TIMELINE - How the world found out about global warming

Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:31pm IST

Passengers on a bus can be seen in front of a chimney for a coal-burning heating system as it billows smoke in central Beijing December 12, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray/Files

Passengers on a bus can be seen in front of a chimney for a coal-burning heating system as it billows smoke in central Beijing December 12, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/David Gray/Files

Related Topics

Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

REUTERS - A U.N. conference in Qatar next week is the latest attempt to combat global warming after mounting evidence that human activity is disrupting the climate.

Here is a timeline of the road to action on global warming:

300 BC - Theophrastus, a student of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, documents that human activity can affect climate. He observes that drainage of marshes cools an area around Thessaly and that clearing of forests near Philippi warms the climate.

1896 - Sweden's Svante Arrhenius becomes the first to quantify carbon dioxide's role in keeping the planet warm. He later concluded that the burning of coal could cause a "noticeable increase" in carbon levels over centuries.

1957-58 - U.S. scientist Charles Keeling sets up stations to measure carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere at the South Pole and at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. The measurements have shown a steady rise.

1988 - The United Nations sets up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to assess the scientific evidence.

1992 - World leaders agree the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which sets a non-binding goal of stabilising greenhouse gas emissions by 2000 at 1990 levels - a target not met overall.

1997 - The Kyoto Protocol is agreed in Japan; developed nations agree to cut their greenhouse gas emissions on average by at least 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12. The United States stays out of the deal.

2007 - The IPCC says it is at least 90 percent certain that humans are to blame for most of the warming trend of the past 50 years. It also says signs that the planet is warming are "unequivocal".

2009 - A conference of 193 countries agrees to "take note" of a new Copenhagen Accord to fight climate change, after U.N. talks in Denmark. The accord is not legally binding and does not commit countries to agree a binding successor to the Kyoto Protocol when its first stage ends in 2012.

2011 - U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa, agree to negotiate a new accord by 2015 that is "applicable to all" and will come into force from 2020.

Sources: Reuters, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "Why We Disagree about Climate Change" by Mike Hulme, founding director of the Tyndall Centre.

(Reporting By Alister Doyle and David Cutler; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Cricketer Dies

Cricketer Dies

Australia batsman Phillip Hughes passes away after being struck on the head by a bouncer.  Full Article | Photos 

Online Grocery

Online Grocery

Online grocers come up trumps in India's e-commerce boom   Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

GDP growth to slow to 5.1 pct, but no rate cut yet - Reuters Poll.  Full Article 

Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy

Photo Gallery – Bengali household name Jamini Roy’s paintings  Full Article 

Special Report

Special Report

How China's shadowy agency is working to absorb Taiwan.  Full Article 

Google in Europe

Google in Europe

Insight - Behind Google's Europe woes, American accents  Full Article 

Maverick Batsman

Maverick Batsman

Obituary - Australia's maverick batsman Phil Hughes.  Full Article | Related Story 

Ferguson Protests

Ferguson Protests

More than 400 arrested as Ferguson protests spread to other U.S. cities  Full Article 

Billboard History

Billboard History

One Direction makes Billboard history, knocks Swift from No. 1   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage