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Guy Callendar

Who says you need a fancy lab to do science? Aarati tells the story of the man who showed human activity was influencing the climate from the comfort of his own home. 

Episode Transcript Arpita: 0:10 Hi everyone, and welcome to the Smart Tea Podcast, where we talk about the lives of scientists and innovators who shape the world. How are you, Aarati? Aarati: 0:19 I'm doing great, Arpita. How are you? Arpita: 0:21 I'm good. Spring is springing here. Aarati: 0:24 It is. I love it. The weather is so warm. I just went out for like half an hour today and just baked in the sun and it was glorious. It was just... I was so warm afterwards. I was so happy. Arpita: 0:38 You did just a little marinate. Aarati: 0:39 Yeah. And you know, my dog Kyro also like will take any opportunity to come out with me and sit and sunbathe. So we just spent a little bit of quality time in the middle of the day, just warming ourselves. It was fantastic. Arpita: 0:54 That sounds so nice. My cats do that too. I feel like there's more sunshine in the apartment too, is like the little sunspots on the rugs or like on the floor, they'll just like curl themselves there. So they'll just roast in the sun. Aarati: 1:07 It's amazing. Did you see the eclipse? Arpita: 1:10 I did see the eclipse. I went outside with my protective glasses on my roof and saw our little thumbnail sun. It was very great. Aarati: 1:19 Yeah, just like 40 percent or 50 percent coverage or something. But yeah, I saw it. Um, I saw it as well. And again, I think my dog was like, what are you doing? Whatever. I'm taking the opportunity to sit outside. But yeah, it was super cool. Arpita: 1:35 My partner went, To the path of totality. So he actually got to see the whole thing and he said it was like one of the coolest experiences. So how, I mean, the pictures that he has look amazing too. And like the sky goes dark and it gets cooler. It looks really, really cool. Aarati: 1:50 I'm so jealous. I heard that like, the hotels and Airbnbs and stuff on the path of totality were just insanely priced, like so expensive for that, that day. Arpita: 2:01 Um, yeah, it seemed like they had a really, really fun time when he was booking it, which was like months ago. I was just like, okay, cool. Like have fun with that. And then on the actual day, I was like, I'm kind of jealous. Aarati: 2:11 Yeah, it was so cool just to see 50%. It would have been awesome to see a hundred percent. Okay. I'm jealous. Good for him. Yeah. Arpita: 2:21 Well, so the next one I was looking at the map, um, do you want to take a trip to Madrid? We can go, we can go see the eclipse there. Aarati: 2:28 Oh my God. Yes. Let's one up him. Not only are we going to see the eclipse, we're going to see it in Madrid. Right. Arpita: 2:33 Love that for us. Aarati: 2:34 Yes. That would be awesome. Oh my God. Amazing. What else is new? Arpita: 2:40 I went on my bachelorette trip this last weekend. Um, we went to Portland, just outside of Portland, like Mount Hood area, like on the border between Oregon and Washington. And it was so lovely, just like kind of misty Pacific Northwest, rainy. Um, I got to see some of my friends from college that I don't actually get to see very often. And just had that like quality time with your friends where you do like those, belly laughs where you can't catch your breath, you know, and everyone was just having so much fun. Um, so it was great. It was like great to have quality time and, um, just be outdoors and have just like a fun time on a weekend. So I had a very, very lovely time. Anyone was on that trip who's listening. I love and appreciate you very much. Thank you so much for hanging out with me. Aarati: 3:23 I love Portland. Portland is so nice. Arpita: 3:26 So nice. Aarati: 3:26 Yeah. Have you been there before, or is this your first time? Arpita: 3:30 I had been to Portland a few times, but not, um, not so far out like I hadn't been to Mount Hood before. Um, it's like a 45 minute drive away. So I've been to the city, but I hadn't actually done a lot of like nature exploring either and it's... so great. I would totally go back. Aarati: 3:44 Gorgeous. Gorgeous up there. Yeah. Arpita: 3:46 Gorgeous up there. Aarati: 3:47 Yeah. Arpita: 3:48 What about you? What's new with you? Aarati: 3:50 Oh, nothing so exciting as Portland. Oh, but so like the most exciting thing, honestly, that happened in my life this week is I finished my taxes, which I was just like, yes. Arpita: 4:00 Okay. That's a huge accomplishment. Aarati: 4:02 I know. I feel like I've been working on it for a month and it's finally done. So I'm like, Oh yes, Arpita: 4:07 Especially the small business owner, like that can't be easy. Aarati: 4:10 Oh my God, it's so annoying. And like, there's so many things... I really wish, like, I've been seeing all these TikTok videos about people who are saying, like, you know, the government knows how much we owe them. Why do they not just tell us and then we can pay and then we're done and instead we have to fill out all of this paperwork and go through all these hoops and I'm like, I'm, I'm a hundred percent sure I filled it out wrong, like the first three times and had to scrap it and start over again. And, you know, finally I think I figured it out, but... Arpita: 4:39 I think about every time and then I think about the fact that I can't possibly be their target for auditing. So then I just stopped worrying about it after that. Aarati: 4:47 Yeah. I'm just like, Oh man, if I get audited, have fun digging through the mess that is my file folders and stuff and. Just tell me how much I owe you at that point because I don't know. Arpita: 5:00 What what happens if you get audited and then it's not the correct amount like what happens like do you get in trouble or they just say your deficit this much and then you just pay that because that doesn't sound that bad. Aarati: 5:11 I, yeah, I'm hoping it's the second Arpita: 5:13 Because like doesn't it just seem like someone checks your work if that's the case of like honestly like let's just get audited every year like that's fine but is it like bad like do you get in trouble you Aarati: 5:22 I don't know. I don't know. Do you have to pay a penalty or something? Arpita: 5:25 I mean, it's not evasion right? Aarati: 5:26 Yeah! Arpita: 5:26 It's not evasion. You're just like, if you got the number wrong, like what? I feel like I'm gonna have to edit this out because we gonna sound really dumb right now? Aarati: 5:33 Yep. But like the other thing I was thinking is why do they not teach you this in school? Like why is there no... Arpita: 5:38 Oh, that too. Aarati: 5:39 Why? Why is there no class in high school that's like, here's, here's how you deal with all these forms and what all these numbers mean. And it's just like, oh my God. Insane. But like, yeah, I did it and. Oh, it's such a relief. I'm just like, okay. And I got the little thing from TurboTax saying your chances of being audited are very low. And I'm like, great. Arpita: 6:01 Good. Great job. Aarati: 6:02 Yes. Arpita: 6:02 Very proud of you. Aarati: 6:03 Thank you. Thank you. Um... Arpita: 6:05 All right. Should we jump in? Aarati: 6:07 Yeah, let's, let's jump in. Arpita: 6:09 Who are we talking about this week? Aarati: 6:11 So I'm doing this episode this week and I thought since it is April, which is Earth Month, and also because you mentioned I have a small business, um, where I make science communications material, and I kind of started that business in the climate tech space, I should really do a climate person, because we haven't done a climate person yet. So today we are going to be talking about Guy Callender, who is the first person to really put together that humans have an effect on the amount of carbon dioxide that's in the atmosphere. And are actually contributing to climate change. Arpita: 6:54 Oh, wow. That's huge. I feel like that's like a huge part of what we talk about when climate change, like just in the conversation