THE DISCOVERY OF GLOBAL WARMING

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THE DISCOVERY OF GLOBAL WARMING

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WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION

The Discovery of Global Warming


February 2019

International Cooperation

By the very nature of climate, scientists had to study it across national boundaries.

Already in the 19th century, meteorologists formed occasional international collaborations and simple coordinating bodies.

From the 1950s onward these expanded into ever larger and more elaborately organized global programs involving thousands of experts.

The programs chiefly studied daily weather, not climate.

But when research pointed to the possibility of global warming, it raised scientific questions that could only be addressed through international cooperative studies, and policy questions that required international negotiations.

Scientists elaborated the network of research organizations, and struggled to work out a consensus of reasonably certain conclusions about climate to guide policy-makers.

In the 1980s, international conferences and new types of scientific groups began to shape the agendas of governments to a degree that had little precedent in other areas of world politics.


The 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which went into effect in 2005, was a small first attempt to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

But by 2010 it was clear that the world's nations would not do enough to avoid dangerous climate change.

Extensive negotiations did bring pledges from essentially all the world's governments to cut their emissions, which might avoid utter catastrophe.

(NOTE: this essay describes relationships among scientists and only sketches the history of negotiations at higher governmental levels. There is a separate essay on the United States Government, which was central in international affairs.)

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Re: THE DISCOVERY OF GLOBAL WARMING

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"The climatic world is one world even if politically we are not."

— Reid Bryson

At the 1945 Potsdam Conference where Allied leaders planned how to end the Second World War, the President of the United States pressed the dictator of the Soviet Union about weather stations.

Truman was worried about the coming American invasion of Japan.

This operation, twice the size of the June 1944 Normandy landings, would be launched in winter.

The Normandy invasion had succeeded not least because of meteorology.

The Germans had expected nothing to happen in the prevailing bad weather, but Allied meteorologists, with better data on conditions to westward, had spotted a break in the storms.

Now Truman demanded weather data from Siberia, and Stalin grudgingly agreed to admit an American team (before they could set up their stations, Japan surrendered).

Meteorology had become a concern at the highest levels.

And as people were learning, weather is inescapably international, flowing each day between nations.

Still, one could not expect presidents and dictators to give sustained attention to the technicalities of weather data.

Negotiations were generally left to mid-level diplomats.

They in turn had to rely on their national meteorological experts for advice on what should be done.

To a degree not often found in international affairs, scientists wrote the agenda for action.


The First International Organizations

Meteorologists of different nationalities had long cooperated in the loose informal fashion traditional for all scientists, reading one another's publications and visiting one another's universities.

But already for nearly a century they had been reaching beyond that.

As a leading meteorologist later remarked, "One of the unique charms of geophysical science is its global imperative."

In the second half of the 19th century, meteorologists got together in a series of international congresses, which led to the creation in 1879 of an International Meteorological Organization.

Run mainly by the directors of national weather services, the organization encouraged the spread of meteorological stations and the exchange of weather data.


It made ceaseless efforts at standardization — it was of limited value to exchange data if different nations measured temperatures, for example, at different times of day.

Since the organization had no official status in any nation, and depended on voluntary and haphazard contributions, its efforts were often ignored.

By the 1930s the leaders recognized their effort needed some sort of official status with governments, and they began to explore possible mechanisms.

Meanwhile scientists who were interested in climate also met one another, along with specialists concerned with many other subjects of geophysical research, in an International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics which was established in 1919.


It became known as the IUGG — one of the first of countless acronyms that would infest everything geophysical and international.

Specialties relevant to climate included meteorology, oceanography,and volcanology, each represented within the IUGG by a semi-autonomous association.

There were a number of similar unions that fostered cooperation among national academies and scientific societies, sponsoring a variety of committees and occasional grand international congresses, gathered under the umbrella of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU).

The IUGG, along with an association of astronomers,was the first of these unions.

For geophysicists needed international cooperation for their research more than most other scientists did.

To mention only oceanographers, their research expeditions could scarcely function without permission to resupply at foreign ports.

The IUGG with other groups in ICSU organized sporadic programs of coordinated observations.

The leading example was an International Polar Year (1932-33), carried out in cooperation with the International Meteorological Organization.

