the fluctuations in weight of the inmates of the Royal Asylum corresponded to those of the deaf-mute children, notwithstanding the great difference in the location and surroundings of these two institutions. The force, moreover, seemed not to be influenced by the seasons, but to continue invariable during frost and heat, during sunshine and rain; its action on the whole was not affected by the warmth of indoors or by the cold without.

The fluctuations of the increase in weight were more regular than those of temperature; these fluctuations, with their great variations and their periodicity, seemed to show that organic growth, of both human beings and animals, is affected by some to us as yet unknown cause. This influence is partly mirrored in the local fluctuations of temperature, and these again, of course, are in connection with the sun.

If the inference should prove correct that increase and decrease in weight vary with the solar radiation, the thermometric registration of places on the Continent, not exposed to sea-winds, would coincide more accurately with the results of the weighings than the local climatic condition of Copenhagen would render possible.

Mr Malling-Hansen undertook the task of tracing in curves the fluctuations in temperature of different meteorological stations recorded in the Danish Institute of Meteorology. The stations, which are at the following places, permit a broad view, as they are at great distances from one another: Copenhagen, Vienna, San Fernando, Lucknow, Tragpoor (India), Paramaribo (Guiana), Cordova (Argentine Republic), Port Dover (Canada), and Vioi (on the Congo).

The more these curves were compared with one another, the more did they show a remarkable analogy between the fluctuations of temperature over the whole globe, and the fluctuations in the weight of the children at Copenhagen. And, furthermore, the curious fact was discovered that the fluctuations in temperature in India, as well as in Copenhagen and in North and South America, varied in a similar manner, and were analogous to the fluctuations shown in the weight-increase of the children in accordance with the variations of temperature experienced at the different places. All these fluctuations in the weight of the children picture the result of an influence emanating from the sun.

All the growth on the globe, from the most minute to the largest being, from the simplest to the most perfect organism,