in general is like human impact on how this works. So that sounds super exciting. Aarati: 7:05 Yeah. Cause obviously there's a lot of scientists that kind of put together the whole entire story, but he put together this like one very. crucial piece, and we don't hear about him that much, so. Arpita: 7:18 Yeah, I've never heard of him. Aarati: 7:19 Okay, so let's get into the story. So, Guy Callendar was born on February 9th, 1898 in Montreal, Canada, to Hugh Longbourn Callendar and Mary Victoria Stewart. Guy had an older brother, Leslie, and an older sister, Cecile. And as in many of these stories that we've told so far, uh, their father, Hugh, had a really great academic reputation. In 1885, Hugh was working in Cambridge University, and there he developed a platinum resistance thermometer, which measures the temperature of something by measuring its electrical resistance, which is proportional to temperature. So Hugh's thermometer allowed people to accurately measure temperatures that, um, they hadn't been able to before, like really high temperature things like metal alloys. And that was really helpful to construction workers and metallurgic engineers who needed to measure those kinds of things. And over the years, he made many different types of thermometers that were either more precise or had a higher range than before. And he even made medical thermometers that were connected to temperature recording devices. So you could stick a thermometer in a patient and get a readout over time. Arpita: 8:34 Oh, yeah, yeah. Aarati: 8:35 So eventually, Hugh moved to Canada to become a physics professor at McGill University. Uh, here he worked on a bunch of things. He worked on the thermodynamics of steam engines, medical X-ray photography, and even experiments that looked at how the temperature of soil changed relative to its depth. So he was just kind of like all over the place. Arpita: 8:57 Yeah. Aarati: 8:58 Um, and in fact, he was nominated for the Nobel prize in physics three times, although he never actually won it. Arpita: 9:04 Wow. That like as a young person, he was nominated. Aarati: 9:08 Well, I mean, we're talking about his father. So... Arpita: 9:11 Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, Aarati: 9:13 That's okay. We're talking about Hugh. I'm just setting the scene for like, this is his family. Yeah. So, got it. This is his father. Arpita: 9:19 This was the dad. Aarati: 9:20 Yeah. This is the dad. Yes. So the dad was nominated, uh, for the Nobel Prize three times. Arpita: 9:25 She's back on track. Aarati: 9:26 Yes. Good, good. Um, but he wasn't a total nerd. Uh, he also was into sports. He played tennis, lacrosse and was on the shooting team at McGill. And in his free time, because he apparently still had some free time, um, he liked to tinker with car engines and motorcycles, and it was like a really big hobby of his. Arpita: 9:51 I feel like there's a lot of tinkerers in our repertoire. Aarati: 9:53 Yeah, a lot of tinkerers. Yeah. So, Guy, who we're actually talking about, was born, Guy was born into this family, um, and before his first birthday, his father is offered a very lucrative position back in England at the University College London, which is where our friend Joseph Lister had gone to school about 50 years ago. Fun fact. So, the Callender family moves back to England, and this is where Guy grows up. His father bought a car, modified it to fit five passengers, and would take the family for high speed joyrides around the English countryside. Arpita: 10:32 Oh my god. Aarati: 10:33 Yeah. Arpita: 10:36 High speed joyrides with your whole family. Love that energy. Aarati: 10:39 Yeah. And I was also thinking like high speed must have been like 50 miles an hour or something at the time. Arpita: 10:47 Also, what does modified to fit five people be like, where did he like strap on an extra seat? Aarati: 10:51 I'm kind of like, not, I'm not sure. And I was kind of scared to find it. I don't know. I don't know what that means. And maybe that is something that's best. left unanswered because Guy couldn't have been like more than three at this point. So I'm sure it was super safe. Arpita: 11:08 I'm sure it was super safe. This reminds me, one of my, um, friends is a pediatrician and she was talking about how old timey car seats were basically like a basket with a piece of rope across the lap that just like holds your baby in. And so you just like think about what car seats look like now where they're like, you know, like super strapped in and really protected that it was like really just like a basket and it wasn't even. that old timey, but then this makes me think of that where like you just like strap a kid on to the side of your car, just cruising around the countryside. Aarati: 11:40 Yeah, thanks to Hugh's professorship and royalties from all his thermometers that he had patented, they were soon able to move into a lavish 22 room house with two garages where Hugh could work on his cars, a large library, a full size sports lawn, a putting green and a flower garden. Arpita: 12:03 Wait, they did this off of thermometer money? Aarati: 12:05 Yes, like professorship money. Yeah, professorship and thermometer patents bought them this house. Arpita: 12:11 It's crazy. Aarati: 12:12 Yeah. Arpita: 12:13 22 rooms. Aarati: 12:14 I know. Um, in 1905, Hugh and Victoria had one more child, Max. So that's Guy's little brother now. And all four children were highly encouraged to play and explore. Hugh turned the greenhouse into a laboratory and let his kids tinker around in there. Um, although I think maybe they were given a little bit too much freedom because apparently Guy's older brother Leslie almost blew up the greenhouse while trying to make TNT. Arpita: 12:44 Oh my God. Aarati: 12:45 Yeah. Arpita: 12:46 This sounds like the Alfred Nobel story where they were just like running around like blowing stuff up and like there's no safety protocols in place. Aarati: 12:54 Exactly. Arpita: 12:55 No car seats, no safety, blowing stuff up the greenhouse. Aarati: 12:59 And also for some reason, um, it's not known why, but Leslie stuck a pin in Guy's left eye, leaving him partially blind for the rest of his life. Arpita: 13:09 Oh my... A pin? Aarati: 13:11 Yeah. Arpita: 13:12 Dude. Aarati: 13:12 Just, older brothers will be older brothers, I guess. I think people who grew up with older brothers must be like a different breed if that's the type of shenanigans they get up to. Arpita: 13:22 Way more resilient than me. Aarati: 13:24 Yes. But I mentioned that because it will become important later, so. Arpita: 13:28 Okay. He's partially blind. Aarati: 13:30 Yes. In 1913, Guy enrolled in high school at St. Paul's in Hammersmith, but two years later, a couple of things happened that really disrupted this kind of idyllic life that he had. Uh, his older sister, Cecile, whom he loved very much, tragically died from pneumonia at the age of just 19. Also, World War I started, and this had a huge impact on his school life because many students and teachers at St. Paul were extremely patriotic, so a bunch of them decided to enlist. Arpita: 14:01 Mm hmm. Aarati: 14:02 Um, the school itself was also transformed with shortened instruction hours to avoid air raids and to make up for the lack of teachers. And military drills and bayonetting practice even became part of the curriculum. Arpita: 14:15 Oh, whoa. Aarati: 14:16 Yeah. But Guy did not enjoy this at all. He was still going through the very deep emotional shock of losing his sister. And he seemed to find the war to be this really horrible thing that would just cut short the lives of many more young people. So while he was patriotic, the thought of all of the violence was just very disturbing to him. But thanks to his older brother, Leslie, sticking a pin in his eye, Guy was ineligible for combat because he was blind in the one eye. So that worked out. Arpita: 14:50 It's just not good. It's like not good, but a little good. Aarati: 14:54 Yeah, a little good. Arpita: 14:55 You know, I