The History of Climate Science, John Mason, SkS

John Mason has put together a fascinating review of the history of climate science, the early days. Sharing it here incase anyone’s interested in such things. :wink:

The History of Climate Science Posted on 5 June 2020 by John Mason at

The fact that carbon dioxide is a ‘greenhouse gas’ - a gas that prevents a certain amount of heat radiation escaping back to space and thus maintains a generally warm climate on Earth, goes back to an idea that was first conceived, though not specifically with respect to CO2, nearly 200 years ago. The story of how this important physical property was discovered, how its role in the geological past was evaluated and how we came to understand that its increased concentration, via fossil fuel burning, would adversely affect our future, covers about two centuries of enquiry, discovery, innovation and problem-solving.

This version (June 2020) supercedes the original April 2013 article, since a lot more has come to light about the work done in the 1850s-early 1860s and the important role of Eunice Foote. Katharine Hayhoe is particularly thanked for helpful discussions on that topic.

For larger versions of all timeline graphics, please click on them (they will each appear in new browser windows). …

In The Beginning:
It's a fascinating factual read.