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order on an income of 1761. 145. id. Apparently, however, experiments on the warming of áifferent layers of liquid there must be some other fund for the up-keep of the build- by the sun's rays.

Observations in lakes in which salt ing, as there are no items in the account for caretaker's water is covered over with a stratum of fresh water show wages or for repairs. The committee has been unfortunate that the salt water may be warmed to a much higher in losing several influential friends and supporters, among temperature than the overlying fresh water. Experiments them Dr. Isaac Roberts, during the past year, and regret with solutions of magnesium sulphate, sodium sulphate, is expressed that it becomes increasingly difficult to find ammonium chloride, and sodium carbonate, and with fresh men of the same stamp among the younger generation to water covered with petroleum and with olive oil, gave fill their places. The report is illustrated with figures of similar results. It is concluded that the phenomenon is of the early stages of the development of the lobster and of general occurrence, and that it is a factor of geological the plaice. Although plaice-hatching was fairly successful, importance in the formation of certain deposits. results were by no means so good as regards the rearing

The United States Weather Bureau has reprinted Mr. of lobsters. After one failure 5000 larvæ were successfully

W. L. Moore's article on climate, written for the “ Encyclohatched ; but of these, despite every care, very few attained

pedia Americana,” as No. 34 of its Bulletins. It embraces the " lobsterling " stage. It is incidentally recorded that

only thirteen pages of large octavo size, and is written in the female spiny lobster (Palinurus vulgaris) destroys her

clear, simple language that can be understood by all. It eggs in captivity. The general interest of the report is

contains in this small space a large amount of useful inmuch enhanced by an illustrated account of Manx (or

formation relating to the effects of solar energy, distri“ Manks”) antiquities, inclusive of fossil mammals, bybution of land and water, and mountain ranges.

With Messrs. Kermode and Herdman.

regard to secular variations, the author is of opinion that In the Sitzungsberichte, No. 22, of the Imperial Academy there has been no appreciable change in the climate of any of Sciences in Vienna, Mr. J. Dörfler gives an itinerary of large area within the period covered by authentic history. a six months' tour in the island of Crete, undertaken for

We have received from the observatory of the University the purpose of collecting botanical specimens. From this point of view the journey was very successful, as 1200 plants observatory having then completed the tenth year of its

of Odessa a copy of its Annals for the years 1901-3. The were obtained, including Triadenia Sieberi, Senecio

existence, the volume in question includes, in addition to gnaphalodes, and the tiny Bellium minutum.

observations taken thrice daily, and the monthly and yearly Two rare seaweeds, Rhipidosiphon and Callipsygma, both results for 1901-3, a valuable series of means for the ten referred to the Codiaceæ, form the subject of a short article years 1894-1903. The observatory is situated in latitude contributed by Mr. and Mrs. A. Gepp to the Journal of 46° 26' N.; the mean temperature is given as 28°8 in Botany (December, 1904), and Mr. Salmon presents a second January and 72°:1 in July. The absolute maximum was instalment of his notes on Limonium. The second supple- 94°:3, and the minimum – 10°3 F.; the temperature of the ment (1898-1902) to the biographical index of British and ground is observed at various depths. The annual rainfall Irish botanists, compiled by Mr. J. Britten and Mr. C. S. is only 13 inches; the wettest month is June (2.3 inches). Boulger, is concluded in the same number.

We have received a copy of the report of the International In addition to the maintenance of the more ornamental

Meteorological Committee's meeting Southport in gardens, the director of the Public Gardens, Jamaica, in

September, 1903. The meeting was well attended, and his report for the year 1903-4, describes a number of experi

various subjects of interest were discussed, including the ments which have been carried on at the Hope Experiment valuable reports by subcommittees and by individuals; these Station. With the view of combining the good qualities of

reports are printed in extenso in the appendix. Five of them different varieties of pineapples, a number of hybrid

refer to the arrangements existing or proposed for the seedlings have been raised by crossing the Cayenne, Ripley, exploration of the upper air by means of balloons and kites, and Queen varieties. The method of growing Sumatra

and to the results hitherto obtained. Much credit is due wrapper-tobacco under tent-cloth, as practised in the

to M. Teisserenc de Bort, who, in addition to the stations Connecticut valley in America, was tried with good results,

he has established at Trappes and Itteville, near Paris, has but the climate at Hope was found to be too dry for curing

been chiefly instrumental in establishing similar stations at the leaf satisfactorily. Considerable success has attended

