National Geographic : 1894 Jan 31
124 G. G. Hubbard-Air and Water, Temperature and Life. slope toward the east and south with a climate growing contin ually warmer, while the Siberian plains slope toward the north, the temperature growing continually colder. The winds in summer blow from the Arctic ocean over these plains to the Altai mountains, while in the winter they blow from the moun tains to the ocean. There is a slight evaporation from the Arc tic ocean, but the temperature of Siberia is so low and the summers so short that the plains require comparatively slight rainfall to fertilize them. There is a large portion of Asia, Arabia, Persia, Turkestan, including Caspian and Aral seas, to which we have not par ticularly referred because it is entirely outside of the influence of either the monsoon, trade, or other moisture-bearing winds. This territory extends from Arabia northeastward beyond the Lake of Balkash into Siberia, a vast extent of country, larger than Europe-a dry, rainless desert, hot in summer and cold in winter. Part of this region is from six to seven thousand feet above the level of the sea, part below the sea level, yet neither height nor depression makes any difference in this arid land. Formerly sections of these countries were thickly populated. The Aral and Caspian basins were called the " Garden of the world." In Mesopotamia were Ninevah, Bagdad and Babylon; in Persia, Susa and Persopolis. Historians tell us of great cities, flourishing empires, where now is only a barren and sandy desert. We do not know whether the climate has changed or whether in ancient days the country was thoroughly irrigated, and now through neglect has been buried deep in the sand of the desert. Although four-fifths of Asia are either desert or mountainous land and are only scantily inhabited, two-thirds of the population of the world are found within its borders.
1894 Feb 14
1893 Jul 10