mean, you see like all the TikToks about people who are like, if there's a draft now, like, there's no way, like, anyone would go, like, we're not resilient. Like, if we get drafted now, like, all of us are going to, like, simply perish. Aarati: 15:08 Yeah. It's going to be horrible. Yeah. Arpita: 15:11 Can you imagine, like, the average, like, Gen Z er or Millennial. Aarati: 15:14 Oh my God, no. Arpita: 15:15 Being drafted. Aarati: 15:18 Oh my god. Arpita: 15:19 It would be so bad. Aarati: 15:20 It would be terrible. Okay, so, yeah, so he can't, he can't go to combat, so instead he went to work at his father's lab in Imperial College as a technician, where he worked on aircraft engines, learned about the electromagnetic spectrum, and gained experience using hydrophones to detect submarines. So, just a lot of random, all around experience. Arpita: 15:42 What is a hydrophone? Aarati: 15:44 It's like a thing, like a microphone that you stick into the water and then it can detect sounds from submarines, so... Arpita: 15:51 Oh, that's cool. Aarati: 15:52 Hydro for water. Microphone, hydrophone. Yeah. Arpita: 15:57 That's cool. Aarati: 15:57 Yeah. So after the war was over, Guy officially enrolled in Imperial College and earns a degree in mechanics and mathematics. He graduated in 1922 and immediately started working in his father's physics lab on steam engines. Uh, he helped his father gather research to update what was known as the Callendar Steam Tables, which was a standard reference book where scientists and engineers could look up information about the properties of steam and other gases at various temperatures and pressures. So it was like this extremely important book for people who are working on thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and material sciences. So, um, they put out like a new edition every year, every few years with updated data. And Guy helped his father with that. Arpita: 16:47 Are steam engines the norm right now in this time period? Aarati: 16:50 I think so. Yeah. So we're kind of like just, a couple of decades into the industrial era right now. So yeah. Arpita: 16:58 Okay. So that's like the primary source of energy right now is like coal and steam. Aarati: 17:04 Yeah, exactly. Arpita: 17:05 Okay. Aarati: 17:06 Um, Guy also published his first paper with his father in 1926. Arpita: 17:10 It's kind of great that he got to go then just like work in his dad's lab. You know? Aarati: 17:13 I know. Arpita: 17:14 We love a nepo, baby. Aarati: 17:17 Yes. Um, yeah. And my next, my next thing is actually about that. Like he worked with his father for eight years, and overall they had a great relationship. Um, his father was super supportive of them. They both were great at sports. Guy especially liked tennis and bicycling, and he also picked up his love, his father's love of motorcycles and working on car engines. They were both described as hard working, detail oriented, and soft spoken, and although they prioritized their work over their social lives, they were both very committed to their families. So, great relationship overall. Arpita: 17:56 Yeah. That's really cute. Does he, so he's like still with his parents. He hasn't. He's not, he's not his family yet, right? Aarati: 18:04 Yeah, we're about, we're about to get there. Arpita: 18:05 Okay, I'm sorry. Aarati: 18:07 No, no, no. But, yeah, you're right. Um, so in 1930, Hugh Callender dies of pneumonia. And he left all of his steam research and any royalties related to his work on steam engines to Guy. Arpita: 18:21 What about the other kids? Aarati: 18:23 Well, that was just the steam engines part. Remember, he was like, all the thermometers and everything else in the world that he was working on was probably split up. So, Arpita: 18:31 Right. Okay. Aarati: 18:32 This was just... Arpita: 18:33 But the research... Aarati: 18:34 The steam stuff. Yeah. The steam research and the steam engine patents were all to Guy. Um, the same year in 1930, Guy got married to a woman named Phyllis Burdon Pentreath. Not a whole lot is known about how they met and fell in love, but it's suspected they may have met at the Ealing Tennis Club because they both love to play. Arpita: 18:57 That's cute. Aarati: 18:58 Yeah, although Guy was more competitive and actually liked to take part in tournaments, whereas it seemed like Phyllis was more of a recreational player. Um, so they were married and they had identical twin daughters, Anne and Bridget, whom Guy absolutely adored. Arpita: 19:15 That is so cute. Aarati: 19:16 Yeah. Arpita: 19:17 He really does give me girl dad energy though. Aarati: 19:20 He, he absolutely was. There's like pictures of him, like, at the beach with his family, and he's just like, in love with the both of them, so. Arpita: 19:29 Like the, when you were like, oh, he's like kind of soft spoken and kind of gentle, and he likes his family, but he's like still kind of nerdy, like, that gives me Girl Dad energy. Aarati: 19:36 Yeah, absolutely. He absolutely was. So after his father's death, Guy really steps up into the role of England's premier steam engineer. He continues to publish editions of the Callendar Steam Tables. And between 1929 and 1934, Guy attended a series of conferences called the International Steam Table Conferences, and I was just like thinking, they really will have a conference for anything. Like, some of the conferences that I've attended are so niche. Arpita: 20:08 So niche, but then there's like hundreds of people there. So that also like, doesn't really make sense. It like seems niche, but it's not. I, I'm with you. Aarati: 20:14 Yeah. So the first conference in 1929 was really Guy's introduction to the world as one of England's top steam engineers. A short while later in 1930, Guy met another scientist named Alfred Egerton, who had come to Imperial college to see Guy's steam apparatus. At first, Alfred wasn't super impressed with Guy, saying that he was quote unquote lacking fire. But after he saw an experiment being carried out on the apparatus, he realized that Guy was actually very smart and dedicated, just a very quiet and reserved person. So, Alfred and Guy set up a collaboration for a series of experiments that they presented together at the Second International Steam Table Conference in Berlin. And in fact, their partnership lasted their whole life, and Guy even made Alfred the godfather to one of his daughters. Arpita: 21:07 Aww. Aarati: 21:08 Yeah. Arpita: 21:09 Very cute. Aarati: 21:10 Yeah. Arpita: 21:11 This is so wholesome. Aarati: 21:13 Um, the third and last International Steam Table Conference happened in the USA and it was an attempt by scientists to, quote, standardize the actual and theoretical behavior of steam at high temperatures and pressures, unquote. Arpita: 21:28 I don't even know what that means. Aarati: 21:31 I think there was a lot of, like, uh, like, arguing between, especially between America and European scientists as to some of the, like, actual data as to how to measure steam and how to measure temperatures and how to measure pressures and which way was most accurate and, you know, whether we could rely on certain instruments and things like that. And so, they were having a conference to figure out if they could come up with a standardized way to be able to measure those kinds of things. I believe. I don't know. I'm pulling this out of nothing. Arpita: 22:09 We care about this because the primary source of energy was steam. So if I think about how to optimize engine function or machinery function, we need to know all the properties of steam in order to, like harness that in the best way possible. Aarati: 22:25 Exactly. Yeah. Arpita: 22:26 Okay. Aarati: 22:27 Yeah. So guy had to make the long transatlantic trip to America and this was the first time he had been away from home for such a long time and he got incredibly homesick. He wrote a series of letters to his wife that he always started with"My dearest Phyllis" and would always end with something like"Your ever loving, Guy" or"Your