Moscow and Viborg (Denmark). This latter enterprise is the budding of mango, nutmeg, cocoa, and other trees, and

acknowledged to be a most important contribution to the process is strongly recommended, both as a means of

meteorological science. Appendix vii. is a very valuable rapid propagation and also with the object of improving

report by Sir Norman Lockyer on simultaneous solar and the fruit.

terrestrial changes, which may have an important influence We have received a further instalment of the States

on the meteorology of the future. After summarising the gazetteers, already noticed, in the Gazetteer of West

investigations made from earliest times, he points out the Virginia," by Mr. Henry Gannett, published by the United

considerable advances made during the last quarter of a States Geological Survey.

century. Among the other appendices we may specially THE August and September (1904) numbers of the mention two by Prof. Pernter (chief of the Austrian MeteorBollettino of the Italian Geographical Society contain an ological Service) and by M. Rykatcheff (director of the extremely interesting and suggestive memoir by Prof. Russian Service) on the use of the hair hygrometer instead Gustavo Coen on the supposed decadence of Great Britain of the wet-bulb thermometer. This instrument is found to and the awakening of eastern Asia. The conclusions of be of much service in times of severe frost. M. J. Violle the paper, which cannot be briefly summarised, contributes a valuable report on radiation. The author obviously the result of wide study and research, and should points out that the question is exceedingly complex, and be of great value to geographical and political students in demands a complete study of each of the simple radiations

which go to make up the total solar radiation. The InterIx a paper published recently in the Hungarian Mathe- national Meteorological Committee voted for the convening matischen und naturwissentschaftlichen Berichte Dr. von of a conference of all directors of meteorological offices, to Kalersinszky gives an account of further observations and be held at Innsbruck in September, 1905.



this country.





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Messrs. J. J. GRIFFIN AND Sons have sent us specimens ELEMENTS AND EPHEMERIS FOR COMET 1904 e.-The followof “ Vitro-Ink," which is a non-corrosive ink for writing ing elements and ephemeris for Borrelly's comet (1904)

have been calculated by Dr. Elis Strömgren from the posion glass, celluloid, wood, or other material. The ink may

tions determined on December 31, 1904, January 1 and 22be used with an ordinary pen, and flaws quite readily. A

Elements. useful property is that it may be completely removed by

T = 1905 January 1'2710 (Berlin). means of a damp cloth at any time before it has set hard, so that mistakes can be rectified without difficulty. The

co = 341 23-22 ink will be found of especial service in labelling such things

8 = 69 5482 1905'O

i 35 30*70) as laboratory or photographic dark room bottles, where

log q =0'19344 labels of ordinary type quickly become discoloured or worn away. When written on with vitro-ink the inscriptions

Ephemeris 12h. (Berlin).

loga Briebsentirely resist strong acids, and it is only prolonged action of strong alkalis or boiling water which may efface the Jan. 12 I 33 39

+i 174 0*0870 16

I 40 8 material. Microscopic slides, lantern slides, and glass or

+4 187


I 46 56 +7 136 0'1107 celluloid photographic negatives may be labelled and

Brightness at time of discovery = 1.0. numbered direct, and as the ink is quite unaffected by

According to the above the comet will pass through the alcohol it can also be employed for biological or other south-eastern corner of the constellation Pisces into Aries, specimens which it may be necessary to preserve in spirit. and will be about twenty-five minutes west of a Piscium Another useful field for this ink will be in the rapid pro- on January 12 (Kiel Circular, No. 72). duction of diagrammatic lantern slides for class or lecture

COLOURS OF STARS IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. illustration, as the design may be drawn direct on the glass During the period October, 1903-March, 1904, Dr. ) during actual projection, thereby placing considerable

Möller, whilst cruising in the tropical regions of the Atantle

and Pacific Oceans, made a number of observations of the facilities in the hands of lecturers or others desiring to

colours of 169 stars situated between declination -- 20o and employ the screen in place of a blackboard or prepared wall the South Pole, all of which were about magnitude 3-5. diagrams. The ink can be especially recommended to The results of these observations are published in No photographers as an efficient labelling agent, showing good 3980 of the Astronomische Nachrichten, where the observer contrast in the dark room light, and capable of being

also shows the reduction of his colour values to Osthol's

scale and the differences between his own results and those washed clean instantly whenever the names become stained

obtained by the latter observer. from the unavoidable oxidation of the various solutions

“ THE HEAVENS AT A Glance."— The handy card calendar, employed.

The Heavens at a Glance, published by Mr. Arthur MR. A. HENRY SAVAGE LANDOR's new book, " Tibet and

Mee, Llanishen, price sevenpence, post free, is full of useful Nepal,” will be published within the next few days by

information for amateur astronomers. Among other things Messrs. A, and C. Black.

it contains a celestial diary” which gives all the more

important astronomical events during each month, a table Messrs. GEORGE Bell AND SONS have published a showing the elements of the sun and planets, and a mass of teacher's edition of part i. of “ Elementary Algebra," by

information relative to the brighter stars, variable and Messrs. W. M. Baker and A. A. Bourne. The arrangement

double stars, and star clusters and nebula. by which the answers are printed on the page opposite to

Intended to hang on the observatory wall, the calendar

forms a the examples which are to be given to pupils to work out

most useful adjunct to the more voluminous

almanacs which it epitomises. should prove convenient for the teacher during class work.


-The first annual publication of the Turin Observatory OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN.

appeared in the year 1787, but for various reasons their DISCOVERY OF A Sixth SATELLITE TO JUPITER.-A telegram

appearance has not been continuous. A new series com

mences with the Annuario " for the present year, and in received from the Kiel Centralstelle announces the discovery the preface Signor Boccardi, the director, explains its raison of a sixth satellite to Jupiter by Prof. Perrine. The exist

d'être by the statement that it does not contain the ence of the object was suspected in December, 1904, and ephemerides, star-places, &c., published in the larger was confirmed by an observation made on January 4. The national almanacs, but deals more especially with the calcuposition angle on that date was 269", and its distance from lations and researches made at the Turin Observatory, and the planet 45', the latter quantity decreasing 45" daily, fills up the gaps left by those almanacs. whilst the apparent motion was retrograde.

As examples of this we may mention the tables which A later communication from Kiel states that the dis

contain the mean positions and the apparent positions at covery was made with the Crossley reflector, observations upper culmination (Greenwich meridian) of 202 stars not of the satellite having been made on December 3, 8, 9, and included in the “Nautical Almanac,


** American 10, 1904, and January 2, 3, and 4.

Ephemeris,” or the "Connaissance des Temps." The COMET 1904 d (GIACOBINI).-—Another set of elements and heliocentric coordinates of Jupiter and Saturn (for 1903 and an ephemeris for comet 1904 d have been calculated by 1906), the elements and ephemerides of various minor Herr M. Ebell from positions determined on December 17, planets, a mass of meteorological data, and a review of 21, and 26, 1904, and are given below.

the meteorology of 1903 are also given. Elements.

Origin OF LUNAR FORMATIONS.-In a paper on T = 1904 November 4'22 (Berlin).

Possible Explanation of the Formation of the Moon," read

before the Royal Society of Edinburgh on November 21, co = 41 156)

1904 (see NATURE, December 8, 1904, p. 143), Mr. G. 8 = 218 32'0 1904'0

Romanes showed that there had never been sufficient heat 99 39'1 )

developed in the interior of the moon by gravitational com log 9'=0'27536

pression to account for volcanic action on its surface; and Ephemeris (12h. Berlin).

he explained how lunar markings could be accounted for on log A Bright.

his hypothesis by the impact of meteoritic masses. Dr. h.

Johnston-Lavis writes to say he has long held this view, Jan. 12 17 29 10 +40 37 0*3451

and reminds us that Dr. G. K. Gilbert developed the impact 14 17 36 +41 42

theory of the formation of lunar craters several years ago .. 17 43

+42 47 0'3438 I'00 (see Bull. Phil. Soc. of Washington, vol. xii., pp. 241-292,

(Kiel Circular, No. 71). and NATURE, vol. xlviii., p. 82, May 23. 1893).






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PLANT ASSOCIATIONS IN MOORLAND The district in which mapping has been carried on by DISTRICTS.

the author consists of a great extent of bleak, gently sloping DURING the last four years systematic observations have moorland, of which about 10 per cent. lies above 2000 feet.

been made on the distribution of the various associ- The author has found that considerable and marked changes ations of vegetation covering the moorland region lying take place in the plant associations at about 2000 feet; tree to the east of the Vale of Eden. The boundaries of each vegetation ceases, and many alpine plants make their plant association have been traced out in the field and laid appearance which are absent from the lower moorlands.

