When Did We Realize Global Warming

There is little doubt that global warming is a real and present threat. But when, exactly, did we realize it? Was it in the 19th century when industrialization began to release vast quantities of gases into the atmosphere? Or was it the following century when research surrounding climate and global warming first came to the fore? Through a detailed overview and analysis of the science, it is possible to trace the answers to this pivotal moment in history.

Assessments of global climate and weather conditions have been present as far back as 2800 BCE, when the Ancient Chinese first recorded changes in the atmosphere’s temperature. It wasn’t until the 19th century, however, that scientists began to form a comprehensive understanding of the Earth’s role in the atmosphere – and subsequent effects on global climate. Charles Darwin, for example, began to observe the effects of deforestation on the atmosphere’s composition, and Swedish chemist and Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius accurately determined how C02 levels influence the climate.

More research followed in the century after Arrhenius’s work. Scientists began to study the effect of global industrialization, with Swedish geochemist and Nobel Prize recipient Torgny Segerstråle demonstrating how human emissions increase the amount of C02 in the atmosphere. Cedric Murdock’s research into statistics of global temperatures throughout history established a clear pattern of change; coupled with Gilbert Plass’s discovery that higher levels of C02 in the atmosphere caused increased absorption of heat, it was clear that human activities were contributing to a warming climate.

In 2019, claims that global warming was a direct result of human-manipulated C02 emissions were finally accepted by the majority of the scientific community. Numerous nations introduced ambitious climate policies to limit C02 emissions, including the bonn challenge, a commitment to restore 350 million hectares of the world’s forests to reduce global warming. Throughout this period, the dangers of global warming were increasingly brought to public attention; documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth and campaigns run by figures such as Greta Thunberg further helped to raise awareness of the scale of the problem.

It appears, then, that awareness of global warming started to take hold in the 19th century as scientists began to study climate, but rose to mainstream public consciousness in the 21st. Although it took over a century to recognize the full danger of C02 emissions on the climate, the world has now taken steps to redress the balance; it is more important than ever to continue the fight, if global warming is to be allayed.

Ernestine Warren is a passionate environmentalist, author, and advocate for the protection of the Earth's precious resources. She has written extensively on the causes and effects of global warming, providing accurate information to help educate people on how to combat this major global problem. With a background in science and biology, Ernestine has the tools to help develop solutions that meet everyone's needs while minimizing environmental damage. Her hope is that each person can do their part for the planet and make a real difference to help reduce climate change.

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