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Ueber den Einfluss des atmosphärischen Kohlensäuregehalts auf die Temperatur der Erdoberfläche. (On the influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground).


Stockholm, P.A. Norstedt, 1896. 8vo. (215x145 mm). Uncut, unopened in the original printed wrappers. No.1, Sec.1, Vol.22 of 'Bihang till K. Svenska Vet.Akad. Handlingar'. Light miscolouring to margins of wrappers. A very fine and clean copy. Papers from this supplement series to the 'Proceedings of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' are often mistakenly identified as offprints or 'first seperate edition' (indicating the existence of a jounal edition) because they have their own title page with the publishers named and their own pagination, but they are not - all publications from this series were printed seperatley in this way and issued with wrappers. An extract of this paper was translated into English and published in the Philosophical Magazine the same year. 102 pp. ¶ Scarce first edition, rarely seen in such fine condition, of Arrhenius seminal work in which he predicted global warming.

Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927) was a prominent chemist and one of the founders of the science of physical chemistry. He was awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the pioneering work which he had done in his famous dissertation on electrolytic conductivity ('Recherches sur la conductivité galvanique des électrolytes', 1884). However Arrhenius is becoming increasingly more known for his paper on the greenehouse effect and its influence on global temperature (the offered item).

With this paper Arrhenius was the to predict global warming as caused by human activity. Arrhenius develloped a model, from which he could calculate the change in global tempeture givin a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere. Originally his idea was to explain the occurance of ice-ages from natural variations in the concentration of carbon dioxide from for instance vulcano activity. But Arrhenius also took the production of carbon dioxide caused by human activity into consideration - being aware of the industrial growth of his own time. He calculated that a doubling of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere would increase the global tempeture with about five degrees celcius. However Arrhenius concluded that such an increase caused by humans would take several thousand years to occure - his calculations did understandably not take into account the technological revolution of the 20th century and the growth in population which it brought with it.

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