own devoted Guy." Arpita: 22:50 Goals. Aarati: 22:51 So cute. And his colleagues, and his colleagues would say that he was also very much the proud father who would whip out a photograph of his daughter's literally any chance he got. Just like constantly talking about his family. Arpita: 23:05 My heart. Aarati: 23:06 Yeah. Arpita: 23:07 So cute. Aarati: 23:08 Um, and that's really like the only way we actually know about their relationship and like how much he loved his family, those letters. Because the rest of the time he was always at home and he didn't keep any diaries or anything. So, um, these kind of quote unquote love letters that he wrote during this time are really the main window we have into him and his family. Arpita: 23:30 Yeah. It sounds like he was really soft spoken and sort of private too. So he wasn't really, you know, running around talking about this. So that makes sense. Aarati: 23:38 Yeah. Uh, the conference in the U. S. was a tremendous success and Guy's work and visibility in the community really benefited from the experience, but overall he was thrilled to just be able to return back home to his family. Arpita: 23:51 Honestly, relatable. That's how I feel. Aarati: 23:53 Same. Arpita: 23:54 We've talked about this a lot. We like to be at home. Aarati: 23:56 Yes. We are homebodies. Absolutely. Arpita: 23:58 We are homebodies. We get it, Guy. Aarati: 24:01 Yeah. So for the next couple of years, things are moving along smoothly. Guy has cemented his reputation as England's leading steam and combustion engineer. And at this point, I think a number of things start to kind of come together for him. First of all, his research as a steam engineer probably meant he was reading a lot of literature on water vapor and gases and how they reacted under different conditions. Um, so he had that going for him. Uh, second, kind of tangentially to that is that he carried over his dad's interest in developing tools that accurately measured and recorded constantly fluctuating temperatures and pressures. And then the third kind of random thing was that he was always keeping track of the weather to see how it would affect any of the upcoming tennis matches he was in. Arpita: 24:50 Oh, interesting. Aarati: 24:51 Yeah, and so over time, all of these things kind of naturally seemed to lead to an interest in climatology. And he started reading about the Earth's atmosphere and how it affected global temperatures. Arpita: 25:05 Is climatology already a thing at this point? Aarati: 25:08 Well, meteorology was, there definitely was the Royal Meteorological Society. Arpita: 25:14 Society. Yeah. So that's weather as a whole, but then what would be the difference between that and climatology? Aarati: 25:22 Um, I'm not a hundred percent sure. Let's see. I can look up climatology versus meteorology. Okay, so let's see. Meteorology is the study of weather and weather forecasting. Climatology is focused on the natural and artificial forces that influence long term weather patterns. Arpita: 25:45 Okay, so it's almost like short versus long term, just very, very broadly. So it's like thinking about what's going to happen next week versus what's going to happen years from now or what has happened. Aarati: 25:55 Yeah, like looking at trends, I think. Yeah. Arpita: 25:58 Yeah. Aarati: 25:59 Um, yeah, so he's, he's starting to study up on the Earth's atmosphere. And so for a bit of context, uh, he starts looking at work that has been done by scientists in the 19th century. So in the 1820s, a physicist named Joseph Fourier discovered that the Earth was actually warmer than it should be based on its distance from the sun. Arpita: 26:22 Interesting. Aarati: 26:23 He wasn't sure why, but he did hazard a guess that maybe it was the Earth's atmosphere. But he wasn't, you know, nailing that as the main cause. Arpita: 26:34 That is crazy that he figured out, like, what it should be and that it's not what it should be. Aarati: 26:38 Yeah. Yeah. He was like, based on how far we are from the sun, the earth should actually be colder than it is. Weird. Yeah. Um, in 1856, Eunice Foote had demonstrated that gases, specifically carbon dioxide, could trap heat from the sun, which suggested that the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could also trap heat to keep the earth warm, kind of like a greenhouse. In 1859, John Tyndall was the first to formally demonstrate that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was in fact causing a quote unquote greenhouse effect. And in 1896, Svante Arrhenius was able to quantify global warming. Arpita: 27:25 I definitely did not know that, like, the term global warming predated the 1900s. Aarati: 27:31 Yes. Arpita: 27:31 You know, like, to me, that seems Like Al Gore made that up and obviously that's not true, but... Aarati: 27:37 No. Yeah, I know... but I know what you mean it yeah, it kind of surprised me how far back this went like 19th century is so long ago. Arpita: 27:45 Yeah. Aarati: 27:46 But it is also important to note that these scientists that were studying this were studying it as a very natural phenomenon that and one that was beneficial to life on earth because if the earth actually didn't have an atmosphere and we didn't have carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, then the earth's average surface temperature would be zero degrees Fahrenheit or negative 18 degrees Celsius. Arpita: 28:10 Right. Aarati: 28:11 And at that temperature, all water on earth would be frozen and that would make life on Earth pretty much impossible. So yeah, so these scientists were really seeing it as a good thing. Arpita: 28:22 That makes a lot of sense though. Cause what was the guy's name who said that the Earth is warmer than it should be. Aarati: 28:26 Joseph Fourier. Arpita: 28:28 Yeah. So then maybe it was just that based on the fact that, you know, Mercury and Venus don't have atmospheres. And so are going to be at a different temperature. And then there's this insulation around the Earth which then allows it to be warmer than it quote, unquote should be. Aarati: 28:46 Yeah, Arpita: 28:46 That makes sense because I think I was, I'm primed, especially like in the age we live in to think about this as a negative thing. It's like hotter than it should be. So in my head, it's like, Oh, the Earth is warming and it's hotter than it should be based on, you know, historical data. But in this context, the scientist is really just saying it's just hotter than we're expecting it to be. And it's probably because we have an atmosphere. And, like, that's the discovery. Aarati: 29:14 And that's a great thing. And that's a good thing. Arpita: 29:16 It's a good thing. Yeah. Aarati: 29:16 It, like, it helped life on Earth become possible. So, yeah. Arpita: 29:21 But that context helps. Aarati: 29:22 Yeah. Yeah. They were very much looking at it as a natural, beneficial thing. That we, that Earth had an atmosphere with carbon dioxide in it, and that warmed the Earth enough for life to exist. So... Arpita: 29:34 That makes a lot of sense. Aarati: 29:35 Yeah, so it wasn't until 1899 when an associate of Arrhenius, Nils Ekholm, pointed out that the industrial era had just started in 1850. So what about all the coal and oil that humans were burning to fuel industry and build things? That released additional carbon dioxide into the air. And that was really the first time that people even considered the possibility that human activity might affect the atmosphere or might affect the climate. But many scientists immediately started to push back against that idea, saying that any additional carbon dioxide humans would have emitted would have no effect on the climate or that fluctuations would be temporary, but overall, you know, the Earth is, this huge, massive thing, and we humans are so small, and the Earth has ways of dealing with carbon dioxide, like we have all these carbon cycles, we have forests and oceans that absorb carbon dioxide naturally, so humans couldn't possibly have a very large or lasting