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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/551

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535
RAINFALL ON THE PLAINS.


 
PSM V36 D551 Chrysanthemum mannequins represented as making tea.jpg
Fig. 4.—Japanese Manikins, dressed in Chrysanthemums, represented as making Tea. (Prom a photograph.)

them will, no doubt, go on increasing, for they are justly, on account of the many desirable qualities they combine, appreciated very highly.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from La Nature.

 

RAINFALL ON THE PLAINS.
By STUART O. HENRY.

THE general impression seems to be that the rainfall has increased and is increasing on our "plains" because of their settlement and cultivation. It is fancied that, as the population moves westward, augmented precipitation follows, so that there is now sufficient rain where ten or twenty years ago it was too dry. Travelers who ride swiftly across this region in a day find towns and catch glimpses of farming operations where five years ago they saw but a barren waste. They conclude that a marked climatic change has taken place, and infer that it can only be due to the presence of population. They fancy that the cultivation of the land must produce marked hygrometric results. That this is a remarkable fallacy becomes certain when attention is called to the evidence.

In the first place, neither history nor science gives any testimony to show that the tillage of the soil and the planting of trees