Scientists arranged all these matters, involving diplomats only where absolutely necessary.

None of these organizations did much to advance research on climate.

Up through the mid-20th century, climatology was mainly a study of regional phenomena.

The climate in a given region was believed to be set by the sunlight at the particular latitude, along with the configuration of nearby mountain ranges and ocean currents, with the rest of the planet scarcely involved.

Classifying foreign climates was useful chiefly to serve imperialist plans for colonies — advising what crops could be grown profitably in a given region, perhaps, or what places were suitable for disease-prone "white" settlers.

However, climatology textbooks did feature diagrams of the entire globe, divided into climate zones by temperature and rainfall.


Hopes for a fundamental science of climate pushed climatologists toward a global perspective, as they drew on data compiled by people of many nationalities.

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Re: THE DISCOVERY OF GLOBAL WARMING

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The Second World War greatly increased the demand for international cooperation in science, and not only toward military ends.

Some of those who worked for cooperation hoped to bind peoples together by invoking interests that transcended the self-serving nationalism that had brought so much horror and death.


The postwar years saw the creation of the United Nations, the Bretton-Woods financial institutions,the first tentative steps toward European Union, and many other multilateral efforts.

When the Cold War began it only strengthened the movement, for if tens of millions had recently been slaughtered, nuclear arms could slay hundreds of millions.

Creating areas where cooperation could flourish seemed essential.

Science, with its long tradition of internationalism, offered some of the best opportunities.

Fostering transnational scientific links became an explicit policy for many of the world's democratic governments, not least the United States.

It was not just that gathering knowledge gave a handy excuse for creating international organizations.

Beyond that, the ideals and methods of scientists, their open communication, their reliance on objective facts and consensus rather than command, would reinforce the ideals and methods of democracy.

As the political scientist Clark Miller has explained, American foreign policy makers believed the scientific enterprise was "intertwined with the pursuit of a free, stable, and prosperous world order."


Scientists themselves were still more strongly committed to the virtues of cooperation.

For some, like oceanographers, international exchanges of information were simply indispensable for the pursuit of their studies.

To many the free association of colleagues across national boundaries meant yet more: it meant advancing the causes of universal truth and world peace.

Study of the global atmosphere seemed a natural place to start.

In 1947, a World Meteorological Convention, negotiated in Washington, DC, explicitly made the meteorological enterprise an intergovernmental affair — that is, one to which each nation appointed an official representative.

In 1951, the International Meteorological Organization was succeeded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), an association of national weather services.

The WMO soon became an agency of the United Nations.

That gave meteorological groups access to important organizational and financial support, and brought them a new authority and stature.


We should pause a moment to recognize that behind these bland acronyms stood real humans, crafting the organizations and maintaining them through countless hours of delicate negotiations and memo-writing.

The WMO, for example, owed much to cooperation between Victor A. Bugaev, a leader of the Soviet Union's meteorology office,and Harry Wexler, the director of research at the United States Weather Bureau.

Let us commemorate Wexler here as a particularly outstanding example of that seldom recognized but essential figure, the scientist-bureaucrat-administrator-diplomat (see also Bob White).

A close look reveals Wexler's hand pulling switches behind the scenes in many parts of the story of climate science — computer modeling, greenhouse gas measurements, satellite observations, and more — from the 1940s until his untimely death in 1962, as he astutely organized research and directed funds.

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Global Data: The IGY and World Weather Watch

All the organizationalwork for weather prediction did little to connect the scattered specialists in diverse fields who took an interest in climate change.

A better chance came in the mid 1950s, when a small band of scientists (Wexler, for one) got together to push international cooperation to a higher level in all areas of geophysics.

They aimed to coordinate their data gathering and — no less important — to persuade their governments to spend an extra billion or so dollars on research.

The result was the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58.

The IGY with its unprecedented funding was energized by a mixture of altruistic hopes and hard practical goals.

Scientists expected in the first place to advance their collective knowledge and their individual careers.


The government officials who supplied the money, while not indifferent to pure scientific discovery, expected the new knowledge would have civilian and military applications.

The American and Soviet governments further hoped to win practical advantages in their Cold War competition.

Under the banner of the IGY they could collect global geophysical data of potential military value.

Along the way they could gather intelligence about their opponents, and meanwhile enhance their nation's prestige.


