Climate Change As A Science Essay

2162 Words Nov 13th, 2016 9 Pages
The history of climate change as a science can be traced back to the 1860s, when physicist John Tyndall conducted experiments to understand molecular physics, particularly the heat-absorbing abilities of atmospheric gases. Tyndall found that molecules absorb more heat than their individual atomic components, and that the naturally-occurring greenhouse gas nitric oxide absorbs approximately one thousand times more infrared energy than nitrogen or oxygen alone. The concept of climate change as a result of increasing greenhouse gases was first proposed by Svante Arrhenius in the late nineteenth century. Although Arrhenius was primarily a physicist like Tyndall, he also studied the effects of carbon dioxide on surface temperature. Using findings from other scientists’ past research to supplement his own, he proposed that an increase in carbon dioxide would cause a corresponding increase in surface temperature. Arrhenius mainly conducted his research to understand the temperature changes that began the Ice Ages. Carbon dioxide has increased more than he predicted, and temperatures have not increased as quickly as he expected. Still, his work led to a new branch of science that has since come to be extremely important.
Since Arrhenius published his work, the effects of climate change on the environment have been studied extensively. Earth’s climate has fluctuated throughout its existence and glaciers have retreated and advanced cyclically during these fluctuations. The most…

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