New Web Exhibit and Book Details the Discovery of
A new Web exhibit, "The Discovery of Global Warming," has been
created by Spencer Weart, Director of the AIP History Center, at www.aip.org/history/climate.
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.
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