Greenhouse Gas - History of Scientific Research

History of Scientific Research

Late 19th century scientists experimentally discovered that N
2 and O
2 do not absorb infrared radiation (called, at that time, "dark radiation") while, on the contrary, water, both as true vapour and condensed in the form of microscopic droplets suspended in clouds, as well as CO2 and other poly-atomic gaseous molecules, do absorb infrared radiation. It was recognized in the early 20th century that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere made the Earth's overall temperature higher than it would be without them. During the late 20th century, a scientific consensus evolved that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are causing a substantial rise in global temperatures and changes to other parts of the climate system, with consequences for the environment and for human health.

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