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

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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Top News

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Diwali Glitter

Diwali Glitter

Gold sales jump about 20 pct for Diwali - trade body  Full Article 

Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft sales beat Street hopes, cloud profits up.  Full Article 

Canada Shooting

Canada Shooting

Canada Parliament gunman had planned to travel to Syria - police.  Full Article 

New World Bank Rival

New World Bank Rival

Three major nations absent as China launches World Bank rival in Asia  Full Article 

Assault on Pires?

Assault on Pires?

ISL probes allegation of assault on Pires  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Mali becomes sixth West African nation hit by Ebola.  Full Article 

Climate Deal

Climate Deal

EU strikes compromise to set new climate target.  Full Article 

Kalki Interview

Kalki on Margarita

Kalki on her role in “Margarita, With a Straw”  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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