The geological formation in the south and west of the district is chiefly Carboniferous limestone yielding only a small amount of detritus, whilst in the north and east the limestone thins out and is replaced to a great extent by sandstones, grits, and shales which yield a much larger amount of detritus. This feature has an important effect upon the vegetation, the wetter types of associations being developed upon those rocks yielding large amount of detritus.:

The moorlands first resolve themselves into two chief types, grass moorland and heather moorland, and these are frequently linked together by several intermediate plant associations. Dry heather moors or heaths do not cover any great extent of ground, and are chiefly found in the limestone districts of the south. The wetter types of heather moors are well developed, and the whole district can be briefly described as a wet heather and dry grass moorland country. These features are well shown in many of the “ hopes ” and gills leading out of Weardale and South Tynedale.

The steep lower slopes of the hills are covered

with association having Nardus Fig. 1.-Succession of noorland vegetation. Eriophorum Bog on the summit plateau. Nardus Grass Heath developed on the slopes below, changing 10 Grass Heath with Eriophorum as the

stricta as the dominant plant. Above wet, gently sloping foreground is reached. From the Geographical Journal.

1500 feet to 1800 feet the slope of

the ground becomes more gradual, and down on the six-inch Ordnance map, and reduced to the shales and grits make their appearance. At the same time one-inch map for publication. The factors governing the the Nardus stricta association yields to heather associations distribution of plant associations over such a limited area in which Eriophorum is always a prominent plant. The are mainly edaphic, although the differences in altitude, which amount to about 2500

feet in the in question, produce changes in the vegetation which are chiefly due to climatic conditions. Much of the vegetation at present covering cultivated areas in Britain owes its distribution to artificial agencies, edaphic and climatic factors being to a great extent masked. The more remote moorland districts of the north of England and Scotland, however, give opportunities for studying plant associations the distribution of which is chiefly determined by edaphic and climatic factors, the artificial factors due to the influence of man being secondary.

The most important artificial agencies tending to modify the natural distribution of vegetation covering our moorlands at the present day appear to be drainage operations and grazing of cattle.

On many of the alpine moorlands these factors are almost negligible, and any change in the vegetation has been caused, not by artificial agencies, but by secular changes in climate. The evidence of a change in vegetation, both on the alpine moor

Fig. 2.-Calluna and Vaccinium association on a dry wind-swept summit at 2326 feet. The lower lands of England and Scotland, is un

vegetation developed, on wet peat shows a great increase in Eriophorum. From the mistakable, and it is possible to a certain Geographical Journal. extent to reconstruct the waves of vegetation which have occupied the areas mentioned since succession of different types of moorland is often well shown the passing away of the last ice sheet.

along some of the “ edges" in the north-east of the district.

At Redbourne Edge the almost flat, poorly drained summit ? "Geographical Distributions of the Vegetation of the Basins pithe Rivers Eden, Tees, Wear and Tyne.” (Geographical Journal, March and

is entirely covered by Eriophorium bog, developed on deep September, 1904.)

wet peat. As the edge of the bog

pogois approached the peat




becomes drier, and Eriophorum is replaced by a narrow meter at Sumburgh Head having fallen quickly to 287 band of Calluna moor. Peat is absent on the slope below, inches. There was a steep gradient for north-westerly and the ground is tenanted by Nardus grass heath, yielding winds, and in the course of the night a more or less severe to a wetter type of grass heath dominated by Molinia and gale from that quarter was experienced over the North Eriophorum. Such a succession of terraces of Eriophorum Sea, and as the south-going tide from the Pentland Firth was bog, Calluna moor, Nardus grass heath, and Molinia- then on the flood, both its velocity and its volume mere Eriophorum moor can be distinguished from a distance of greatly increased, so that it reached the Thares estuary many miles in the later months of the year, when the some hours ahead of its time, and was several feet above the bleached Nardus stands out in vivid contrast to the sombre calculated height. While the low barometer of Friday night hued Calluna and Eriophorum associations.

