Summary of The Discovery of Global Warming

Harvard UP,
First Edition: 2004 more...

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The Discovery of Global Warming book summary
The saga of how scientists found and confirmed global warning (p.s. it’s officially here).


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Drawing from scientific discoveries in oceanography, meteorology, geochemistry, biology and astrophysics, author Spencer R. Weart draws you into the puzzle of climate change as it is unfolding through time. No one person had an “aha” moment and discovered global warming. Instead, today’s understanding required an accumulation of theories from disparate areas of research, shaped by the rigors of the scientific method. These discoveries convinced most scientists that global warming is a serious phenomenon. Weart outlines the scientific process that led to today’s climate diagnosis. He also relates lively stories about the people behind the discoveries. That may not be as immediately applicable, but getAbstract finds that it is illuminating and could help readers feel like insiders in this fight.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How scientists discovered global warming
  • How worldwide inquiry and cooperation evolved
  • How greenhouse gases and other factors abet warming


Developing the Framework for Warming
The first climatologists were fascinated by the challenge of explaining Earth’s ice ages. In 1824, scientist Joseph Fourier studied the way the atmosphere traps heat, and theorized that the “greenhouse effect” kept Earth’s climate habitable and not ...
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About the Author

Spencer R. Weart directs the History of Physics program at the American Institute of Physics. His previous books include Nuclear Fear and Scientists in Power.

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