A Review of Famous Drops of the Temperature Indicates That " Oldest Inhabitants" Are Right When They Assert That Winters of the Olden Time Had More Vigor and Snap Than Those of To-day.
IS the earth getting warmer or colder? Science seems rather inclined to answer that it is getting warmer, and the scientific view finds support from numerous "oldest inhabitants," who, especially in the United States, aver that the winters of the last two or three decades lack the snap and vigor of the winters of the olden time, when fencetops were concealed by great snowblankets that were from four to five feet thick. But here are some coldweather records which will aid the readers of The Scrap Book in solving the vexed question for themselves.401. Black Sea was frozen over for twenty days.462. The Danube was frozen so that an army crossed on the ice.463. A frost in Constantinople which began in October, and continued until February.768. The Black Sea and Strait of the Dardanelles were frozen over.822. The Danube, the Elbe and Seine were frozen so hard as to bear heavy wagons over them for a month.860. The Adriatic was frozen.874. Snow fell from the beginning of November to the end of March.891 and 893. Nearly all vines in Europe were killed by frost.1035. A frost in England on Midsummer's Day was so severe that it destroyed fruits.1133. The Po w-as frozen from Cremona to the sea. Wine-casks were burst, and trees were split by the action of the frost.1216. The Po was frozen. Winecasks were burst.1234. Loaded wagons crossed the Adriatic to Venice.1236. The Danube was frozen to the bottom, and remained so for a long time.1261. The Cattegat was frozen from Norway to Jutland.1292. The Rhine was crossed byloaded wagons, and travelers crossed the ice from Norway to Jutland.1323. Foot and horse travelers crossed from Denmark to Lubeck and Dantzic.1344. All the rivers of Italy were frozen over.1403. The wolves were driven by the cold from Denmark, and crossed the ice to Jutland.1434. It snowed forty days without interruption.1460. The Danube was frozen for two months.1468. The wine distributed to the soldiers in Flanders was cut in pieces with hatchets.1544. The same thing happened again, the wine being frozen in solid lumps.1565. The Scheldt was frozen so hard as to bear loaded wagons over it for three months.1594. The Adriatic was frozen at Venice.1621 and 1622. All the rivers of Europe were frozen; the Hellespont was covered with a sheet of ice, and the Venetian fleet was frozen up in the lagoons of the Adriatic.1658. Charles X of Sweden crossed the Little Belt, the strait between Fiinen and the peninsula of Jutland, with his whole army—foot, horse, baggage and artillery. The rivers in Italy bore heavy carriages.
1664. The Thames, in England, was covered with ice sixty-one inches thick.1684. Coaches drove across the Thames.1691. The cold was so intense that the wolves entered Vienna, and attacked men and cattle in the streets.1693. Again famished wolves attacked men and beasts in the streets of Vienna.1695. Many people were frozen to death in Germany.I709. This was that famous winter called by distinction, "the cold winter." All the rivers and lakes were frozen, and even the sea for several miles from the shore. The ground was frozen in England nine feet deep. Birds and beasts died in the fields, and men perished by thousands in their houses. In the south of France, the olive-trees were killed, and the wine plantations mostly destroyed. The Adriatic Sea was frozen, and even the Mediterranean about Genoa. The citron and orange groves suffered extremely in Italy.1716. The winter was so intense that persons traveled across the straits from Copenhagen to Sweden. Fairs were held on the river Thames.1726. In Scotland, multitudes of cattle and sheep were buried in the snow.1 737. In January the ground in New England was frozen four feet deep.1740. An ox was roasted whole upon the Thames. The winter was scarcely less cold than that of 1709. The snow lay ten feet deep in Spain and Portugal. The Zuyder Zee was frozen over, and thousands of people went over it. The lakes in England also were frozen. During the hard frost, a palace was built of ice at St. Petersburg, after an elegant model, and in the just proportions of Augustan architecture.1744. Snow fell in Portugal to the depth of twenty-three feet on the level. This was a summer winter in New England.
1754 and 1755. These winters were very severe. In England the strongest ale exposed to the air in glass was covered with ice one-eighth of an inch thick. These were very mild winters in New England.1771. The Elbe was frozen to the bottom.1774 and 1775. These winters were very severe. The Little Belt was again frozen over. On January 11, 1774, the thermometer in Portland, Maine, was fourteen degrees below zero, and on the 2 2d at the bottom of the plate.I 776. The Danube bore ice five feet thick below Vienna. Vast numbers of birds and fishes perished. In Holland and France wine froze in the cellar.1796. Perhaps the coldest day ever known in London was December 25, 1796, when the thermometer was sixteen degrees below zero.1800, January 13. Quicksilver was frozen hard at Moscow.From 1800 to 1812. The winters were remarkably cold, particularly the latter in Russia, which surpassed in intensity that of any winter in that country for many preceding years, and caused the destruction of the French army in its retreat from Moscow. What with the loss in battle, and the effects of this awful and calamitous frost, France lost in the campaign of this year more than four hundred thousand men.1848. January 10, at eight o'clock, the thermometer in Portland was three degrees below zero. January 11, at same place, thermometer fifteen to twenty degrees below zero. At Boston eleven degrees below. In some parts of New England the thermometer stood thirty-nine and forty degrees; and the day was known as the " Cold Tuesday."1858. The winter, so mild in the United States, was particularly severe in Europe. For the first time in the nineteenth century, the Po was frozen over at Ferrara, admitting for a long period the constant passage of man and beast. At Constantinople, on February 3, snow fell without interruption for fifteen days. There had not been a winter of equal severity for more than twenty years. The snow extended to Smyrna, and the adjacent districts of Asia Minor and the Greek Islands were clothed in white, an appearance unusual and remarkable. In Asia Minor a Greek monastery was buried, and five monks had to be excavated by the Turks. At Malta, snow, which had not fallen since the year 1812, was several feet high, and accompanied with hail and tempests. The navigation with Odessa was closed.There are no points in Europe where the cold records of America are eclipsed, but in Asia our lowest records are thrown completely into the shade. Siberia has the coldest weather known anywhere in the world. At Verkhoyansk, Siberia, 90.4 degrees below zero was observed in January, 1888, which gets away below anything ever known in the world before or since. At that point the average temperature for January is nearly 64 degrees below. This town is situated at an elevation of three hundred and thirty feet above the level of the sea and during the entire winter the weather is nearly always calm and clear.Not the least remarkable of coldweather records is "the year without a summer"—1816. In that year, there was sharp frost in every month, and people all over the world began to believe that some great and definite change in the earth was taking place. The farmers used to refer to it as "eighteen hundred and starve to death."
January was mild, as was also February, with the exception of a few days. The greater part of March was cold and boisterous. April opened warm, but grew colder as it advanced, ending with snow and ice and winter cold. In May ice formed half an inch thick, buds and flowers were frozen and corn killed. Frost, ice, and snow were common in June. Almost every green thing was killed, and the fruit was nearly all destroyed. Snow fell to the depth of three inches in New York and Massachusetts, and ten inches in Maine. July was accompanied with frost and ice. On the 5th ice was formed of the thickness of window-glass in New York, New England, and Pennsylvania, and corn was nearly all destroyed in certain sections. In August ice formed half an inch thick. A cold northern wind prevailed nearly all summer. The first two weeks of September were mild, the rest of the month was cold, with frost, and ice formed a quarter of an inch thick. October was more than usually cold, with frost and ice. November was cold and blustering, with snow enough for good sleighing. December was quite mild and comfortable.
Did the Industrial Revolution cause the warming, or the other way around?