Key moments from decades of climate conferences

(Reuters, 25 Oct 2021) Ahead of the U.N.'s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, here is a look at some key moments in the global climate conversation.

This year's U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, marks the 26th time since 1995 that world leaders have gathered to confront global warming. But the realization that industrial activity was causing climate change, and discussions about what to do about it, began much earlier.

Here are some key moments in the global climate conversation:

1800s - Throughout the 1800s, several European scientists study how different gases and vapours can trap heat in Earth's atmosphere. In the 1890s, Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius calculates the temperature effect of a doubling of atmospheric CO2, showing that burning fossil fuels would likely warm the planet.

1938 - By compiling historical weather data, British engineer Guy Callendar for the first time shows the planet's temperatures are rising in the modern era. He correlates the temperature trends with measured rises in atmospheric CO2, and proposes the temperature change is linked.

1958 - American scientist Charles David Keeling starts systematically measuring atmospheric CO2 levels over Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory. His findings result in the "Keeling Curve," a graph showing CO2 concentrations steadily increasing.

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Reuters, 25 Oct 2021: Key moments from decades of climate conferences