effect on the environment. That's what they were saying. Arpita: 30:44 Honestly, like, I, I get it. It does feel difficult to fathom, right? It's like you think about, you know, this is not what they're doing, but it's like you're like, burn a fire. It's like, okay, like I burned a fire. And then you think about even just the the smoke dissipates and then like smells dissipate. And if you think about extrapolating that to gases, then like gases dissipate. So then it's hard to imagine that the Earth is so big. It's like, are we really making a dent in this? Like... Aarati: 31:09 We're so tiny. Arpita: 31:11 Sorry, I'm not a climate naysayer. I should say for the record, but I get that. Aarati: 31:16 I totally get it too. I'm like, yeah, what, what could I possibly do? What I'm just this tiny little human. Arpita: 31:23 Right. Aarati: 31:23 I'm so small. Like I can't possibly affect anything. Yeah. So I totally get that. Um, but Guy was not convinced. He was reading these papers and looking at the data that these, that these people were using to say that humans couldn't affect the climate. And he found that in many of those papers, the methods that they use to gather the values of carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere were out of date and unreliable. So in 1934, Guy started gathering his own data on weather and temperature, and importantly to note, he was not doing this in a lab. He wasn't given any kind of grant money or anything. He was just literally at his house doing this in his spare time. And it just became like this intense hobby of his. He started filling dozens of research notebooks with data of global temperature trends from over 200 weather stations around the globe. Um... Arpita: 32:22 Wait, so these are just, okay, so pre- internet, so we can't look up, we can't look up the temperature somewhere. And so how are all these weather stations talking to each other? Like is there a place where it's like all posted or like do they release atlases or? Aarati: 32:38 I feel like there must be some publications, yeah, like, like the Smithsonian Institute would release this report that no one read except for Guy. Arpita: 32:47 Yeah, yeah. Okay. Aarati: 32:48 Like those kinds of things. Um, but he also started measuring the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and looking at the infrared properties of various gases, which would allow him to calculate their warming effect on the earth. Someone just rang our doorbell and my dog is going nuts. Arpita: 33:13 He's like, hello. Aarati: 33:15 Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Um, anyway, so he also starts measuring the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the infrared properties of various gases, which would allow him to calculate their warming effect on the earth. And he starts studying the carbon cycle. So he starts really digging into how do the Earth's forests and oceans and living organisms absorb and emit carbon dioxide naturally. Arpita: 33:44 Yeah. Aarati: 33:45 So after three or four years in 1938, Guy published his first paper on the subject, which has become his most cited work. And it was called The Artificial Production of Carbon Dioxide and its Influence on Temperature. And in this paper, the first thing he asked was how much carbon dioxide had been emitted into the atmosphere due to burning fossil fuels. So he had gathered information on industrial activities, how much coal and oil they needed, and how much of these kinds of activities were happening around the world. And putting all of that together, he calculated that humans had emitted about 150 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air. between the years of 1900 and 1938. Arpita: 34:32 That is a crazy number. And also just like so impressive that he was able to estimate that. Aarati: 34:37 Yes. Arpita: 34:37 And I also am just really loving the title of his paper. Like it's so simple, but it's so, it's so clear too, because it's the artificial production, which then insinuates that there is a natural production. Aarati: 34:53 Yes. Arpita: 34:54 Which, you know, talks about the carbon cycle and what we would expect and the normal, or I guess the expected release of carbon dioxide relative to this spike based on human activity. So I really like that and very impressive that he was able to come up with all of this. Aarati: 35:11 Yeah. Cause you have to think like the carbon dioxide that existed in our Earth's atmosphere naturally had to come from somewhere and it did come from, you know, trees dying will emit carbon dioxide, animals dying or organisms dying. Yeah. They'll, they'll all emit carbon dioxide. Yeah. It does exist naturally. And he's really making that distinction here that we're not talking about that. We're talking about the artificial production of carbon dioxide. Yeah. So humans had emitted about 150 billion tons of carbon dioxide between 1900 and 1938. And I tried to put that into some sort of context. Um, so if you imagine a 27 foot by 27 foot by 27 foot cube, okay, that was filled with carbon dioxide gas, that would be one ton. Or if you were to fly from Boston to London, that flight would emit about one ton per passenger. Arpita: 36:07 Okay. Aarati: 36:07 Um, or if you were to drive from Boston to Salt Lake City, Utah, that drive is about 2, 500 miles and that drive would emit. about one ton of carbon dioxide. So now you have to imagine 150 billion flights to London or car rides across the U. S. Arpita: 36:26 You know, a billion is just a very difficult number to fathom. Aarati: 36:30 It's huge. Arpita: 36:31 And I think a million is you know, something you can wrap your head around. I'm just talking about myself. Maybe a million is something I can wrap my head around. But a billion always way more than I'm expecting it to be. Aarati: 36:45 Mm-Hmm. Yeah. It's, it's a ridiculously high number. Arpita: 36:49 So 150 billion. Aarati: 36:52 Billion Arpita: 36:52 is actually a crazy number. Aarati: 36:54 Yeah. Arpita: 36:54 And that's just from what, 1950 to, what did you say the dates were? Aarati: 36:58 1900 to 1938. Arpita: 37:01 Yeah. See, that's not a long time. Aarati: 37:03 Yeah. 38 years. Arpita: 37:05 What is that number now? Do you know? Aarati: 37:07 It's going to get worse. Arpita: 37:08 Oh, we're going to get there. Okay. Aarati: 37:09 We're going to get there. Arpita: 37:10 Okay. Aarati: 37:10 It gets worse. Arpita: 37:12 I'm sure it gets worse. I'm just wondering how worse. Aarati: 37:15 Yeah. So his next question was, could the earth handle that? yeah, yeah, so could the forests and oceans absorb that carbon dioxide? Arpita: 37:25 Spoiler! Aarati: 37:26 Yeah. So, to figure that out, he looked at what the concentration of carbon dioxide gas was in the atmosphere over time. So he found that between 1900 and 1938, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had increased from 283 parts per million to 300 parts per million. So he ran the calculations and found that that meant that about three fourths of the 150 billion tons of carbon dioxide that humans had emitted was still hanging around in the atmosphere. So Earth's natural carbon cycles had only been able to absorb about a quarter of it over the last 38 years. Arpita: 38:09 So it's like a, he's discovered that there's like a backlog now of carbon dioxide. Aarati: 38:12 Yes. We have, we have put extra into the atmosphere that the Earth has not been able to handle. And then finally he asked, well, does that have any effect on the Earth's surface temperatures? So he looked at the infrared properties of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and calculated its radiative effect or how much it had the ability to trap heat based on how high up it was in the atmosphere. And he found that an increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, especially at lower levels of the atmosphere, where it was closer to the earth, did in fact raise the radiative effect, which would mean that the Earth would get warmer. And to further prove this, as I said, he had been gathering temperature data from around the world and found that over the years, there was a 0. 