HOUGH, Franklin B. Essay on the Climate of the State of New York, Prepared at the Request of the Executive Committee of the State Agricultural Society and Published in t….

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A prescient plan for the atmosphere in NYC

HOUGH, Franklin B. Essay on the Climate of the State of New York, Prepared at the Request of the Executive Committee of the State Agricultural Society and Published in the Fifteenth Volume of their Transactions. Albany, NY: van Benthuysen, printer. 1857.

8vo. Original grey front wrapper, in recent purple wrapper with label to front; pp. 48, large folding meterological map of New York State, two further folding charts, tables in text; very good.
First separate edition. Rare. This paper gives an early example of the recognition of climate change as a real and man-made phenomenon, and is startling in its prescience. The author was Chief of the Forestry Division of the US Department of Agriculture and his analysis is based on his experience with trees: "It is highly probable that the changes consequent upon clearing up of the forests, and bringing under cultivation a great part of the State within this century, may have produced permanent changes of climate, and varied the mean time of occurrence of various phenomena. The Indian summer appears to be now less distinctly characterised than formerly, and the depth of snow in winter is believed to vary, one year with another, more now than in the days of our fathers. In many sections these changes, so far as affected by local causes, have nearly reached their limit, as no more forests remain to be levelled, and no more marshes to be drained." (p. 48).

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