History of Climate Change

Early Discovery

It would be interesting to note that the history of climate change dates back to the 18th century.

One of the first scientists to bring out the issue of climate change was Jean Pierre Perraudin.

Perraudin had a glacier theory according to which he felt that the presence of big granite rocks in the narrow alpine valleys were due to glaciers, which would have carried these boulders to the land.

Although his hypothesis was initially rejected by many other prominent scientists, later, the famous Louis Agassiz found this hypothesis to be indeed true.

In fact, Algassiz established the concept of ice age where he laid down with proof that most parts of the world were covered with ice and glaciers during certain periods in history.

After Agassiz convinced the world that the planet was subject to glaciations, Joseph Fourier was the first to propose a theory on global warming.

By the late 1800s, a Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius tried to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere and tried to determine the warming effect on the planet through various means.

However, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere in the late 1800s was relatively low. Hence, although he proposed that the Earth would be subject to melting of snow and glaciers, he predicted that it would take place only thousands of years later.

From The Climate Reality Project

Alarming Days

It was only during the 1980s that evident changes of global warming were seen visibly on the Earth’s surface.

It was during this time that people actually woke up to alarm bells realizing that the history of climate change was turning a reality.

It was also this time when the damage mankind had caused in the Earth’s atmosphere was being truly felt.

In 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up by the United Nations on the request of its member countries in order to assess the situation of climate change on the planet in an comprehensive manner.

The main job of the IPCC is to periodically prepare diligent reports and provide comprehensive solutions to the present global warming situation and its many effects on the planet.

As awareness increased, mankind entered a new stage in the history of climate change, that of international treaties.

From Melody Sheep

The Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol was an initiative of the United Nations to bring certain strict rules to be adhered to by the various economies of the world.

According to this agreement, countries had to agree to control their annual emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to a strict small percentage.

Indeed, this treaty helped mitigate global warming by slowing down the greenhouse effect.

To learn more about this international treaty, click here.

The Copenhagen Accord

Later, the Copenhagen Accord was another attempt made by the UN to keep a check on the rising temperatures of the atmosphere.

Essentially, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change stated that in order to prevent the destabilization of the climate, the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius.

More specifically, the Copenhagen Accord recognized that significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions were necessary in order to mitigate climate change, as demonstrated by scientists.

However, nations would simply pledge on paper and was thus not legally binding,

To learn more about this Accord, click here.

The Verdict

Although the governments of the world are starting to mitigate climate change, it remains unfortunately insufficient.

One of the things we ought to learn from the history of climate change is that we cannot leave it to governments to take action.

Along with the measures taken, it is the responsibility of every single human being to ensure that he does what he can to reduce his contribution to global warming.

On a final note, it is important to realize that think tanks were funded by corporations to create doubt in the public sphere regarding climate change.

Sadly, these same tactics were implemented from the tobacco companies and over 100 million have died in the previous century from tobacco related disease (watch the video below for more information).

From The Climate Reality Project


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