Two Centuries of Climate Science: part two – Hulburt to Keeling, 1931- 1965

Environment: One of three part series series talking about Climate Change. Here is Parts One and Three and read more at Jagadees’s English Blog.


We resume this narrative in 1931, when American physicist E.O Hulburt ran calculations to determine the effect of doubling carbon dioxide once again, and, including the added burden of water vapour, he came up with a figure of around 4°C of warming. He also rebutted Ångström’s work and determined that, regardless of convective processes, it was the escape of infra-red radiation to Space (or the hinderance thereof) that was of key importance. The resultant paper appeared in a the journal Physical Review, which tended not to be read by earth and atmospheric scientists and was as a consequence missed by many of them. In any case, it was generally thought that Earth’s climate system maintained itself in some natural kind of balance. In retrospect, given the dramatic climate changes that had led to the ice-ages, this was a curious stance to take.

Seven years later, English engineer Guy Callendar, something…

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