The relationship between greenhouse gases and climate is scientifically proven. Scientists' concerns about global warming are not new
The greenhouse effect that certain gases create in the atmosphere is a natural phenomenon that enables the temperature to be warm enough for life to develop on our planet.
This is nothing new. The relationship between CO₂, water vapour and other greenhouse gases and the climate has been studied since the nineteenth century. In 1824, Joseph Fourier discovered that the atmosphere trapped heat, and in 1864, John Tyndall identified several molecules responsible for this heat trapping effect. In the late 19th century, Arrhenius posited that, if the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere doubled, significant changes would occur in temperature on the earth's surface. In 1958, Keeling commenced continuous logging of the CO₂ concentration in the atmosphere at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. The first world climate conference, held in 1979, identified climate change as an urgent problem on a planetary scale, resulting in the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.
The IPCC does not directly carry out research or monitor the climate. The responsibility of the lead authors of the IPCC reports is to assess the available information on climate change, drawn mainly from reviewing academic papers and the scientific and technical literature. The IPCC reports are a compendium of peer-reviewed published science. Each new IPCC report sets out the areas where science has improved since the previous report and also draws attention to areas where more research is needed.
At present, there is a very high degree of scientific certainty about the link between the atmospheric concentration of certain greenhouse gases and global warming.
Guest post written by Carmen Becerril Martínez, External Director from ACCIONA, and Magdalena García Mora, Manager of Analysis of Energy policies and Climate Change from ACCIONA.