World of Thermo… Story 10…Arrhenius

Not every human was blind to the effects of carbon dioxide, however.  A Swedish scientist and icon in the climate science world named Savant August Arrhenius was doing some scientific work on physics of this planet as well as the universe. He became interested in the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Arrhenius developed a theory to explain ice ages. In 1896 he was the first scientist to attempt to calculate how changes in the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could alter the Earth’s temperature through the greenhouse effect.

By 1896 Carbo was palling around with two hench molecules (henchmen) named Roasty and Toasty. Carbo was using these two hench molecules, who were rather dumb, but slightly more intelligent than the vast other trillions of released CO2 molecules to spy on humankind to make sure that more coal, oil and machinery that used fossil fuels were ever increasing as the industrial revolution moved right along.

Toasty, who was very well adapted to psychically reading human’s brains to spy on thoughts, noticed for the first time what Arrhenius was up to.  Upon learning that Arrhenius had postulated a greenhouse theory, Toasty became a little alarmed. He knew that he would have to immediately report this to Carbo.  Toasty quickly moved skyward to catch the westward jet stream winds towards Carbo’s current lair in a hidden cave (yes always a cave for those lairs) somewhere in the Russian Caucasus Mountains.

Upon returning to Carbo’s lair Toasty said, “Duh I think that one of these humans may be onto something.”   Carbo said, “Well, idiot tell me who and what!”  Toasty glanced sheepishly at Roasty then said “The scientist’s name is Arrhenius from Sweden. I stumbled upon him during my tour of Europe yesterday.  The man has actually come up with the greenhouse effect theory involving us.”  Knowing that his hench molecules came up with some wild, paranoid observations, Carbo said, “Don’t worry about this Toasty. One lone human scientist is going to be ignored by the rest of the world, which was true for most of the 20th century to come.  Just relax Toasty and enjoy some fresh oxygen soup, which I just made today.” Much later during the late 20th century Carbo would regret ignoring Toasty’s warning.


In reality climate scientists praise and admire Arrhenius’ early work on the greenhouse effect.  Arrhenius during his life also had much success in other fields of physics such as astronomy. In 2016 documents were discovered indicating that the first scientist to identify the greenhouse effect was Eunice Foote in 1857. Irish physicist John Tyndall is commonly credited for discovering the greenhouse effect in 1859, which underpins the science of climate change, but it would appear that Eunice Foote beat him to it.

The text and artwork are copyright by Guy Walton. I would like to get this book published. Please drop me a note if you are willing to help.

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