Others found the Cold War an inspiration in a reverse sense, hoping that the IGY would help set a new pattern of cooperation between the rival powers — as indeed it did.

The launching of the Soviet Sputnik satellite in October 1957, and the American space shots that followed, were officially announced as cooperative scientific experiments under the IGY umbrella.

Technically the rocket launches had more to do with spy satellites and the threat of bombardment with ballistic missiles.

Yet on a deeper level, both global surveillance and intercontinental warfare forced people to see the planet as a whole.

It is a moot question whether, in a more tranquil world, governments would have spent so much to learn about sea water and air around the globe.

For whatever motives, the result was a coordinated effort involving several thousand scientists from 67 nations.


Climate change ranked low on the list of IGY priorities.

The IGY's official reports scarcely noticed many meteorological subjects, for example, computer modeling.

But with such a big sum of new money, there was bound to be something for topics that happened to be related to climate.


Highly important work was done under IGY auspices.

For one thing, a young scientist studied the level of carbon dioxide gas (CO2)in the atmosphere, and found it was rising.

Without the IGY funding, this crucial warning signal might have been delayed a decade or more.


Meanwhile a permanent scientific presence was established in Antarctica, and ice drilling began in Greenland, leading toward a demonstration that ice cores held a record of the history of climate.

If the first artificial satellites were launched largely from Cold War motives, they had a grand potential for monitoring the Earth's air and seas in the spirit of the IGY.

No less important, spending all that IGY money pushed meteorologists, oceanographers and other Earth scientists to coordinate their work, at both the national and international levels, to an extent that had been sadly missing until then.

The field of geophysics rose to a new level of strength and cohesion as an international community.


The difficulties of bringing together the diverse topics involved in climate change are described in a supplementary essay on Climatology as a Profession.

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The effort still fell far short of gathering the kind of data from around the globe that would be needed to understand the atmosphere well.

For example, even at the peak of the IGY there was only one station reporting upper-level winds for a swath of the South Pacific Ocean 50 degrees wide — one-seventh of the Earth's circumference.

The lack of data posed insuperable problems for atmospheric scientists, in particular those who hoped to build computer models that could show a realistic climate, or even just predict weather a few days ahead.

Conversations among mid-level officials, and a 1961 report from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, brought the problem to the attention of the American government.

A solution was at hand after the U.S. launched a satellite that could watch the entire globe's weather from orbit, but only if its data could be checked against ground-level observations.

President John F. Kennedy saw an opportunity to improve his administration's standing with the U.S. public, who were skeptical of the value of his ambitious plans for spacefaring.

The government also had in mind the Cold War arguments that had favored the IGY — launching an international research program could improve the nation's prestige abroad, give a window into the Soviet Union's science programs, and justify the principle of sending satellites over other nations' territories (which would be crucial for gathering military intelligence).

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in 1961, Kennedy called for "cooperative efforts between all nations in weather prediction and eventually in weather control."


The President mentioned that one result would be "a better understanding of the processes that determine the system of world climate," but the primary goal he offered was the traditional one, improved weather predictions.

The first step would be world-wide gathering and exchange of data.

The WMO eagerly took up the proposal, forming a "task force" consisting of exactly two men, Bugaev and Wexler.

They quickly organized a World Weather Watch using balloons, satellites, and so forth.

The Watch has continued down to the present as the core WMO activity.

It has served weather forecasters everywhere, scarcely impeded by the Cold War and other international conflicts — a radiant demonstration of how science can transcend nationalism (even when the original motives included a strong nationalist component).

Among the most important, and most obscure, jobs of the meteorologists was to agree on standards for exchanging data: how many times a day should a station measure the wind, for example, and at what times, and exactly how?

As historian Paul Edwards has pointed out, "Global standards were blocked by both perceived national interests and the sheer inertia of existing practices."

The standardization gradually achieved by the World Weather Watch capped more than a century of difficult negotiations and formed the essential foundation for everything that the world's scientists would eventually be able to say about climate change.

The World Weather Watch and the WMO had reached the status of what specialists in international relations call an “international regime.”

Indeed they are paradigmatic of such regimes, prominent among the examples that J.G. Ruggie gave in a classic 1975 paper on the need to restructure international institutions to deal with the ever greater scope of scientific and technological developments.

