History and Background of the Science
DOI link for History and Background of the Science
History and Background of the Science book
In order to better understand the science of today, it is beneficial to review at least part of the path taken by the scientific community to develop today’s scientific body of knowledge.
The history of the scientific efforts to understand the climate started in the time of the Industrial Revolution, when in 1824, Joseph Fourier was
wondering what determines the average temperature of the Earth. Why didn’t the sun’s heat just keep making it hotter and hotter? He concluded that the atmosphere must control the temperature of the Earth, and also that it would become colder and colder if it weren’t for the atmosphere, which somehow holds in the heat. Fourier recognized that the atmosphere traps part of the radiation from heated surfaces and prevents it from escaping into space. Physicists of the time recognized that when the sun’s radiation strikes a surface it warms it and re-radiates the heat as infrared radiation. The wavelength of the incoming radiation is changed when it is re-radiated.