27 JULY 1901, Page 3

The " heat-wave," as it is called, which has struck

America has produced serious consequences. It has had many of the effects of continued drought, especially in the South-West, where the springs have failed, the grass is burnt up, and the wheat crop will hardly reach a half of what was expected. In many districts cattle are dying for want of water, and the losses of the farmers in several States are so severe that they will, it is reported, destroy the effect of the last two years of prosperity. There are estimates published, some of them semi-official, making the loss in States like Missouri and Kansas £20,000,000 each. The decline in the total amount of produce is so great that it will even affect the dividends of the great arterial railways. It is probable that there is some exaggeration in all this, the corn-growers not being sorry to deepen the impression of a short crop, but it is obvious that the heat has been abnormal, and that the losses must in con- sequence be great. Is there any scientific explanation of the ultimate cause of a " heat-wave " like this, or does it arise from circumstances which, being outside the jacket of the world, are as yet untraceable P Note that the " wave " was distinctly predicted from the Washington Observatory, the reports from which were ridiculed in consequence.