In defining for the first time the term "international regime," viz. as "a set of mutual expectations, rules and regulations, plans, organizational energies and financial commitments, which have been accepted by a group of states," Ruggie highlighted the coordination among national weather bureaus.

The WMO succeeded because it tied together preexisting national systems with technical standards and guidelines for communication.

As Edwards points out, "It marked the successful transfer of standard-setting and coordinating powers from national weather services to a permanent, globalist intergovernmental organization... a genuinely global infrastructure."

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The actual work was not carried out by a single hierarchical, coordinated bureaucracy, but by individual national agencies.

What tied them together was not authoritarian control, but a set of norms for behavior and rules of procedure that had been worked out over the centuries within the scientific community.

ICSU, determined not to be left out, decided to join the WMO in organizing global meteorological research.

As a union of independent, mostly academic, scientific groups, ICSU often took a different view of affairs than the WMO, the UN-administered confederation of governmental agencies.


Their negotiations were ponderous and sometimes frustrating.

Nevertheless in 1967 the two organizations managed to set up a Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP).

The program's primary goal was better weather forecasting, but the organizers, with an eye on the steadily rising curve of atmospheric CO2, meant to study climate too.

The organization was inevitably complex.

An international committee of scientists would set policy, helped by a small full-time planning staff in Geneva.

Panels of specialists would design individual projects,while boards of government representatives would arrange for funding and other support.

Also necessary was an additional layer, national panels to guide the participation by each individual nation (for the United States, the group was appointed by the National Academy of Sciences).


Already by 1973 the observing system for GARP and the World Weather Watch was in place — seven satellites, four of them built by the United States and one each by the Soviet Union, the European Space Agency, and Japan.

Evidently the organizational complexities were not a hindrance but an advantage, at least in the hands of people who knew how to work the system.

The chair of GARP's organizing committee during its crucial formative years 1968-1971 was a Swedish meteorologist, Bert Bolin.

He had started his career with the arcane mathematics of atmospheric circulation, working with top experts like Carl-Gustav Rossby and Jule Charney.

He won a high reputation by devising equations for weather prediction computers, first in Princeton and then back in Stockholm.

In 1957, shortly before Rossby died unexpectedly, he encouraged Bolin to turn to geochemistry — a study whose importance had suddenly been raised by the discovery that the greenhouse effect might become a serious matter.

Bolin went to work on CO2 and became an expert on the gas's chemical and biological operations.


He was also one of the first scientists to study pollution from aerosols, showing that they had a significant cooling effect on the climate of entire regions.

Yet when Bolin was chosen to organize GARP, it was less for his wide-ranging scientific savvy than for his exceptional skills in communicating and inspiring people.

It helped that he was based in traditionally neutral Sweden, but it was more important that, as one colleague put it, Bolin was "a brilliant and honest scientist, who listened to and respected diverse views."

Self-effacing and soft-spoken, as Bolin developed his diplomatic skills he would become the mainstay of international climate organizing efforts for the next quarter-century.

Among Bolin's difficult tasks was getting people not only from different countries but from different geophysics fields to find a common language.

The central activity of GARP was coordinating international research projects, which gathered specialized sets of data on a global scale, complementing the routine record-keeping of the World Weather Watch.

Historian Paul Edwards has pointed out that such networks of measurement became essential in the modern world's process of "globalization."

Few recognized how powerfully these networks pressed people to communicate, cooperate, and establish standards.

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The process was never straightforward.

Great heaps of raw data are meaningless in themselves; as Edwards points out, raw data must be standardized by processing it through layers of computation.

These computations are inescapably based on particular theoretical ideas.

What ultimately emerges is a picture of "the world" as represented by a computer model.


(Afterall, it was partly the computer modelers' demands for world-wide standardized data that drove agencies to create measurement networks in the first place.)

Then, to an extent rarely noticed, the summary information sets agendas for policy-makers.

The World Weather Watch and other meteorological programs were pioneers in the process, but during the last quarter of the 20th century, measurement networks ranged into many other fields of economic and social life, from trade figures to disease statistics.

GARP itself, while including research on climate, was aimed more at meteorology.

Global climate, one scientist recalled, "was considered a very subordinate field compared with synoptic forecasting, atmospheric research, and so forth."

