Callendar Connects Industry with Carbon Dioxide Increases (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: George Callendar linked industry with increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, the major component of polluting gases responsible for the greenhouse effect.
Summary of Event
On February 16, 1938, George S. Callendar reported to the Royal Meteorological Society of Great Britain that increased amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere could be attributed to the combustion of fossil fuels by industry. He was a steam technologist and coal engineer for the British Electrical and Allied Industries Research Association by trade. According to Callendar, the extra carbon dioxide in the air caused measurable effects on the weather, the most direct and pronounced of which was global warming. He attempted to explain his theories by studying and evaluating carbon dioxide’s circulation in the earth, sea, and atmosphere. He took long-term temperature records gathered from two hundred meteorological stations around the world. His work was the first to examine world-wide temperature and carbon dioxide measurements of such magnitude and accuracy that a detailed scientific analysis could be formulated. Callendar became very interested in how industrial activities could affect the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the air.
Callendar based some of his work on the theories of Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius. In 1896, his theories were published in an issue of the London, Edinburgh, and Dublin...
(The entire section is 2281 words.)
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