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The Discovery of Global Warming            August 2021

Where to Find Other Information

For facts online try the "START HERE" page maintained by climate scientists. A comprehensive review of scientific understanding as of ca. 2012 is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2013 reports (with other, specialized reports); an updated report will be issued soon. For serious study of the science you need textbooks, see below. For published historical accounts see the bibliography below.

Links to basic information, news and reports online:

  • RealClimate's start here page is indeed a good place to start.
  • Another good set of resources, from
  • For a quick review, the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society have a good booklet (read online or get a pdf).
  • The US Global Change Research Program offers many resources, including the National Climate Assessment reviewing what's happened and will happen in the USA.
  • The NASA climate site has many resources, including sections for kids and educators.
  • NOAA's is useful even though parts were removed by the Republican administration in 2017. The valuable Environmental Protection Agency climate change site, removed in 2017, has been restored; EPA data on current impacts on US.
  • Resources for teachers at
  • Wikipedia's global warming pages have much information with frequent updates, mostly reliable if not well organized.
  •, Climate Central, Climate Depot, livescience have news and information. Current news in the New York Times and The Guardian.. A list of news links
  • The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication for polls and discussion.
  • Climate Portal is a huge links compilation — articles, videos, materials for kids and teachers, music and art, whatever.
  • Visual materials: links plus this site's photos and diagrams..
  • If you want to really study it all, see the comprehensive IPCC reports. The National Academy Press also has key reports online including many of historical interest (search on "climate").

    Links to discussion and action online

  • (run by climate scientists) and are well-regarded blogs that discuss real scientific work as well as controversies.
  • Did global warming make that hurricane or heat wave worse? Scientists answer at WorldWeatherAttribution.
  • The industry-funded Cooler Heads Coalition, the billionaire-supported CO2 Coalition, and Anthony Watts's blog argue against taking action to restrict fossil fuel emissions and attack the credibility of consensus climate science. desmogblog confronts the doubters and deniers.
  • Skeptic Arguments and What the Science Says; How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic; Responses to Common Contrarian Arguments. For expert advice on convincing people see John Cook and Stephan Lewandosky, The Debunking Handbook (pdfs in English and other languages), also John Cook et al., The Consensus Handbook (pdf).
  • The World Resources Institute (mainstream environmentalism) has reports, including matters of business interest. The Pew Center on Climate Change offers news and policy-related reports, and the World Bank on economic dimensions. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and the Solutions Project address the energy supply problem.
  • is coordinating a global climate movement with marches, political campaigns, etc. The WWF, Greenpeace, Environmental Defense, and the National Resources Defense Council also have basic climate change information and arguments, news, and programs for action.

  • You can reduce your greenhouse emissions! See organizations linked immediately above and The US Environmental Protection Agency's suggestions, deleted in 2017 by the Trump administration, have been preserved here. But reducing your personal greenhouse emissions is no substitute for political action to attack the problem globally. See my Personal Note,.
  • You can contribute to climate science! Put your computer's idle time to good use by joining the team at Or help recover vital historical weather data, for example from ships' logs, see this post.

    Some other useful Websites: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The European Commission climate site from the European Union. co2now tracks the level and more. Photo documentation.


  • Dessler, Andrew E., and Edward A. Parson. 2019 (3rd edition). The Science and Politics of Climate Change: A Guide to the Debate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Houghton, John. 2015 (5th edition). Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pierrehumbert, Raymond T. 2011. Principles of Planetary Climate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • A free online course offered by the University of Chicago.