Some even questioned whether the WMO should continue work in climatology at all.

But in the late 1960s an environmental movement was everywhere on the rise, and officials could no longer ignore global changes.

As a first step, in 1969 the WMO's Commission for Climatology established a working group on climate forecasts.

Meanwhile the WMO itself passed a resolution calling for global monitoring of climate and atmospheric pollutants, including CO2.

Climate was also among the many topics addressed by a Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), established by ICSU officials in 1969 as an international framework for collecting environmental data and for related research.


The SCOPE committee, aware of the CO2 greenhouse problem, promoted the first extensive studies of how carbon passes through bio-geochemical systems.

Climate scientists met one another in an increasing number of scientific meetings, from cozy workshops to swarming conferences.

The first significant conferences where scientists discussed climate change included the topic as just one of several "Global Effects of Environmental Pollution," to quote the title of a two-day symposium held in Dallas, Texas in 1968.

This path-breaking symposium was followed by a month-long "Study of Critical Environmental Problems" (SCEP) organized at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970.

All but one of the participants at MIT were residents of the United States, and some felt that environmental issues demanded a more multinational approach, particularly to meet the need for standardized global research programs.

This led directly to a second, more comprehensive gathering of experts from 14 nations in Stockholm in 1971, funded by an assortment of private and government sources.

The Stockholm meeting focused specifically on climate change — a "Study of Man's Impact on Climate" (SMIC).

Breaking away from the environmental movement's usual local and regional concerns to focus on global problems, the lengthy SCEP and SMIC meetings were "bonding experiences as well as opportunities for scientific exchange."


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The exhaustive SMIC discussions failed to work out a consensus among scientists who felt greenhouse gases were warming the Earth and those who felt pollution from particles was cooling it.

Nevertheless, all agreed in issuing a report with stern warnings about the risk of severe climate change.

Among other things, the reviewers noted the possibility that warming would melt polar ice, which would reduce the Earth's reflection of sunlight and thus accelerate the warming.

With such unstable feedbacks at work, the climate could shift dangerously "in the next hundred years," the scientists declared, and "as a result of man's activities."


What should be done?

Like almost all scientists at the time, the SMIC experts called mainly for more research, to determine how serious the problem really was.

They recommended a major international program to monitor the environment, much larger and better integrated than the scattered efforts of the time, as well as more research with computer models and so forth.

The SMIC meeting had been organized specifically to prepare for a pioneering United Nations Conference on the Human Environment that was held the following year, again in Stockholm.

The SMIC Report was "required reading" for the delegates.

Heeding the report's recommendations, along with voices from many directions calling attention to other environmental problems, the Stockholm conference set in motion a vigorous new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

From this point forward, gathering data and other research on the climate was a concern — although only one among many — of the U.N.'s environmental activities.


Meanwhile the GARP committee set up a series of internationally coordinated large-scale observations of the oceans and atmosphere.

As usual the main goal was improved short-term weather prediction, but as usual the findings could also be useful for climate studies.

The best-known of these projects was the GARP Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE, an acronym containing an acronym!).

The aim of the exercise was to understand the enormous transport of moisture and heat from tropical oceans into the atmosphere wherever cumulus clouds billowed up.

As one participant boasted, GATE was "the largest and most complex international scientific undertaking yet attempted."

In the summer of 1974, a dozen aircraft and 40 research ships from 20 nations made measurements across a large swath of the tropical Atlantic Ocean, along with a satellite launched specially to linger overhead.

Increasingly in such studies, not only would one find teams from different nations cooperating, but even within a single team the individual members might come from a half dozen different nations.

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While these studies proceeded through the early 1970s, the world public's climate anxieties were jumping higher as savage droughts and other weather disasters struck several important regions.

The Secretary-General of the WMO took note of "the many references to the possible impacts of climatic changes on world food production and other human activities at various international meetings," including both a special session of the U.N. General Assembly and a World Food Conference in 1974.

The WMO resolved to take the lead in this newly prominent field, organizing an increased number of conferences and working groups on climate change.

GARP planners too decided to give additional stress to climate research, making what one leader called a "belated, though earnest and sincere" effort to bring in oceanographers and polar researchers.

Nevertheless, the study of long-term climate change remained a relatively minor topic, even while studies of short-term weather flourished.


