A History of Climate Change and Its Policies

By kt0226
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    The Idea of the Greenhouse Effect is Created

    French mathematician and physicist Joseph Fourier said that energy coming to Earth as sunlight needs to be balanced by energy returning to space since heated surfaces give off radiation. Some energy is kept in the atmosphere and keeps Earth warm. He compared the atmosphere to a greenhouse; energy enters and is trapped like in a greenhouse (History.com, 2017).
  • Studying Atmospheric CO2 levels

    Studying Atmospheric CO2 levels
    Swedist chemist Svante Arrhenius studied how decreasing CO2 atmospheric levels could cool Earth. He also wondered if less volcanic activity would lower CO2 levels and explain the Ice Ages. He discovered that if CO2 levels were cut in half, global temps could decrease by about 5 degrees C. He also discovered if CO2 levels doubled, global temps would increase by the same amount (History.com, 2017).
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    The Dust Bowl

    A dry period caused dust storms with dust and strong winds in the Southern Plains, killing people, livestock, and crops (History.com, 2009).
    Dust Bowl Video
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    Guy Stewart Callendar

    British engineer Guy Stewart Callendar found that the US and North Atlantic region warmed significantly after the Industrial Revolution. He suggested that if CO2 in the atmosphere doubled, Earth could warm by 2 degrees Celsius (History.com, 2017).
  • Finding the "Keeling Curve"

    Finding the "Keeling Curve"
    A monitoring station was set up by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography on top of the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Data from the observatory revealed the “Keeling Curve”, an upward curve showing a steady rise in CO2 levels as well fluctuating levels of the gas from repeated wintering and greening in the Northern Hemisphere (History.com, 2017).
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    Predicting the Future

    Advanced computer models predicted possible outcomes from rising CO2 levels evident from the Keeling Curve. They showed that doubling of CO2 could cause a warming of 2 degrees Celsius in the next century (History.com, 2017).
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    Raising Concerns

    People became concerned about pollutants people were releasing into the atmosphere; scientists thought the pollution could block sunlight and cool Earth (History.com, 2017).
  • World Climate Conference

    World Climate Conference
    The first World Climate Conference was held (UN, 2021).
  • Heating Up

    Heating Up
    The hottest summer on record in the US as of yet, causing drought and wildfires. NASA scientist James Hansen spoke and presented models to Congress in June and said he was 99 percent sure global warming was upon us (History.com, 2017).
  • IPCC Created

    IPCC Created
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established under the UN to show climate change and its political/economic impacts scientifically. Researchers started to study possible effects of the warming climate (UN 2021).
    IPCC Video
    IPCC Website: https://www.ipcc.ch/
  • A Surprising Weather Event

    A Surprising Weather Event
    Heavy snow fell in the Central Gulf Coast region (Weather.gov, 2021).
  • Creating the Kyoto Protocol

    Creating the Kyoto Protocol
    The Kyoto Protocol, the first global agreement to reduce greenhouse gases, was adopted. It called for reducing the emissions of 6 greenhouse gases in 41 countries and the EU to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels from 2008-2012 (History.com, 2017).
    The Kyoto Protocol Explained:https://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol#:~:text=The%20Kyoto%20Protocol%20was%20adopted%20on%2011%20December%201997.&text=In%20short%2C%20the%20Kyoto%20Protocol,accordance%20with%20agreed%20individual%20targets.
  • An Eventful Year

    An Eventful Year
    A tornado outbreak occurred in the Central Gulf Coast. President Bush announced that the US would not implement the Kyoto Protocol (Weather.gov, 2021).
  • A Rare Snowfall

    A Rare Snowfall
    It snowed in Southeast Mississippi and Southwest Alabama, which was rare (Weather.gov, 2021).
  • Katrina Hits

    Katrina Hits
    Hurricane Katrina hits Southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, destroying New Orleans especially (Weather.gov, 2019).
    Katrina Video
  • An Unexpected Snow Storm

    An Unexpected Snow Storm
    A rare snow storm hit northern Louisiana east through central Mississippi and Central Alabama (Weather.gov, 2021).
  • Heavy Rain

    Heavy Rain
    Heavy rain hit the Gulf Coast area (Weather.gov, 2021).
  • Leaving the Paris Climate Agreement

    Leaving the Paris Climate Agreement
    Then president-elect Donald Trump announced that he would withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement. Earth’s surface temps were the warmest on record since 1880 (History.com, 2021).
  • The Rise of Greta Thurnberg

    The Rise of Greta Thurnberg
    Swedish climate activist Greta Thurnberg began protesting for climate change in front of Swedish Parliament, raising awareness for global warming (History.com, 2017).
    Greta Thurnberg Speech
    Fridays For Future website: https://fridaysforfuture.org/
  • Re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement

    Re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement
    President Joe Biden re-entered the US into the Paris Climate Agreement (Columbia Climate School, 2021).
    Paris Climate Agreement Explained