As far back as 1827, a French scientist compared our world with a greenhouse for the first time. He was right. We live in a greenhouse. And that is actually a good thing. The CO2 and water vapour in the atmosphere ensure that the sun’s heat rays don’t just disappear into space. Without this protective layer, we and all the plants would miserably freeze to death. A natural greenhouse effect is therefore vital.
Added to the natural greenhouse effect, the burning of crude oil in the form of gasoline, heating oil, kerosene, diesel etc. causes even more greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere, causing the already noticeable climate change. This is dangerous.
The fascinating thing is that people have long been more afraid of a new ice age than a hot world. The Swede, Svante Arrhenius, was therefore very pleased when he managed to calculate that the earth’s temperature would rise by about 5 to 6 degrees Celsius if the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide reached twice its level. He was happy that we humans possessed the power to create a nice warm world. This was the 19th century. Other people also made great progress in the study of climate change, but they all actually had other things in mind. In the 1950s, the USA and the former Soviet Union in particular invested heavily in climate research. This they did, however, to find out more precisely the radiation effects of nuclear bomb tests.
Inspired by their results, David Keeling began measuring CO2 concentrations at the Mauna Loa mountain in Hawaii. From 1958 to 1995 he climbed the mountain every day to measure the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air and was able to show that more carbon dioxide is produced than the sea and the forests can reabsorb.
We must act quickly to stabilise climate change!
In 1988 the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was brought into being. This committee’s task is to collect and analyse all information about climate change. The IPCC has until now submitted four reports and has been able to show that humans are having a discernible influence on the global climate. Our emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are changing our environment and threatening our civilisation.