Geological Climate and Geological Time


IN considering the climatic changes which have evidently taken place on various parts of the earth's surface, it seems to me that what may have been a very important factor has been rather strangely left out of calculation by physicists, never having been noticed hitherto, as far as I am aware. It is that of the heat which must at one period or other have been transmitted from the moon. There can be scarcely a doubt that this must at one time have influenced the earth's climate to a very powerful degree, producing the effects of a second or additional sun. In the absence of any perceptible marks of atmospheric or aqueous erosive action on the moon it is at present impossible to arrive at any idea of its relative age or at what period its heat may have been most abundantly radiated; but if the much hotter climate which once prevailed in northern latitudes could be referred to this cause it might give us some clue to the difficulty. Something also might be done in comparing the various changes of climate which have taken place in certain parts of the earth's surface, as indicated by geological evidence, with the actual course of the moon. The subject is at least worth entertaining, and may be recommended to the consideration of physicists.

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DAVIES, W. Geological Climate and Geological Time. Nature 19, 33 (1878).

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