Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Croll, James (1821–90)
JAMES CROLL WAS a 19th-century Scottish scientist who developed a theory of climate change based on variations in the Earth's orbit. Croll was the leading proponent of an astronomical theory of climate change during the 19th century. Taking into account the precession of the equinoxes, variations in the eccentricity of the orbit, and tilt of the axis, Croll proposed that climate change must be the result of the relation of the Earth to the Sun. He further speculated, “geological and cosmical phenomena are physically related by a bond of causation.” Although his theory has often been criticized, it influenced the work of Serbian geo-physicist Milutin Milankovic and provided important insights into the interplay of astronomical and geological elements. James Croll was the second son of David Croll, a stonemason, and Janet Ellis. He was born in the village of Little Whitefield, Perthshire, Scotland, on January 2, 1821. He grew up ...