005 degree Celsius annual increase in the temperature. So, over 38 years, that means that the temperature had increased about 0. 2 degrees Celsius total between 1900 and 1938. And what I found really most amazing about this is that he was able to extrapolate this data and predict that if the concentration of carbon dioxide were to double, global warming would increase by 2 degrees Celsius. Arpita: 39:35 That's a huge jump. Aarati: 39:37 And that's where we are today. That's, that's exactly what scientists are warning us about now and why everyone's in an uproar about climate change because we are moving in on that two degrees Celsius mark. Arpita: 39:51 Are we at two degrees right now? Aarati: 39:52 Not yet. Not yet. Arpita: 39:54 Okay. But he predicted this in like the mid 1900s. Aarati: 39:57 Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So let's compare to today and see where we are, right? Arpita: 40:03 Yeah. Aarati: 40:04 So, Guy had estimated that humans had emitted 4. 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 1938 alone, just that year. Arpita: 40:15 Okay. Aarati: 40:16 Today, we are emitting about 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. So, nearly 10 times as much. Yeah. Nearly 10 times more. Arpita: 40:29 That is crazy. Aarati: 40:30 So, yeah. So, he had said, between 1900 and 1938, humans had emitted 150 billion tons over like 38 years. And now we're emitting 40 billion tons just every year. So, every four years we're You know, going past that mark. It's insane. Arpita: 40:51 It's really like an exponential increase for sure. Aarati: 40:54 Oh, yeah. 100%. Um, so he also calculated the carbon dioxide concentration. Um, so that was 300 parts per million in 1938. Today we're at 412 parts per million. So. Over a hundred parts per million higher. Arpita: 41:12 These are very staggering numbers that I'm having like a really hard time grappling with them. Aarati: 41:17 Yes, it's, it's crazy. And then he also found, um, that the surface temperature of the earth had increased by about 0. 2 degrees Celsius. Today, the temperature is about one degree Celsius warmer. Um, but given that we are emitting 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year, we are very much on track to reach 2 degrees Celsius of warming in the next 20 years or so, if we don't make a change. And so that's what scientists are so worried about. Um, and that's why, everyone is trying to make this push to limit the amount of fossil fuels we're burning and change our lifestyles to adapt to the changing climate. So. Arpita: 41:59 Right. No, that makes, that makes a lot of sense. And so the two degrees hasn't happened yet, but he predicted this many years ago. Aarati: 42:08 And the International Panel on Climate Change is trying to say, like, we need to limit it to 1. 5 degrees Celsius of warming, but a lot of people are saying we're already going to go past that mark. Um... Arpita: 42:22 Right. Aarati: 42:22 So 2 degrees is kind of our upper ceiling that we're really trying hard to avoid. Arpita: 42:29 Yeah. Aarati: 42:30 But, I don't know, I don't know what our chances are of that if we don't have every, like, the whole world needs to cooperate on this and we need to get everyone on board. So it's tough. Arpita: 42:41 Yeah. Aarati: 42:41 Um, but back to Guy. So this link between human activity and the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere came to be known as the Callendar Effect. And Guy's calculations proved to be pretty much spot on. The only thing, like, we were just saying that he didn't predict really was the fact that we'd be facing these consequences so quickly. I think he just had no idea the amount of carbon dioxide that humans would be emitting today. And so he thought, Oh, if things just kind of continue the way they had been between 1900 and 1938, and they just kept emitting about 4 billion tons each year, it would take centuries before we saw any kind of effect. And so he really wasn't concerned. He was actually more approaching this as kind of like, Hey, look at this cool thing I found. Humans are in fact influencing the climate. And that might even be a good thing because warmer temperatures would mean the world would become more like the tropics everywhere. We would have better plant growth. We'd have thriving ecosystems. And we could stave off. Quote unquote, deadly glaciers. Arpita: 43:55 It's so interesting to think about how all of these scientists had the perspective of, it was like kind of positive. It was just like an interesting phenomenon. And like, obviously like discovering something new and putting in the perspective of like a new piece of knowledge is, really positive and really exciting. And I think we are just so primed with the news cycle and everything that's in the media of how bad all of this is. So thinking about, you know, temperatures increasing and thinking about, you know, the earth getting hotter, like in my head is like immediate alarm bells. I'm like bad, bad, bad, but he hadn't quite got to the point of how quickly this would happen and the degree of negative repercussions that would have happened. So it is kind of interesting to think about his perspective was just so different. Aarati: 44:41 Yeah, and that is actually one of the things that's, like, juxtaposed about him quite a lot, is that, like, he discovered this thing that humans are emitting carbon dioxide into the air and warming up the planet, and then he turned right around and went to go tinker with his car engines and take joy rides on his motorcycle. Like, you know, he was, like, very much unconcerned that this would be a problem. Yeah. Arpita: 45:03 Right. Aarati: 45:04 Um, but even then, even back then, people had a really hard time believing him. And for the rest of his life, Guy was continually surprised and confused at how much pushback he was receiving from other meteorologists. Um, there were many who believed his work, of course, uh, but for those who expressed skepticism, Guy just couldn't understand why they were having such a hard time believing that humans were actually contributing to the greenhouse effect. Over the next several years. He published a total of 10 scientific papers on the topic of climate change, where he kept updating his findings. In one paper he wrote, quote, the five years, 1934 to 38 are easily the warmest such period at several stations whose records commenced up to 180 years ago. Arpita: 45:53 Wow. That is a huge change over not a very big period of time. I wonder how he would feel about the fact that people still don't believe that climate change is happening. Aarati: 46:04 Yeah, I know. I don't... it's so clear and especially since, since then scientists have backed up his findings... Arpita: 46:12 Like many times over. Aarati: 46:13 Yeah, we have better tools to measure things now. Yeah, I don't know but although he faced a fair amount of skepticism many prominent meteorologists applauded him and said that guy's work had created a new standard for how meteorological data should be collected and analyzed Uh, his methods and calculations showed so much attention to detail that Guy figured the only reason the so called skeptics were saying they didn't believe his work was because they were jealous that they had been shown up by an amateur. Um, because remember he had been doing all of this from his house, like with no grant money, no fancy equipment, and he wasn't trained as a meteorologist himself. And so all these meteorologists who are saying like, you know, You know, oh, no, there's no way humans can affect the climate. And he just came in with the, yes, they can. Here's all the data that I've been meticulously collecting and analyzing. And you guys should have done this level of work. You guys should have done this job. I did your job for you. You're welcome. And they were all just jealous of him. So... Arpita: 47:18 I