may have caused the tide level in the far north to have been The lower slopes of the alpine moorlands are generally raised about a foot, the very rapid increase of pressure to covered by heather associations, which yield to pasture and 29.83 inches at 8 a.m. on Saturday at Sumburgh Head, a grass heath as the summits are approached. The drier hills rise of 1.13 inches in fourteen hours, may have done some are covered by an association consisting of Calluna, Rubus thing towards swelling the volume of the tide further south Chamaemorus, Vaccinium Myrtillus, and V. Vitis-Idaea; the Except for the hard gale, the conditions were very similar wetter hills are characterised by a much greater develop- to those which prevailed with the great tide experienced ment of Eriophorum vaginatum and E. angustifolium. on the southern and south-western coasts at the beginning

The summits of the hills are generally tenanted by a few of February, 1904 (NATURE, vol. Ixix. p. 348). stunted members of the lower associations; in some cases, Much damage was done all along the coast from Scarhowever, the vegetation only forms patches separated by borough to the Thames. At the former place the pier was bare stony soil or peat. Part of the summit plateau of entirely washed away, and at Hull, Goole, Boston, YarCross Fell at 2900 feet is entirely tenanted by Racomitrium mouth and Lowestoft, and other places the low-lying parts lanuginosum, which forms low mounds of peat frequently of the towns were flooded. The damage was not due to broken by patches of stones and bare soil, a formation bear- unusual violence of the wind alone, but to the combined ing a close resemblance to a moss-tundra of northern effects of wind and tidal waves. From the returns of the latitudes.

Meteorological Office it appears that the force of the gale A considerable portion of the higher ground is covered from Wick to Yarmouth varied from 7 to 10 on the Beauwith a deposit of peat varying in thickness from a few fort scale. The tide was the third after the new moon, inches to nearly 20 feet. The peat appears to be undergoing and laid down in the tide tables as less than a full spring rapid denudation at the present day-in many places large tide. At Boston 28 feet 5 inches was recorded on the gauge areas are quite unoccupied by vegetation, and exhibit the

at the dock, or 116.47 feet above 'Ordnance Datum, channelled and wasted appearance characteristic of peat- being 4 feet 8 inches above the height expected. The followhags. These features can be seen on all the peat covered ing tide in the evening was 21 feet ii inches, or i foot hills of the Pennines, the Cheviots, and the Scottish southern 10 inches below the tide table height, the difference in the uplands, being particularly well marked on the Moorfoot Hills

two tides being 6 feet 6 inches. The highest cide recorded and in the Tweedsmuir district, and again appear in most of there previously was in 1883, when the tide rose to 29 feet, the peat districts of the Highlands. Many of the lowland

the great record tide of 1810 rising to 29 feet 4 inches. mosses, particularly those bordering on the Solway Firth

Notwithstanding the great height to which the tide rose, it and along the west coast, exhibit no such denudation. How

ceased flowing nearly half an hour before its proper time. far the denudation of the mosses in the hill districts is due

The tidal wave had fortunately somewhat expended its to drainage operations it is difficult to say, but the fact that the peat is generally wasted away quite as much on

energy before reaching the Thames, but the water was in

a very disturbed condition. By mid-day the water at Putney the more remote moorlands where artificial drainage has

Bridge had risen as high as it should have been at full scarcely been carried on at all as on the drained areas lends

tide, which was not due until 3-45. At 1.30 it was a foot strong support to the view that denudation is due to climatic

higher than any spring tide in recent years. Shortly after changes. This is further supported by a detailed examin

this the water began to recede, and continued to do so ation of the deeper peat beds, which frequently show many

for half an hour. Then the water again rose, and at 3.15 alternating beds of wet and dry condition plants. The peat beds on the Cross Fell chain are evidently of very

the ebb again set in. The water in the Thames and Medancient origin, as the author' has found the remains of an

way estuaries was kept from receding by the gale, and

on the morning of Saturday it was 8 feet above its normal Arctic flora at the base consisting of Arctic willows, and the peat above contains the remains of extensive woodlands

height. At 9 a.m., when the tide had still 4: hours to flow, up to an altitude of 2700 feet. The area in which woodland

it was running up the Medway 6 feet above the anticipated remains in the peat have been observed is about 140 square

height at this stage. By ui o'clock the level of high water miles, whilst only in square miles are forest clad at the

was reached, but during the remaining 2 hours the flow

was very slight compared with the earlier stages, and present time. Gunnar Andersson 2 has shown that the destruction of

although the water rose from 2 to 3 feet above the normal some of the woodlands buried in the peat of Sweden has been

height, there was no overflow or breaches in the banks. caused by artificial retention of drainage water and a gradual exhaustion of food supply in the upper layers of the peat, thus bringing about a gradual swing from wood

