Some Observations on the Effects of Tropical Climate under Experimental Conditions

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  • Department of Bacteriology, Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, George Washington University, School of Tropical Medicine (under the auspices of Columbia University), Washington, D. C.
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Climate and human welfare have long been subjects for discussion. The variables met with in the consideration of this subject are so numerous as to discourage the scientific mind which seeks to establish suitable controls as points of departure for rational reasoning. Man, in his effort to adapt himself to his climatic environment, is dealing with a fundamental situation which determines the expenditure of human energy. As Huxley says, “Changes of climate cause migrations, and migrations bring about not only wars, but the fertilizing intermingling of ideas necessary for rapid advance in civilization.”

Climate is usually defined as the temperature and meteorological conditions of a country, or as the effects of the sun, atmosphere and earth upon living objects at a given place on the earth's surface. Thus, radiant energy, is one of the elements of climate, as are also humidity, rain, snow, wind, density, electrification and temperature, all of which determine, with other factors, what the atmosphere shall be.