National Geographic : 1898 Apr
132 CLIMATIC CONDITIONS OF ALASKA be disastrous to such animals as bears, mountain sheep, caribou, and moose. Unfortunately not a museum in the world has even a passable representation from Alaska of any of these animals. The threatened early extermination of such fine species is to be greatly deplored, but cannot well be avoided, and it is alto gether probable that within two or three years it will be ex tremely difficult, if not impossible, to secure specimens for scien tific purposes. The U. S. National Museum in Washington is the proper repository for a full representation of the animals in digenous to our territory, for exhibition purposes as well as scien tific study, and it will be a great loss to science if any of the large Alaskan mammals become extinct before a proper series of skins and skulls is in the possession of this institution. I wish to im press this upon settlers and others going to Alaska the present season, in the hope that, having their attention called to the im portance of saving specimens, they may take a patriotic interest in placing them in the National Capital. CLIMATIC CONDITIONS OF ALASKA By GENERAL A. W . GREELY, U. S. Army The most obvious elements of climate are those of tempera ture, humidity, precipitation (rain, snow, fog, etc), and winds, and of these temperature and precipitation affect most potently the comfort and prosperity of man. It is about 25 years since the writer was one of several con sulted by the late General A. J. Myer as to the establishment of stations of observation in Alaska, and in 1881 he was consulted by the late General W. B. Hazen regarding the extension of the system of such observations in the same remote and almost un known region. A certain class of persons-those who plume themselves on being strictly utilitarian-then sneered at a policy that would expend a few hundred dollars annually for the pur chase of instruments and for the cost of recording meteorological observations by volunteer observers on this outer edge of this civilized world. "Who knows or cares," said they, " whether the Yukon river flows into Bering sea or the Arctic ocean, and of what use is a knowledge as to the summer and winter condi tions under which the animals of this river valley live and thrive? "