Svante Arrhenius was the first to claim global warming to be due to “green house” gas emissions in 1896. A Swedish scientist who suggested the effects of fossil fuel on enhanced global warming. This finding was a by-product of research on the possible impacts of carbon dioxide on the great Ice Ages by Arrhenius and Chamberlin. The topic was forgotten for a very long time and it was thought than human influences were insignificant compared to the natural warming of the earth’s atmosphere by solar activity and ocean circulation. The oceans were thought to cancel out the atmospheric pollution by being carbon sinks and that water vapor was seen as a much more influential greenhouse gas.
Since 1940’s research on carbon dioxide started to expand with developments in infrared spectroscopy and impacts of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor on the absorption of heat. In the 1950’s and 1960’s it became clear that the ocean could never be a complete sink of carbon dioxide and the atmospheric lifetime of carbon dioxide was estimated to be about 10 years. Quantitative data that the oceans absorb nearly a third of man-made carbon dioxide was made possible by carbon-14. This radio-isotope can trace the time-space dynamics of atmospheric carbon dioxide, i.e. both natural and artificial.
In 1950’s and early 1960’s Charles Keeling used the most modern technologies to produce concentration curves for atmospheric carbon dioxide in Antarctica and Mauna Loa. The curves showed a downward trend of global annual temperature from the 1940’s to the 1970’s and it was first feared that a new ice age might be near. In the 1980’s, the global annual mean temperature curve started to rise and began to increase so steeply in late 1980’s, an upcoming new ice age was strongly questioned and the global warming theory began to win terrain fast. In 1988 it was finally acknowledged that climate was warmer than any period since 1880 and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was founded. In 1990’s scientists started to question the greenhouse effect theory, because of major uncertainties in the data sets and model outcomes. So far not many measures have been taken to remove all the uncertainties in climate change. It is a global problem that is hard to be solved by single countries. While accepting the existing uncertainties for the time being we can’t prevent major climate and weather disasters to take place. How shall we mitigate the increasing frequency and magnitude of climate and weather disasters whether they are natural or artificial? Though the situation can be similar to earth quakes, where we know they do take place but we do not know with certainty when, where and what to do to safe/protect our lives. Climate and weather disasters have much more devastating and irreversible impacts and threats on all life forms on the earth and can take place on much more larger scales.