Mr. F. GALTON : The only point to which I would draw attention is the extraordinary advance that Europe has made during this century in meteorology, an advance parallel to that made in the science of geography, with which we are more especially concerned here. Not many years back it would have been totally impossible to have constructed a map with these isobars and isotherms indicating the distribution of meteorological phenomena over the face of the globe, as all the necessary information for doing this has been collected in comparatively recent years. Again, although people may justly say that our predictions of the weather issued by Mr. Scott are by no means as perfect as they might be, and though we cannot even roughly anticipate more than thirty-six or even twenty-four hours, still a very great advance has been made from what was formerly possible. Therefore we ought not to be discouraged by the length of time it may take to approach to perfection, considering bow very much has been done in this one century. The great thing we now want to know is the state of the air above us, for we are at the bottom of an aerial ocean and all we know is what takes place at the bottom. Imagine how little a marine animal that lived at the bottom of the sea, having the same intelligence as ourselves, would know of the currents above. That is precisely our position; we understand only one horizontal section of this superincumbent mass. Mr. Buchan has done a great deal in endeavouring to add, as far as the geography of England and Scotland will permit, to our knowledge in this respect, by his advocacy of the construction of an observatory on Ben Nevis, and I should like to take this opportunity of saying how much it woull add to the interest of the daily returns from that observatory now published in the Times, if returns from Fort William were given at the same time, so that we should be easily able to compare the results obtained from these high and low-level stations.
Discussion on The Meteorological Results of the 'Challenger' Expedition
Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society
13 (new series)