The first person to predict climate change due to the activities of
humans was made by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius in 1896.
However, American geophysicist Roger Revelle is credited for making
the first modern high-level prediction of global warming, in 1965.
Svante Arrhenius died in 1927. Roger Revelle died in 1991.
NASA's Earth Observatory
?A hundred years ago, Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius asked the
important question ?Is the mean temperature of the ground in any way
influenced by the presence of the heat-absorbing gases in the
atmosphere?? He went on to become the first person to investigate the
effect that doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide would have on global
climate. The question was debated throughout the early part of the
20th century and is still a main concern of Earth scientists today.?
NASA's Earth Observatory
?Once described by the New York Times as "one of the world's most
articulate spokesmen for science" and "an early predictor of global
warming," Roger Revelle was a giant in American science who
accomplished enough during his eighty-two years to distinguish several
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Global Change/Climate Change
?The prediction of climate change due to human activities began with a
prediction made by the Swedish chemist, Svante Arrhenius, in 1896.
Arrhenius took note of the industrial revolution then getting underway
and realized that the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the
atmosphere was increasing. Moreover, he believed carbon dioxide
concentrations would continue to increase as the world's consumption
of fossil fuels, particularly coal, increased ever more rapidly. His
understanding of the role of carbon dioxide in heating Earth, even at
that early date, led him to predict that if atmospheric carbon dioxide
doubled, Earth would become several degrees warmer. However, little
attention was paid to what must have been seen to be a rather far-out
prediction that had no apparent consequence for people living at that
NOW With Bill Moyers
The Political Climate
History of Global Warming
?1904: Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius was, according to NASA, "the
first person to investigate the effect that doubling atmospheric
carbon dioxide would have on global climate."
1950s: Geophysicist Roger Revelle, with the help of Hans Suess,
demonstrated that carbon dioxide levels in the air had increased as a
result of the use of fossil fuels.
1965: Serving on the President's Science Advisory Committee Panel on
Environmental Pollution in 1965, Roger Revelle helped publish the
first high-level government mention of global warming. The book-length
report identified many of the environmental troubles the nation faced,
and mentioned in a "subpanel report" the potential for global warming
by carbon dioxide.?
Svante Arrhenius ? Biography
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
An Historian?s Biography of Global Warming
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