How the Cold War led us to Climate Change

af | 24. april 2021 | Forskning

​In this video I talk about the genesis of climate change in the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union. This conflict pulled together all the pieces necessary to discover that humans were influencing the Earth’s climate. It gave scientists the funding to measure key variables like atmospheric CO2 and temperature, and the equipment, designed for nuclear war, to do so. At the same time, the development of nuclear warfare gave science a powerful new weapon: the digital computer. If it wasn’t for the Cold War, we wouldn’t be aware of the problem of anthropogenic global warming. Also sorry, this isn’t a video about Call of Duty Black Ops lol.

1. The discovery of global warming. SR Weart. Harvard University Press, 2008.
2. Shown here is John von Neumann, a key figure in the development of both computers and nuclear weapons. See e.g. Note that according to this site the MANIAC is as I state in the video, while according to other sources e.g. the wiki it’s the Mathematical Analyzer Numerical Integrator and Automatic Computer. Both are kind of nonsense backronyms!
5. Figure comparing Hansen’s prediction to the observations of the following 30 years taken from here

Simon Clark