know it is so interesting too, that he was thinking about it in the context of historical data too, because it doesn't seem like that was the norm and the standard thinking about the weather and meteorology. It does seem like it was much more forward thinking and he is looking at historical data and comparing all of them and thinking about how it changes over time. So the approach itself is also, I think, pretty fascinating. Aarati: 47:41 Yeah, definitely looking at the longer term trends here. Yeah, so at this point, it's 1939, and World War II started. And remember, again, like, Guy was doing this climate stuff all in his spare time. His real job was being a steam engineer, um, but because of the war, he was essentially forced to wind down his steam research. And by 1941, Guy's steam work was officially shut down. And Guy had to put out feelers for a job. So everyone who knew him knew he was an excellent scientist, but his expertise in steam engineering was so niche that it wasn't really clear how his skills would translate to other fields. He temporarily got a job working on batteries and fuel cells with the hopes that scientists could create a reliable source of electricity for soldiers to have on the field during battle. However, in 1942, Guy was officially assigned to work at the Armament Research Department at Langhurst. And here, he was put on another really cool project that I did not know about. He was put to work on a project directed by the Petroleum Warfare Department, or the PWD. Uh, the PWD was interested in developing different ways to use burning oil to help them in the war. A really big part of their program focused on creating weapons. Um, and I was like, burning oil weapons literally means flamethrowers. Like... Arpita: 49:16 Yeah. Okay, concerning, but carry on. Aarati: 49:19 Yeah, but in Guy's case, he was very much against violence, like he was in World War I. He did not want to work on that kind of program, so instead he focused more on defense and was put on a project that actually really fit his interests in steam engineering and climatology perfectly. Uh, the problem was that pilots in the Royal Air Force often had a hard time taking off and safely landing their planes because the airfield was always covered in this super thick ground fog. And it was especially bad in the early mornings, but also the weather in England is just notoriously foggy. And at the time, nearby industrial and domestic chimneys were burning coal and would emit smog. And the smog just encouraged the formation of fog even more because the water droplets would cling to the little particles of smog. And so the fog got so thick that even if they put lights on the runway, the pilots couldn't see them. So these pilots are trying to take off or land these planes on a runway that they can't see. And they don't have fancy gadgets to help them, and they had to rely mostly on sight to do this. Arpita: 50:29 Yeah, that's crazy. Aarati: 50:30 And so, often enough, yeah, often enough, the plane would end up crashing, destroying the plane, and killing the pilot. Arpita: 50:36 Jesus. Aarati: 50:38 Yeah. So it's like, you're already fighting a war, that's bad enough. And then, on top of that, you might crash on re entry. Arpita: 50:46 I recently watched Band of Brothers with my partner, have you heard of this? Aarati: 50:50 I've heard of it, I haven't watched it. Arpita: 50:51 The HBO series? It's the show. Pretty old, but it's on Netflix and they do talk about this a lot because they are, they're trying to fly the, fly these planes and they can't see. And like a big point of contention is that there's now all these planes that are flying through the sky and they're like dropping bombs and like all these things, but they can't see where their targets are and they also can't take off and land. So it's like a big point of like when they drop soldiers and they do like the drops with like parachutes... Aarati: 51:19 yeah. Arpita: 51:19 ...they land in the wrong places because they're dropped not where they're supposed to be because they can't see. Aarati: 51:24 Yeah. And it's all like, just based on eyesight, right? Like there's no, like today we have computers and like, you know, these gadgets that can tell you exactly where you are and everything, like you've all these GPS kind of very pinpoint accuracy type of things that can tell you. So like, no matter what, whether you're in rain or shine, fog or clear, it doesn't matter, you can know exactly where you are and where you're dropping your bombs or where you're landing your plane. But this is before all of that, so... Arpita: 51:53 Right. Aarati: 51:54 So, Guy was part of a project called FIDO, or Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation, which was a program to see if they could heat up the landing area using a system of petroleum tanks, pipes that ran along the length of the runway and burners that would ignite the petroleum in the pipes to raise the temperature of the airfield and disperse the fog. Arpita: 52:18 You know, in theory sounds good, but that sounds,...what? Aarati: 52:21 Yeah, so I know it sounds insane. It sounds insane. And I actually saw an old video from the British Royal Air Force of this that I can post on the website so others can see it too. Um, but this plane is coming into land and there's just like two lines of fire on each side of the runway. Arpita: 52:44 So like in, you know, like old timey circuses where they were like jumping through hoops of fire. Like, yeah. Yeah. Aarati: 52:50 Yeah. That's like exactly what it was. Um, one pilot described their initial landings with the new FIDO system like a quote, descent into hell. Arpita: 52:59 What about the smoke from the fire though? Like wouldn't that add to like the situation? Aarati: 53:03 Apparently that burned off really quickly. And I think that was also part of Guy's job to kind of find ways to... Arpita: 53:09 ...make sure there wasn't more particles in the air. Aarati: 53:12 Yeah, exactly. Um, yeah, but soon enough these pilots got used to the FIDO system, and it really actually did help with visibility. It was almost like they could turn on and off the fog. So you turn on the burners, the fog would dissipate. You turn off the burners, the fog would come back. Arpita: 53:29 That's like still crazy though. Like, like a runway isn't that big. Like it's not that wide. But then you think about people doing this during World War II and there's fire on both sides. Aarati: 53:39 Yeah. Arpita: 53:40 It feels like it's like playing, um. Did you play Operation as a kid? Or it's like, that's what it feels like. Aarati: 53:47 Yeah, yeah, exactly. So Guy helped design several key components of the system and held part of the patent on it. Uh, the system burned a ridiculous amount of petroleum and was super expensive to build and operate. Arpita: 54:05 Can you imagine proposing something today where you're just like, I'm just gonna light a bunch of petroleum on fire. Aarati: 54:09 There would be so many concerns. Arpita: 54:11 And then operate heavy machinery around it. Aarati: 54:14 Yes, it would, it would never happen. Um, but this was only ever used during the war effort because during peace times, you know, pilots could just wait for the fog to go away. So it was only used when, uh, the war was going on and it was actually estimated to have saved hundreds or even thousands of pilots lives. So after the war Guy stayed at Langhurst for another 12 years and he continued to work on military defense systems. He evaluated a device called the Dragon, which was a self contained portable space heater that soldiers could use to heat up buildings or tents in cold climates. He also worked on developing ways to use high pressure systems to force liquids out of a container. And again, this kind of gave me flamethrower vibes, you know, like, yeah. But most of his work is classified, so it's really hard to put together like an accurate picture of all the projects he worked on, but... Arpita: 55:11 Okay. Aarati: 55:11 