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50 Years Ago

Science Past from the issue of May 9, 1959

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Forecast 25% increase in air’s carbon dioxide — A 25% increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere during the 150-year period ending in 2000 A.D. has been forecast. Dr. Bert Bolin of the University of Stockholm in Sweden told the National Academy of Sciences meeting in Washington that the burning of coal, oil and gas was adding carbon dioxide to the air at about one-half a percent each year.… The increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the last 100 years, he said, is much more likely to be about eight percent than the usually quoted two percent. Carbon dioxide is believed the cause for earth’s suspected warming trend of two to three degrees Fahrenheit in the last 50 years.

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