Greenhouse Gases: A Historical Perspective
Robert Boyle during the middle of the seventeenth century thought that atmosphere not only contains subtle matter or ether but also filled with the emanations of volcanoes, decaying vegetations, and animals. William Ramsay a century later narrated that the atmospheric air and its analysis will cover a great part of chemistry and physics. However, the actual constituents of the air were identified only in the beginning of the eighteenth century. Carbon dioxide was identified by Joseph Black in 1750. Daniel Rutherford isolated nitrogen. Carl Scheele and Joseph independently identified oxygen a few years later. Henry Cavendish (1781) analyzed the composition of the air as 79.16% nitrogen and 20.84% oxygen irrespective of location and metrological conditions (West 2014).
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