- Category : Science-Geology
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 4
Scottish scientist who developed a theory of climate change based on changes in the Earth's orbit.
James Croll was largely self-educated, teaching himself physics and astronomy. At 16 he became an apprentice wheelwright at Collace near Wolfhill, and then because of health problems a tea merchant in Elgin, Moray. He married Isabella Macdonald in 1848.
In the 1850s he managed a temperance hotel and was then an insurance agent in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Leicester, England. In 1859 he became a caretaker in the museum at the Andersonian College and Museum, Glasgow, so as to have access to books to allow him to develop his ideas.
From 1864, Croll corresponded with Sir Charles Lyell, on links between ice ages and variations in the Earth's orbit. This led to a position in the Edinburgh office of the Geological Survey of Scotland, as keeper of maps and correspondence, where the director, Sir Archibald Geikie, encouraged his research. He published a number of books and papers which "were at the forefront of contemporary science", including Climate and Time, in Their Geological Relations in 1875. He corresponded with Charles Darwin on erosion by rivers.
In 1876, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, and awarded an honorary degree by the University of St Andrews. He retired in 1880 because of ill health, and died on 15 December 1890.