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The Green Northlands 406

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THE GREEN NORTHLANDS 406. Scattered lands of green grass, flocks, and fish.—What islands lie between Scot land, Norway, and Iceland? (Fig. 319.) These islands together with Iceland, west Norway, and the northern part of Scotland are cov ered, where there is any soil, with green grass, bushes, or trees. The summers are so cool and wet that it is almost impossible to plow the ground and grow grain. But all this moisture is good for grass, and there is scarcely another place in the whole world where grass is so very green. Flocks of sheep and herds of shaggy cattle and short legged, thick-coated ponies are a source of wealth. Animals in this region can run at pasture for more months in the year than is possible in New York State. When snow covers the ground, they are fed on hay that is made with great labor (Fig. 330).

The inhabitants of the Northlands are brave and hardy sailors whose chief industry is fishing. They catch quantities of cod and herring, which they dry or salt for export.

Most of the people live in stone houses roofed with thatch or sod and heated with peat fires (Fig. 333).

407. Sailing in northern seas.—Every summer, steamers carrying tourists sail from New York to Ice land. After sailing around that island, the boats go on to the northernmost tip of Europe. What cape forms the tip? (Fig. 325.) In the same latitude the seas of North America are so full of floating ice that in three centuries of trying, only one explorer has sailed his boat across from the Bering Strait to Davis Strait, and the voyage took three years of hard work. (Sec. 359.) What makes such a difference? The an swer is ocean, and currents. The Gulf Stream is a great current of warm water that flows from the tropic part of the Atlantic Ocean (Fig. 327). The trade winds of the Atlantic blow a current of warm water into the Carib bean Sea. This current forces its way into the Gulf of Mexico and, like a great river within the ocean, flows out between Florida and Cuba as fast as a man can walk, and carries eighteen hundred times as much water as the Mississippi river. This ocean river or stream can be traced northward as far as Newfoundland. The prevailing west erly winds carry some of this warm water on past England, past Norway, and into the Arctic Ocean. When it reaches northwest

Europe it is still warm enough to cause the winter temperature to be much less severe.

Labrador, in the same latitude, is very, very cold. Why? (Fig. 327, Sec. 251.) Examine the winter-temperature map (Fig. 329), and then pick out a city in Iceland, three cities in North America, and three in Europe that are near the January isotherm (equal temperature line) of 32°.

How many degrees of latitude and how many miles lie between the northernmost place and the southernmost place having a January temperature of 30°? 408. A warm north coast.—In winter the bays along the Labrador coast and the har bor of Vladivostok are frozen shut, but the harbors along the entire Norwegian coast are open because the warm water of the eastern Atlantic Ocean keeps them from freezing. During the World War it was found that when Archangel was closed by ice, the little Russian port of Murmansk on Kola Bay in Lapland was open. (Fig. 325.) A little of the warm Gulf Stream water slips around the North Cape and keeps the ice away.

409. A cool, damp summer, and a raw, mild winter.—Look at Figs. 328 and 329; you will see that the summer is warmer and the winter is colder in the great forests of the Mackenzie Valley and central Siberia than it is in Iceland, west Norway, or the north of Scotland. The long hours of sunshine heat the land surface quickly, but the sea is heated very slowly. There are several reasons for this, one of which is that the stir ring of the water by the wind causes the sea to be warmed to a greater depth than the land. Another reason is that more heat is required to raise the temperature of a given amount of water than is needed for the same amount of earth. Water holds its heat longer, and therefore oceans and other large bodies of water are warmer in winter and cooler in summer than is the land. The west wind, warmed by the ocean in winter, gives the green Northland region a winter that is cool but not cold. In summer this same ocean cools the wind and gives the green Northland a summer that is almost as cool as the winter (Figs. 328, 329), besides having much dampness and rain.

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