AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXV , No. 2, Fall 2003


New Web Exhibit and Book Details the Discovery of Global Warming

Discovery of Global Warming - website The Discovery of Global Warming - book
Discovery of Global Warming book and web site. You can order the book from Harvard University Press or

A new Web exhibit, "The Discovery of Global Warming," has been created by Spencer Weart, Director of the AIP History Center, at It is aimed at scientists, historians, and others interested in the history of climate science from the 1890s to the present. Comprising some two dozen essays with illustrations and bibliography, the Web site is roughly equivalent to a thick scholarly book. However, the essays are not meant to be read in any particular order.

Mirroring the complex nature of geophysics history itself, the texts run in parallel, interconnected with over 700 hyperlinks. Meanwhile Weart has published a short, linear narrative of the story, suitable for students and the general public, with Harvard University Press.
Analysis of plankton shells in cores extracted from the deep sea Cores drilled at Camp Century, Greenland

The history of our planet's climate is the most important clue to its possible future. Over the past few decades, scientists have gradually realized that the climate has sometimes changed with catastrophic abruptness. Many experts worry that greenhouse gas emissions could provoke another such shift. Left: The most detailed data come from ancient ice. Cores drilled at Camp Century, Greenland, in 1964 revealed temperatures back into the last ice age. Photo by David Atwood, U.S. Army-ERDC-CRREL (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory), courtesy Herb Ueda. Right: An independent source of temperature and other data has been analysis of plankton shells in cores extracted from the deep sea, as in this operation on Lamont's research vessel Vema in the 1960s. Photo courtesy Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.

Click on either photo to see a larger version.

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AIP History CenterCenter for History of Physics
Phone: 301-209-3165
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