Climate Change from A to Z – The New Yorker

by | Nov 21, 2022 | Climate Change

Svante Arrhenius was, by nature, an optimist. He believed that science should—and could—be accessible to all. In 1891, he got his first teaching job, at an experimental university in Stockholm called the Högskola. That same year, he founded the Stockholm Physics Society, which met every other Saturday evening. For a fee of one Swedish crown, anyone could join. Among the society’s earliest members was a Högskola student named Sofia Rudbeck, who was described by a contemporary as both “an excellent chemist” and “a ravishing beauty.” Arrhenius began writing her poetry, and soon the two wed.Physics Society meetings consisted of lectures on the latest scientific developments, many delivered by Arrhenius himself, followed by discussions that often lasted well into the night. The topics ranged widely, from aeronautics to volcanology. The society devoted several sessions to considering the instruments that would be needed by Salomon August Andrée, another early member of the group, who had decided to try to reach the North Pole via balloon. (Whatever the quality of his instruments, Andrée’s voyage would result in his death and the death of his two companions.)
A question that particularly interested the Physics Society was the origin of the ice ages. All over Sweden lay signs of the …

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