A Brief History of the Understanding of Climate Change

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If this doesn't make you think that you need change of legislature now more than ever, then we don't know how to tell you to change your mind. 

In the 1820s, a French mathematician and physicist named Joseph Fourier suggested that the energy that was reaching the planet as sunlight must be balanced by the energy that was returning to space since all heated surfaces emit radiation. 

He theorized that some of that energy must be held within the atmosphere and it did not travel into space. In fact, he theorized that the energy that was stored in the atmosphere reflected off of the surfaces both on the face of the earth and the ozone layer, resulting in an acceleration of widespread warming. 

It wasn't until the 1970s that scientists actually began to fear that pollution would have an effect on the environment. Global cooling became a widespread fear among every-day folks and scientists alike. The idea was that sunlight-blocking pollutants would chill the Earth by blocking the rays of the sun from entering the atmosphere.

That has been proven untrue, but it did set the stage for actual climate change activism that was to follow. 

Scientists in the 1980s remarked that there was a drastic uptick in the temperature of the Earth. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was established to combat the impending threat. 

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Post originally appeared on History Obsessed.