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Island Life

Alfred Russel Wallace

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Water also is very mobile; and although it receives and stores up a great deal of heat, it is for ever dispersing it over the earth. The rain which brings down a certain portion of heat from the atmosphere, and which often absorbs heat from the earth on which it falls, flows away in streams to the ocean; while the ocean itself, constantly impelled by the winds, forms great currents, which carry off the surplus heated water of the tropics to the temperate and even to the polar regions, while colder water flows from the poles to ameliorate the heat of the tropics. An immense quantity of sun-heat is also used up in evaporating water, and the vapour thus produced is conveyed by the aerial currents to distant countries, where, on being condensed into rain, it gives up much of this heat to the earth and atmosphere.

The power of water in carrying away heat is well exhibited by the fact of the abnormally high temperature of arid deserts and of ve. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I found this book fascinating.

Alfred Russel Wallace is somewhat notorious as the man who nearly beat Charles Darwin to the punch, his paper
On the Law which has regulated the Introduction of New Species.
, Annals and Magazine of Natural History (ser. 2, 16: 184-196. Sep 1855), is a masterful wor

Read this book! If you have an interest in natural history of the study of evolution, than take the time to read this book. Wallace was a talented observer of life and his ideas are really quite brilliant.