These two facts that Australia was peopled in part by the influx which followed the discovery of gold, and that its inhabitants belong essentially to the Anglo-Saxon race, have unquestionably exercised a great influence over our Australian food-habits. But notwithstanding these powerful underlying factors, there still remains that most extraordinary circumstance, to which I at first referred, namely, that the Australian people have never realized their semi-tropical environment. In order to assign to this latter the prominence it deserves, it seems desirable to make special inquiry into the peculiarities of the climate in its different parts. With that object in view, therefore, I wrote for certain information to the observatories of the four principal Australian metropolitan centres, namely, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane. As has always been the case, I received the fullest answers to my requests from Mr. H.C. Russell, Government Astronomer of New South Wales; from Mr. R.L.J. Ellery, Government Astronomer of Victoria; from Sir Charles Todd, Government Observer of South Australia; and from Mr. Clement L. Wragge, Government Meteorologist of Queensland. And it is with a feeling of considerable indebtedness to these gentlemen that I acknowledge their uniform kindness. And yet it is important to remember that the annual temperature, by itself, of any given locality may afford no indication whatever of its climatic peculiarities. Take for instance the climate of the North-Eastern portion of the United States. That region is characterized by intense heat during the summer, and extreme cold in the winter. In New York, for example, the mean summer temperature ranges as high as 70.9 degrees, while the mean winter temperature is as low as 30.1 degrees; yet the mean temperature of the whole year is 53.2 degrees, affording no indication of these extremes. The mean annual temperature alone, therefore, would be entirely misleading, as it would give no idea of these alternations of heat and cold. Such being the case, the actual character of any climate will be far better realized by placing in juxtaposition the mean annual temperature, the mean temperature of the hot, and the mean temperature of the cooler months. First of all, then, I purpose showing the mean annual temperature, and also the mean temperatures for the hot and cooler months, of the four largest Australian centres.
TABLE showing the Mean Annual Temperature, and also the Mean Temperatures for the Hot and Cooler Months, of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane.
Capital. Mean Annual Mean Temperature Mean Temperature Temeperature for the Hot Months for the Cold Months Sydney 62.9 70 58.7 Melbourne 57.5 64.9 53.8 Adelaide 63.1 72.4 58.4 Brisbane 67.74 75.2 64.3
Much will be gained by a comparison of these temperatures of the Australian capitals with those of some other cities in different parts of the world. A contrast of this kind will, in my opinion, help to a truer understanding of the climate of these capitals, than any other. Accordingly I made a successful application to Mr. H.C. Russell, for the corresponding temperatures of the following cities: London, Edinburgh, Dublin; Marseilles, Naples, Messina; New York, San Francisco, New Orleans; Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras.
TABLE showing the Mean Annual Temperature, as well as the Mean Summer and Winter Temperatures, in twelve different cities.
City. Mean Annual Temp. Mean Summer Temp. Mean Winter Temp. UNITED KINGDOM. . . .
London 50.8 62.9 39.5 Edinburgh 47.5 58 38 Dublin 50 61.1 40.7
SOUTHERN EUROPE Marseilles (France) 58.3 72.9 45.2 Naples (Italy) 62 74.4 47.6 Messina (Sicily) 65.8 77.2 55.