A rapid rise in publications on climate change had begun in the 1950s.

That did not mean much, for the starting level had been negligibly small.

In 1975, only about 75 scientific papers were published world-wide on any aspect of the subject, and the rate of increase was sluggish compared with "hot" fields of science.

(Some of these papers, however, presented important scientific advances.)

From Research to Policy

Despite growing public and scientific interest in climate change, the funding for research on the topic was now generally static in every country.

The number of PhD's granted in the sciences of the Earth, oceans and atmosphere, which had grown rapidly until the mid 1970s, levelled off.


The same thing was happening in most fields of science during the economically stagnant 1970s.

But climate science had special problems because it lacked a committed sponsor.

Funding was dispersed among numerous private organizations and relatively small and weak government agencies.

An example of the problems was the struggle to sustain a Climatic Research Unit that Hubert H. Lamb established in 1971 at the University of East Anglia in England.

One of a very few institutions dedicated to climate research, the Unit would make path-breaking studies of climate history, but its funding from the government was trifling.

Only a scramble to secure grants from various private foundations allowed the work to move forward.


Climate scientists had little chance to get access to policy-makers.

If they convinced their contacts among lower-level officials that climate change posed a problem, these officials themselves had scant influence with the higher reaches of their governments.

The best opportunities lay elsewhere.

As one scholar commented, "national research had in many countries a better chance of influencing international policy than domestic policy."

By the mid 1970s, when science officials in various countries became so concerned about climate change that they began to contemplate policy actions, they found sympathetic ears among officials engaged in United Nations activities.

One notable example was Robert M. White, who in his position as head of the U.S. Weather Bureau, and afterward of the agency responsible for all government meteorology and oceanography (NOAA), was his nation's official representative to the WMO.

Already in the early 1960s, Bob White had been one of the founders of the World Weather Watch.

Now in all his official capacities he pressed for cooperative research on climate change, using American government commitments to influence WMO and vice versa.

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Scientists' demands for action led to a 1978 International Workshop on Climate Issues, held under WMO and ICSU auspices in Vienna.

The participants laid plans for a pioneering World Climate Conference.


Their mode of organization was crucial, setting a standard for many later efforts.

Participation would be by invitation, mostly scientists and some government officials.

Well in advance, the conference organizers commissioned a set of review papers inspecting the state of climate science.


These were circulated, discussed, and revised.

Then more than 300 experts from more than 50 countries convened in a World Climate Conference in Geneva in 1979 (under the chairmanship of the invaluable Bob White) to examine the review papers and recommend conclusions.

The experts' views were diverse, and they managed to reach a consensus only that there was a "serious concern that the continued expansion of man's activities" — in particular emissions of CO2 — "may cause significant extended regional and even global changes of climate."

Effects were likely to become visible by the end of the century.

Governments should therefore start preparing "to redirect, if necessary, the operations of many aspects of the world economy, including agriculture and the production of energy."

And of course they called for more funding for research on climate change and its potential impacts.

This cautious statement about an eventual "possibility" was scarcely news, and it caught little attention.


Conferences and other international bodies shied away from any statement that might seem partisan.

Scientific societies since their outset (that is, since the foundation of the Royal Society of London in the 17th century) had explicitly held themselves apart from politics.

This tradition was doubly strong in international science associations, which could not hope to keep cooperation going if they published anything but facts that all agreed upon.

Every word of key statements was negotiated, sometimes at great length.

After SCOPE issued a report, when journalists at a press conference asked a leader of the work what he thought governments should do, he replied, "They should read the report."

When the journalists said, "Okay, but what next?" he replied, "They should read it again."


The most influential work of those who attended the 1978 Vienna conference was structural.

Besides organizing the 1979 Geneva meeting, they called for a climate program established in its own right, to replace the miscellaneous collection of uncoordinated "meteorological" studies.

The government representatives in the WMO and the scientific leaders in ICSU took the advice, and in 1979 launched a World Climate Programme (WCP) with various branches.

These branches included groups that coordinated routine global data-gathering, plus a World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

The WCRP was the successor to the portion of GARP that had been concerned with climate change.

It inherited the GARP organization and logistics, including WMO administrative support plus its own small staff, and an independent scientific planning committee.

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