"April 23 News: 75 Years Ago A Steam Engineer Showed Global Warming Was Happening"
75 years ago this month, a steam engineer in England named Guy Stewart Callendar used his avid interest in meteorology to publish a landmark study in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society linking fossil fuel burning to global warming. Two modern climatologists have published a paper in the same journal checking — with modern techniques and measurements — just how accurate Callendar was. [Guardian]
Dr. Ed Hawkins and Prof. Phil Jones write:
In hindsight, Callendar’s contribution was fundamental. He is still relatively unknown, but in terms of the history of climate science, his paper is a classic. He was the first scientist to discover that the planet had warmed by collating temperature measurements from around the globe, and suggested that this warming was partly related to man-made carbon dioxide emissions…
People were sceptical about some of Callendar’s results, partly because the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere was not very well known and because his estimates for the warming caused by CO2 were quite simplistic by modern standards. It was only in the 1950s, when improved instruments showed more precisely how water and CO2 absorbed radiation, that we reached a better understanding of its importance. Scientists at the time also couldn’t really believe that humans could impact such a large system as the climate – a problem that climate science still encounters from some people today, despite the compelling evidence to the contrary.
16 of 29 states are considering legislation that would repeal or curtail their renewable portfolio standards, at the behest of companies like ExxonMobil and Peabody coal. [Bloomberg]
A Senate committee will consider energy efficiency legislation proposed by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Rob Portman. [The Hill]
Louisiana faces greater risks from the impacts of global warming, which complicates its close relationship with oil and gas interests. [National Journal]
Juliet Eilperin summarizes what the Obama administration has done for the climate and environment so far, and what is left to do. [Washington Post]
Check out this interactive graphic that shows how much each state’s temperature has increased since the first Earth Day in 1970 (spoiler alert: they all increase). [Climate Central]
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill was even dirtier and more dangerous than most Americans thought. [Newsweek]
Another Indian state has more than 500 megawatts of solar energy capacity. [CleanTechnica]
A community wind farm in South Dakota won 600 local investors through some innovative financial techniques. [Renew Economy]