  • Achermann, Dania (2020). "Vertical Glaciology: The Second Discovery of the Third Dimension in Climate Research," Centaurus 62: 720-43.
  • Alley, Richard B. 2000. The Two-Mile Time Machine. Princeton University Press.
  • Archer, David, and Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, eds. 2011. The Warming Papers: The Scientific Foundation for the Climate Change Forecast. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Bolin, Bert. 2007. A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change. The Role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bowen, Mark. 2005. Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World's Highest Mountains. New York: Henry Holt.
  • Boykoff, Maxwell T. 2011. Who Speaks for the Climate? Making Sense of Media Reporting on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Broecker, Wallace S., and Robert Kunzig. 2008. Fixing Climate: What Past Climate Changes Reveal About the Current Threat and How to Counter It. New York: Hill and Wang. (Including history of Broecker's research.)
  • Caldeira, Ken, and Govindasamy Bala. 2017. "Reflecting on 50 Years of Geoengineering Research." Earth's Future 5: 10-17 [doi:10.1002/2016EF000454].
  • Christianson, Gale E. 1999. Greenhouse: The 200-year Story of Global Warming. New York: Walker.
  • Crawford, Elisabeth. 1996. Arrhenius: From Ionic Theory to the Greenhouse Effect. Canton, MA: Watson Publishing - Science History.
  • Dansgaard, Willi. 2004. Frozen Annals. Greenland Ice Sheet Research. Copenhagen: Dept. of Geophysics of the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.
  • Dalmedico, Amy Dahan. 2007. "Models and Simulations in Climate Change. Historical, Epistemological, Anthropological and Political Aspects." In Science without Laws: Model Systems, Cases, Exemplary Narratives, edited by Angela N. H. Creager, Elizabeth Lunbeck and M. Norton Wise. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Edwards, Paul N. 2000. "A Brief History of Atmospheric General Circulation Modeling." In General Circulation Model Development, edited by D. A. Randall. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
  • Edwards, Paul N. 2010. A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Figueres, Christiana, and Tom Rivett-Carna. 2020. The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis. New York: Knopf.
  • Fleagle, Robert G. 1992. "From the International Geophysical Year to Global Change." Reviews of Geophysics 30: 305-13.
  • Fleming, James R. 1998. Historical Perspectives on Climate Change. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Fleming, James R., ed. 1996. Historical Essays on Meteorology 1919-1995. Boston: American Meteorological Society.
  • Fleming, James R., ed. Classic papers on global warming online (PALE).
  • Fleming, James R. 2007. The Callendar Effect. The Life and Work of Guy Stewart Callendar (1898-1964), the Scientist Who Established the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change. Boston, MA: American Meteorological Society.
  • Fleming, James R. 2010. Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Fleming, James R. 2016. Inventing Atmospheric Science: Bjerknes, Rossby, Wexler, and the Foundations of Modern Meteorology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Gelbspan, Ross. 1997. The Heat Is On. The High Stakes Battle over Earth's Threatened Climate. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1997
  • Gelbspan, Ross. 2004. Boiling Point. How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Are Fueling the Climate Crisis — and What You Can Do to Avert Disaster. New York: Basic, 2004.
  • Gertner, Jon, 2019. The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey into Greenland's Buried Past and Our Perilous Future. New York: Random House.
  • Hansen, James. 2009. Storms of My Grandchildren. The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. New York: Bloomsbury USA.
  • Hecht, Alan D. 2014. "Past, Present and Future: Urgency of Dealing with Climate Change." Atmospheric and Climate Sciences 4: 779-795.
  • Heyman, Matthias, Gabriele Gramelsberger, & Martin Mahony, eds. 2017. Cultures of Prediction in Atmospheric and Climate Science: Epistemic and Cultural Shifts in Computer-based Modelling and Simulation. London & New York: Routledge.
  • Houghton, John ,with Gill Tavner. 2013. In the Eye of the Storm. The Autobiography of Sir John Houghton. Oxford: Lion Books.
  • Howe, Joshua P. 2014. Behind the Curve. Science and the Politics of Global Warming. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Howe, Joshua P. 2017. Making Climate Change History. Documents from Global Warming's Past. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Imbrie, John, and Katherine Palmer Imbrie. 1986. Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery. Rev. Ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Le Treut, H., et al. 2007. "Historical Overview of Climate Change Science." In Climate Change 2007: The Physical Basis of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC, edited by Susan Solomon et al., pp. 93-127. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press (online at the IPCC site)
