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- 5 December 2008 at 3:39 am #3519
Scientific American has an article that starts:Quote:As world leaders meet in Poznan, Poland this week and next to discuss efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming, it's worth remembering that scientists have known climate change could be a problem for a long time.
Irish scientist John Tyndall first speculated that human-induced global warming might be possible back in 1861 and Nobel Prize-winning chemist Svante Arrhennius had confirmed climate change (with laborious pencil and paper calculations rather than the shortcut of computers) by the end of the 19th century.
Mentions an article on carbon dioxide and warming, which Scientific American published in 1959, and has republished, now on the Internet. Reading this, it's prescient – and gives the lie to deniers' claims that science used to forecast global cooling (not so: some scientists did; but this was largely a media issue). Article includes:Quote:Only the so-called carbon dioxide theory takes account of the possibility that human activities may have some effect on climate. This theory suggests that in the present century man is unwittingly raising the temperature of the earth by his industrial and agricultural activities.
We shall be able to test the carbon dioxide theory against other theories of climatic change quite conclusively during the next half-century. Since we now can measure the sun's energy output independent of the distorting influence of the atmosphere, we shall see whether the earth's temperature trend correlates with measured fluctuations in solar radiation. If volcanic dust is the more important factor, then we may observe the earth's temperature following fluctuations in the number of large volcanic eruptions. But if carbon dioxide is the most important factor, long-term temperature records will rise continuously as long as man consumes the earth's reserves of fossil fuels.
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