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When did scientists first warn humanity about climate change?

When did scientists first warn humanity about climate change?

Scientists have known about climate change for a while.

Climate change warnings are coming thick and fast from scientists; thousands have signed a paper stating that ignoring climate change would yield "untold suffering" for humanity, and more than 99% of scientific papers agree that humans are the cause. But climate change wasn't always on everyone's radar. So when did humans first become aware of climate change and the dangers it poses?

Scientists first began to worry about climate change toward the end of the 1950s, Spencer Weart, a historian and retired director of the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics in College Park, Maryland, told Live Science in an email. "It was just a possibility for the 21st century which seemed very far away, but seen as a danger that should be prepared for."

The scientific community began to unite for action on climate change in the 1980s, and the warnings have only escalated since. However, these recent warnings are just the tip of the melting iceberg; people's interest in how our activities affect the climate actually dates back thousands of years.

As far back as ancient Greece (1200 B.C. to A.D. 323), people debated whether draining swamps or cutting down forests might bring more or less rainfall to the region, according to Weart's Discovery of Global Warming website, which is hosted by the American Institute of Physics and shares the name with his book "The Discovery of Global Warming" (Harvard University Press, 2008).




Scientists have known about climate change for a while.
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