He was a very well-respected engineer at Langhurst, and throughout all of this time, he continued his interest in climate change as well. So during the war, it was kind of hard to gather global information because. You know, countries and their wartime secrets. No one wants to share information in case it could get used against them somehow. Um, but Guy was able to continue to collect data from weather centers and in the end he was collecting data from over 400 weather centers around the world. Arpita: 55:41 Wow. Aarati: 55:42 Yeah. And again, all in his spare time, like it's... Arpita: 55:45 Yeah. Aarati: 55:46 Without computers, without the internet. Arpita: 55:48 I think that's the craziest thing because it doesn't seem that insane to think right now about, you know, looking at weather and all these different places because you can just save them all on your phone and you can just look at a bunch of different places at the same time. But it probably was very time consuming or time intensive to find all these weather stations. Collect their data, then aggregate their data. They're probably not all in the same format. Aarati: 56:12 Today you can build an app that will do all of that, you know, and just have it running in the background of your, whatever else you're doing. Arpita: 56:18 I have, um, I have like four or five cities saved right now in my iPhone of places that I look at. So it's like... Aarati: 56:25 Exactly. So after the war, he even started doing a bit of communication for the public writing about his work so that the general population would also start to take interest. And they did. Uh, news outlets like Time Magazine reported that increases in industrial CO2 emissions could raise temperatures. The New York Times also cited Guy's work and discussed potential future problems due to increased temperatures like rising sea levels. And the Evening Post wrote about the possible effects of climate change like shifts in agriculture, melting glaciers, mass migration of people who are all displaced from their homes. And this was all written in like the 1950s, and these are all things that we're actually actively dealing with today, so. Arpita: 57:10 Yeah, it's like a precursor to your job. Aarati: 57:13 Yeah, it's just crazy to think that people had this much of a heads up, and we're still screwing it up somehow. Like, we've known this for over 50 years, guys, come on. Arpita: 57:24 Yeah, I guess almost 100 years, right? Because if you first published this in 1938, it's like we're coming up on 100 years. Aarati: 57:29 Yeah, exactly. Um, but that could be with the reason. So, part of the reason that Guy's work is often overlooked is that in the 1960s and 1970s, there was a significant cooling trend in the Earth's temperatures, which basically seemed to undermine a lot of what he had been saying. And Guy himself was probably also a bit confused by this as well. Um, he retired in 1958 and spent his last few years continuing to study the effects of carbon dioxide on the climate, but in the early 1960s, the winters were especially cold with heavy snowfalls and blizzards. So, although he stuck to his findings that the Earth had shown significant warming trends, and that correlated with carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere it doesn't seem like he had a really solid explanation for those freezing cold winters. Arpita: 58:27 Do we know why there was a cooling period? Aarati: 58:30 I don't know why exactly, but I think that's why scientists have moved away from the term global warming and towards saying climate change. Arpita: 58:39 Climate change. Aarati: 58:40 Yeah. Because, the actual effect of what we're seeing from the higher amounts of carbon dioxide are manifesting in all these different ways, right? Arpita: 58:49 I see. It's not just hotter. It's all these other things. I see. Aarati: 58:53 Yeah. So it's like, yes, the surface temperature of the Earth is increasing, but what we're actually observing as a result of that are these like temperature extremes. We get high- very high, like record breaking high temperatures every year, practically, and then also these record breaking low temperatures. Um, we get droughts that last longer, we have hurricanes that just are super destructive and dump a lot more water than they used to, floods are worse, like, you know, everything is just extremely bad. Extremes. Yeah, so. Arpita: 59:26 Right. Aarati: 59:27 Um, and that's why I think like global warming as a term was a little bit misleading and just caused a lot of confusion. But that's kind of why we don't hear about Guy's work a lot, I think. So Guy died on October 3rd, 1964 from a coronary thrombosis at the age of 66. His family had had a history of heart problems, but it was still kind of a shock and pretty sudden. Um, he was buried at the Sussex Surrey crematorium and his scientific colleagues immediately sent letters of condolences to his wife, Phyllis. A climatologist of the Royal Meteorological Society, Gordon Manley, wrote to her and said,"In what Sir Graham Sutton has described as the most deficient science in the world, your husband has made a most original and lively contribution. I myself heard it in 1938, and when he retired, he was quite indefatigable in slogging out the figures on which his and my arguments depend. I always enjoyed his letters for their crisp content and can assure you that in the Royal Meteorological Society, we have a very high esteem for the few scientists who can match up to and challenge the professionals of the meteorological office. I should like to assure you how the classic paper by G. S. Callender stands as an original contribution nearly 20 years before the Americans began to think along similar lines." Arpita: 1:00:58 I like that. I like that little zinger at the end. Aarati: 1:01:01 And he finished off his letter by saying,"there is a permanent stock in science to which we may all hope to add, and your husband gained our esteem indeed for doing just that." Arpita: 1:01:10 Love that. Aarati: 1:01:11 Yeah. That, I guess, is about it. That's the story of Guy Callender and the guy who figured out that humans were affecting the climate. Arpita: 1:01:21 That was a great story. I was, I learned so much. I had no idea that climate change and our knowledge of climate change went back that far. And, this terminology has been around for so much longer than I thought it was. Aarati: 1:01:35 Yeah, and it is quite, like, with my, with my day job, it's quite heartening to know how many people are trying to fix this problem. But at the same time, it is a bit unnerving, I guess, to know that we've known about this for such a long time. And only just now are we starting to think of the ways we can do things differently. So I really hope we can all get on board guys, like figure this out. Arpita: 1:02:02 Agree. Aarati: 1:02:03 Yeah. It's a big problem. Arpita: 1:02:06 Good timing for Earth Day coming up. Aarati: 1:02:09 Yes. Yes. That's one of the reasons I wanted to do this story. Arpita: 1:02:13 Great story. I loved it. Aarati: 1:02:14 Thanks! Arpita: 1:02:16 Thanks for listening. If you have a suggestion for a story we should cover or thoughts you want to share about an episode, reach out to us at smarttpodcast. com. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter at smarttpodcast and listen to us on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts and leave us a rating or comment. It really helps us grow. New episodes are released every other Wednesday. See you next time.

Sources for this Epsiode

1. Fleming, J.R. (2007) "The Callendar Effect: the life and work of Guy Stewart Callendar (1898–1964)." Amer Meteor Soc., Boston. ISBN 978-1-878220-76-9

2.  "Guy Callendar, the Forgotten Pioneer of Climate Change." Open BBVA. 09 February, 2024.

3. "Fog Landing Aircraft Aka 'fido' (1946)". British Pathé. Youtube. 13 April, 2014.

4. "Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation." Wikipedia.

 

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