When the greenhouse effect “born”

In 1824 the French scientist Jean Baptiste Fourier, who made some famous discoveries in physics and mathematics, was the first one to talk about “greenhouse effect” and measure it with the helium thermometer. The theory is that the atmosphere acts as the glass enclosure of a greenhouse, which lets solar rays through while it tends to trap the thermal rays which are released by the planet’s surface. Thanks to this, Earth’s average temperature is stable around 15°C, instead of approximately the -19°C that it would be without “greenhouse gasses”. The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon which happens on all planets that have an atmosphere . Thus the problem arises from the atmospheric composition which can increase or decrease its effects. In 1895, about 150 years after the Industrial Revolution the Swedish scientist Svante Arrehenius was able to understand that the increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, was going to eventually bring about a global warming of the Planet. In 1955 Charles Keeling confirmed that carbon dioxide levels were rising to the point that an actual observatory was set up in Hawaii to keep track of the concentration of this gas in the atmosphere. At the end of the 80’s the United Nations created a committee of experts called IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) to classify and analyze the results coming from the different studies.

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From the Multimedia section

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    The greenhouse effect

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    ecosystems

    Deforestation

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    Albedo

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    Future scenarios of an increase in the temperature

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    Icebergs, ice packs and glaciers

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    Mean sea level rise foreseen by IPCC

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    Desertification

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    Life-cycle of different gases in the atmosphere

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    Save the air

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  • air

    The greenhouse effect

    Look

    ecosystems

    Deforestation

    Look
  • air

    Albedo

    Look

    air

    Future scenarios of an increase in the temperature

    Look
  • air

    Icebergs, ice packs and glaciers

    Look

    air

    Mean sea level rise foreseen by IPCC

    Look

Facts

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