Books Received | Published:

Observations océanographiques et météorologiques dans la Région du Courant de Guinée (1855–1900)

Nature volume 71, page 293 (26 January 1905) | Download Citation



THESE volumes contain the results of a discussion of observations recorded by Dutch shipmasters. The area extends from the equator to latitude 25° N., and from the meridian of Greenwich to 40° W. The work is a revised and more complete edition, brought up to date, of “De Guinea—en Equatoriaal Stroomen,” published in 1895. Currents, winds, temperature and specific gravity of the sea water, temperature and pressure of the air; frequency of rain days, records of current ripples, flying fish, phosphorescence, and of green, brown, and blue water have been tabulated for each month in spaces of 1° squares, then grouped into 5° squares for each month and the year, also for each of twelve three-monthly periods—December to February, January to March, &c.—and finally, the current and wind results in 5° squares for each month and the year for each octant. So far as they go, the results for the various elements are interesting and valuable. Unfortunately, throughout this long period of thirty-six years Dutch ships kept so very closely within the narrow limits of the recognised outward and homeward routes that the information immediately beyond has been exceedingly sparse; indeed, over an area of about 400,000 square miles in the south-western quarter of the region under discussion not a single observation was available for the four consecutive months August to November, a period of the year when the east-going counter-current would be met with in this locality. We are presented, therefore, with very incomplete results as to the seasonal extension and contraction of this important current. It is admitted that, having failed to devise a wholly satisfactory system of weighting the frequency of winds, a method “subject to some objections” has been followed, so that whether the wind has been logged from the same point once or six times in the day it has been counted as one observation, whereas if logged from six different points in the same interval six observations have been tabulated. Except in table iv., and planches vi. and vii., the absence of current or wind has been ignored.

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