  • Lynch, Peter. 2006. The Emergence of Numerical Weather Prediction: Richardson's Dream. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Manabe, Syukuro, and Anthony J. Broccoli,.2020. Beyond Global Warming. How Numerical Models Revealed the Secrets of Climate Change. Princeton, NJ:: Princeton University Press.
  • Mann, Michael. 2014. The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars. New York: Columbia University Press, rev. ed.
  • Mayewski, Paul A., and Frank White. 2002. The Ice Chronicles: The Quest to Understand Global Climate Change. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.
  • Michaels, David. 2020. The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception. Oxford Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Miller, Clark A., and Paul N. Edwards, eds. 2001. "Changing the Atmosphere. Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance." Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Mooney, Chris. 2007. Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle over Global Warming. New York: Harcourt.
  • Nebeker, Frederik. 1995. Calculating the Weather: Meteorology in the 20th Century. New York: Academic Press.
  • Oppenheimer, Michael, et al. 2019. "Assessing the Ice: Sea Level Rise Predictions from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, 1981-2007." Chapter 4, pp. 127-69, in Discerning Experts. The Practices of Scientific Assessment for Environmental Policy, edited by Michael Oppenheimer et al., Chicago: Chicago University Press
  • Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik Conway. 2008. "Challenging Knowledge: How Climate Science Became a Victim of the Cold War." In Agnotology: The Cultural Production of Ignorance, edited by Robert Proctor and Londa Schiebinger. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. Conway. 2010. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. New York: Bloomsbury.
  • O'Riordan, Tim, and Jill Jäger. 1996. "The History of Climate Change Science and Politics." In Politics of Climate Change: A European Perspective, edited by T. O'Riordan and J. Jäger. London: Routledge.
  • Petit, Jean-Robert, and Dominique Raynaud. 2020. "Forty Years of Ice-Core Records of CO2." Nature 579: 505-06 [doi:10.1038/d41586-020-00809-8].
  • Powell, James Lawrence. 2015. Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences. From Heresy to Truth. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Peterson, Thomas C., et al. 2008. "The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 89: 1325-37.
  • Pooley, Eric. 2010. The Climate War. True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth. New York: Hyperion.
  • Rich, Nathaniel. 2019. Losing Earth: A Recent History. New York: MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux. [The 1970s.]
  • Rodhe, Henning, and Robert Charlson, eds. 1998. The Legacy of Svante Arrhenius. Understanding the Greenhouse Effect. Stockholm: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
  • Schneider, Stephen H., and Randi Londer. 1984. The Co-evolution of Climate and Life. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.
  • Schneider, Stephen H. 2009. Science as a Contact Sport. Inside the Battle to Save the Earth's Climate. Washington, DC: National Geographic.
  • Sörlin, Sverker, and Melissa Lane, 2018. “Historicizing Climate Change — Engaging New Approaches to Climate and History." Climatic Change 151, Issue 1. [Special Issue on Climate Change in History and Politics.]
  • Stevens, William K. 1999. The Change in the Weather: People, Weather and the Science of Climate. New York: Delacorte Press.
  • Victor, David G. 2001. The Collapse of the Kyoto Protocol and the Struggle to Slow Global Warming. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Weart, Spencer R. 2008. The Discovery of Global Warming. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2nd ed. - more info here.
  • ... and for the record, pioneering histories by participants:

  • 1985 - Roger Revelle, “Introduction: The Scientific History of Carbon Dioxide,” in The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO2: Natural Variations Archean to Present (Geophysical Monograph 32), edited by E. T. Sundquist and Wallace S. Broecker, pp. 1-4. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union.
  • 1987 -William W. Kellogg, "Mankind's Impact on Climate: The Evolution of an Awareness." Climatic Change 10: 113-36.

  • 1990 - M.D.H. Jones and A. Henderson-Sellers, "History of the Greenhouse Effect." Progress in Physical Geography 14: 1-18.

  • 1992. - Mark David, Handel and James S. Risbey, "An Annotated [Historical] Bibliography on the Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change." Climatic Change 21: 97-255.

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