THE ELECTRO-THERMIC MANUFACTURE land conditions to moss conditions, and again to heath

OF IRON AND STEEL conditions. These causes may have produced alternations of woodland, moss, and heath in some of our low-lying mosses, THIS report is of great interest and importance to iron

and steel metallurgists, and the appointment of the but an examination by the author of the peat lying between commission which has drawn it up suggests that Canada the woodland beds suggests that the destruction of much of the buried forest growth has been due, not to local alter

has an enterprise in fostering metallurgical knowledge

which the Government of the mother country might well ations in drainage and failure of food supply, but to climatic imitate for the advantage of British metallurgical indus. changes acting over very long periods of time.

tries. The English metallurgist attached to the commission FRANCIS J. Lewis.

was Mr. F. W. Harbord.

Three processes were experimentally examined :-(1) the THE ABNORMAL TIDES OF JANUARY 7.

Kjellin process at Gysinge, Sweden (this is an induction

process not involving the use of electrodes) ; (2) the Héroule AN abnormally high tide was experienced down the east process at La Praz, France (this is a resistance method

coast of Britain on Saturday last, January 7, extensive involving the use of electrodes); (3) the Keller process (also areas being flooded and considerable destruction wrought. a resistance method in which electrodes are employed). At 6 p.m. on Friday, January 6, as shown in the Meteor

On p. 15 of the report Dr. Eugene Haanei, the chiel ological Office reports, a very deep cyclonic system

1 "Report of the Commission appointed by Mr. Clifford Sifton, Minister of appeared over the upper part of the North Sea, the baro

the Interior, Ottawa, Canada, to Investigate the Different Electro-thermic 1 British Association Reports, 1904, Section K.

Processes for the Smelting of Iron Ores and the Making of Steel in Europe." 9 "Svenska Vaxtvarldens Historia." (Stockholm.)

(Ottawa : Department of Interior.)

with similar crucible steels, have been inaugurated at the University College of Sheffield, and the erection of a Kjellin furnace capable of making one ton of steel per day is under consideration.

Without in any way compromising one's industrial attitude as to the exact capabilities of the respective methods devised by Messrs. Héroult, Keller and Kjellin, one can cordially congratulate these gentlemen on the scientific ability displayed in the development of their several methods, all of which, within their legitimate spheres, are doubtedly of great metallurgical value. It is the more necessary to say this because such value is liable to be discounted by the hasty and ill-digested conclusions drawn by the Canadian commission.



marks that he considers “ By far the most

nents witnessed by the Commission were the

dler, Leleux and Company at their works difficult to realise upon what grounds the

arrived at. Putting aside the spec

ulations of M. Keller and descending to facts, it appears that the commission "saw

tons of pig-iron, as a rule remarkably high (1.5 per cent. to 4 per cent.), and hence of

nercial interest, and as it is evidently not thout the commission that the electric furnace is

la serious competitor with the blast furnace, the spec aceptional value of these results from an industrial point dew is not quite clear.

A egards steel, only one not very satisfactory and untest heat was made (see pp. 77–78), yet upon such evidence the port states that this process is capable of producing steel equal to the best products of Sheffield's crucibles. Such premature conclusions based on such scanty data are not calculated to carry conviction to the experienced metallurgical mind.

The commission also describes a series of experiments made by M. Héroult at La Praz works. The analyses of the steels obtained appear quite satisfactory, but this process is hardly capable of competing with the ordinary openhearth furnace even from the rosy point of view taken by the comunissioners based on costs calculated in all good faith) by the patentee.

From a British point of view Kjellin's induction process deserves the most serious attention in view of (under certain conditions) its probable competition with the crucible steel process.

Analytically, mechanically, and micrographically this steel leaves nothing to be desired, but unfortunately chemical and tensile tests, and the indications of the microscope, have a limited value in determining the working capabilities of tool-steel.

In his “ conclusions" on p. 115 of the report, Mr. Harbord states that " Steel, equal in all respects to the best Sheffield crucible steel, can be produced, either by the Kjellin or Héroult or Keller processes, at a cost considerably less than the cost of producing a high-class crucible steel."

The above statement, so sweeping and involving issues of profound industrial import, should have been made only as the result of a series of exhaustive working tests. For such, in the report, the reviewer has sought in vain.

It is true that a series of tests of turning tools made from Kjellin and Héroult steels has been carried out at Woolwich by Mr. H. F. Donaldson, but the results are quite inconclusive, because of the steels employed hardly one was fit for turning tools.

Cold sett steel, carbon 0.8, cold chisel steel, carbon 0.9, tap-steel, carbon 1.1, and drill steel, carbon 1.2, have all been set to do the work of a comparative turning tool steel of carbon 1.38 per cent.

The natural consequence is that in the Woolwich results, where "E" means equal to the ordinary Woolwich turning tool steel of carbon 138, and “NE means not equal to that steel, we find in the report, pp. 87 and 88, five equals " and no less than fourteen not equals."

As to whether Kjellin electric steel is or is not equal to crucible steel time alone can show. The conclusion of the commission may be accurate, but it is certainly not based on any scientific evidence worthy of the name.

Such evidence on a commercial scale can be conclusively obtained only by at least two comparative years of shop practice, employing all kinds of tools, and recording the average wear and waste of the steels as evidenced by the ratio between the work turned out and the annual cost of the tool steels purchased.

In the micrographic section of the report the reviewer notes with regret a recrudescence of the use in this connection) of the meaningless and unscientific term “grain" in describing the allotrimorphic crystals of ferrite.

These crystals, although usually lacking idiomorphic external faces, nevertheless present that internal molecular symmetry associated with individual crystals, and hence should be classed as such. Prolonged tests on Kjellin steel of all carbons, compared

LONDON FOG INQUIRY, 1901-3.' THE Meteorological Council have issued their final report

on the above inquiry, which had to be terminated at the end of the winter 1902–3 as the London County Council were unable to make any further contribution to its cost beyond the 250l. originally assigned. A short account of the chief results obtained by Captain Carpenter from the observations of the winter 1901-2 has already appeared in these columns (vol. Ixvii. p. 548). During the succeeding winter records of the duration and intensity of fog were continued at forty-six stations in and around London, and in addition to this the scope of the inquiry was extended to include a detailed study of the distribution of air temperature over the London area. With this object thermometer screens and dry bulb thermometers were issued to thirty fire brigade stations, and daily observations of the air temperature were made at fixed hours.

The material so accumulated has been utilised to determine so far as possible the physical causes most active in producing fog in each case. The guiding principles adopted in the classification are those suggested in an article by the secretary to the Meteorological Council which appeared in NATURE (vol. Ixiv. p. 649) at the time when the inquiry was started. The majority of our fogs were found to be due to radiation from the earth's surface during calm nights. Others, among them the most persistent fog of the winter, were caused by the passage of warm air over a previously cooled surface, while a third group were identified as “ cloud " fogs. A certain number of fogs could not be included in any of the above categories. They appeared to be mere accumulations of the products of combustion in an almost calm atmosphere, and as such were termed “smoke" fogs. Full particulars of the thirty-nine most serious fogs of the winter are given in an appendix.

Among the chief results of the inquiry must be reckoned the establishment of a workable scale for the estimation of fog intensity by different observers, based on the extent to which traffic is impeded by land, river, and sea.

Comparison of the fog statistics from the various stations confirms Captain Carpenter's results. With a few possible exceptions which need further investigation, there is no evidence to show that, in London, geological formation has any influence on liability to fog. Again, as was to be expected, the fog frequency on the river and in the parks is very high, but the evidence does not support the view that the fog there found drifts far into the neighbouring districts.

With regard to the main purpose of the inquiry, greater precision in fog forecasts, Mr. Lempfert points out that a first step would be the establishment of a night service at the Meteorological Office. As the majority of fogs are caused by nocturnal radiation, and the intensity of this radiation depends largely on the accident whether the sky is free from cloud or not, it is manifest that forecasts issued at the suggested hour of 5 a.m. would have a much greater chance of proving correct than the present ones, which are based on observations taken at 6 p.m, on the previous evening. As most fogs become thick soon after sunrise, several hours' warning could still be given, though the hour would

1 Report of the Meteorological Council upon an Inquiry into the Occur. rence and Distribution of Fogs in the London Area, during the Winters of 1901-2 and 1902-3. with Reference to Forecasts of the incidence and Duration of Fogs in Special Localities, to which is appended the Report by R. G. K. Lempfert, M.A. on the Observations of the Winter 1902-3.

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