Early paper on AGW


Head Honcho
Staff member

The most recent calculations of the infra-red flux in the region of the 15 micron CO2 band show that the average surface temperature of the earth increases 3.6° C if the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is doubled and decreases 3.8° C if the CO2 amount is halved, provided that no other factors change which influence the radiation balance. Variations in CO2 amount of this magnitude must have occurred during geological history; the resulting temperature changes were sufficiently large to influence the climate. The CO2 balance is discussed. The CO2 equilibrium between atmosphere and oceans is calculated with and without CaCO3 equilibrium, assuming that the average temperature changes with the CO2 concentration by the amount predicted by the CO2 theory. When the total CO2 is reduced below a critical value, it is found that the climate continuously oscillates between a glacial and an inter-glacial stage with a period of tens of thousands of years; there is no possible stable state for the climate. Simple explanations are provided by the CO2 theory for the increased precipitation at the onset of a glacial period, the time lag of millions of years between periods of mountain building and the ensuing glaciation, and the severe glaciation at the end of the Carboniferous. The extra CO2 released into the atmosphere by industrial processes and other human activities may have caused the temperature rise during the present century. In contrast with other theories of climate, the CO2 theory predicts that this warming trend will continue, at least for several centuries.

Now the reason I quote this is that it arose out of research for the US Navy:
This work was sponsored by the U.S. Office of Naval Research. This article was completed while the author was on leave of absence at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Present address: Systems Research Corporation, Van Nuys, California.
The USN and USAF had trouble with new bombsights, heat seeking missiles etc with their post–WWII toys, jets that flew higher than WWII propeller planes, missiles etc. Scientists were called in and saw the “problem” was the IR emitted by the surface. That discovery showed that AGW was real and the absorption of IR by GHG molecules the mechanism. That CO2, CG4 and water vapor were opaque to IR had been known for nearly 100 years by time this paper was written: “First published: May 1956”

I thought it was interesting when I came across the link on Twitter. Since the late 1950s there was no real way to deny AGW.