[Environment] ENERGY: FOSSIL FUELS: COAL : SCIENCE: HISTORY : ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE: News Coverage of Coals Link to Global Warming, in 1912

 

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ENERGY: FOSSIL FUELS: COAL :

SCIENCE: HISTORY :

ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE:

News Coverage of Coals Link to Global Warming, in 1912

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News Coverage of Coals Link to Global Warming, in 1912

By ANDREW C. REVKIN

October 21, 2016 1:42 pm

The Opinion Pages

Dot Earth

New York Times

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/10/21/ coals-link-to-global-warming-explained-in-1912/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/zwkrx6k

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Updated, 5:17 p.m. | Scientific analysis pointing to a human role in warming the climate through burning fossil fuels goes back to 1896, with Svante Arrheniuss remarkable paper, On the Influence of Carbonic Acid [Carbon Dioxide] in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground.

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Starting in the late 1930s, Guy Stewart Callendar, a British engineer and amateur meteorologist, stirred the field by calculating that rising carbon dioxide levels were already warming the climate. Check out his 1938 paper on the subject: The Artificial Production of Carbon Dioxide and Its Influence on Temperature.

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By 1956, The New York Times was writing on combustion-driven global warming.

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But when did news coverage begin?

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The earliest (and most concise!) article Ive seen was published on Aug. 14, 1912, in a couple of New Zealand newspapers, the Rodney and Otamatea Times and Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette.

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snip

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The item is available online thanks to Fairfax Media and the Papers Past archive of the National Library of New Zealand. It came to my attention via the sleuthing of Danny Bloom, a longtime presence on Dot Earth best known for his focus on the emerging literary genre cli fi  climate fiction.

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On his blog, Bloom pointed to a great Oct. 18 piece on the climate article by Alex Kasprak for Snopes, the invaluable (and overworked) truth detector for web content. (Kasprak actually found the item, author unknown, had been published a month earlier in Australia.)

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The little story, of course, projected future warming on a far slower time scale than what scientists are projecting with a century of accumulated science and data:

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The furnaces of the world are now burning about 2,000,000,000 tons of coal a year. When this is burned, united with oxygen, it adds about 7,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere yearly. This tends to make the air a more effective blanket for the earth and to raise its temperature. The effect may be considerable in a few centuries.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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Author: jwneastro

I am a reference librarian at Temple University and a specialist in bibliographic database searching.

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