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The First to Quantify the Impact of Carbon Dioxide on the Greenhouse Effect (1896)


In 1896 Swedish physical chemist Svante Arrhenius published "Ueber den Einfluss der atmosphärischen Kohlensäregehalts auf die Temperatur der Erdoberfläche," Bihan til kungliga vetenskapaskademiens handlingar 22, no. 1 (1896) 102ff.  Excerpts of this paper were translated as "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground," Philosophical Magazine 41 (1896) 237-276.

Arrhenius's paper was "the first to quantify the impact of carbon dioxide on the Earth's greenhouse effect and to suggest that its variations have been an important influence on previous long-term changes in climate. His crude estimate that a doubling of carbon dioxide would result in a ~5 °C warming is larger but not greatly different from the 1.5-4.5 °C now estimated for such a doubling (IPCC 2001)" (http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Arrhenius_pdf, accessed 04-26-2009).