Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Readings: Arrhenius

"A great deal has been writtenon the influence of the absorption of the atmosphere on the climate. Tyndail in particular has pointed out the enormous importance of this question. To him it was chiefly the annual and diurnal variations of the temperature that were lessened by this circumstance. Another side of this question, that has long attracted the attention of the physicists, is this: Is the mean temperature of the ground in any way influenced by the presence of heat-absorbing gases in the atmosphere? Fourier maintained that the atmosphere acts like the glass of a hot-house, because it lets through the light rays of the sun but retains the dark rays from the ground. "
Svante Arrhenius, "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground" (1896)

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