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The Discovery of Global Warming                      February 2011

Hubert Horace Lamb (1913-1997) was one of the first meteorologists to point to changes of climate in human history. From records of European temperatures, especially a remarkably long series from central England, he deduced what he called a "Medieval Warm Period" and a "Little Ice Age." He was the founder and first Director (1971-1977) of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, a center for research on the evolution of the modern global climate. In his magisterial 1977 volume Climatic History and the Future, he renounced his earlier view that the world was bound to get cooler. Global warming due to humanity's emissions of carbon dioxide, he wrote, was likely to "gain the upper hand in the next century unless stronger controls are instituted than any that are believed to be contemplated..." (p. 677).

H.H. Lamb
 Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia