Tyndall in the news

Portrait of John Tyndall FRS by John McClure Hamilton

Royal Society collection

Michael Reidy looks at Tyndall’s time in the Alps in “The Weisshorn, 1861-2011” for the Newsletter of the History of Science Society (July 2011)

Trinity College Dublin: TCD Geneticist Unearths Correspondence between Irish Physicist and Famous British Botanist (August 2011; that botanist is Joseph Dalton Hooker)

ThinkOrSwim.ie: John Tyndall – Ireland’s Greatest Climate Scientist (August 2011)

EPA Climate Change Lecture Series (September 27, 2011) – ‘Tyndall : His Work and Scientific Heritage’

History of Science Centre’s blog (Royal Society): The Xcentric Mr Tyndall? (September 2011)

Science Spinning: A (GREENHOUSE) GAS MAN: John Tyndall (September 2011)

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Published in: on September 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm  Comments (3)  
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John Tyndall Conference, Dublin, Ireland, Sept. 2011 – abstracts due by July 1st

Via:

The Royal Irish Academy and the Environmental Protection Agency are holding a scientific conference on 28-30 September 2011, in Dublin, Ireland, to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of John Tyndall’s breakthrough experimental work on the absorption of infrared radiation by various atmospheric gases that are essentially transparent to solar radiation

John Tyndall is an overlooked genius from Ireland whose work revolutionised science and created entirely new experimental techniques and scientific disciplines. His work on infra-red spectroscopy served to form the basis of our understanding of the Earth’s climate system and current awareness of the threats of global warming and climate change. In this, he is ranked with the greatest physicists of 19th and 20th century – “Fourier, Tyndall, Arrhenius, Kirchoff, Planck and Einstein”, (Ray Pierrehumbert, Physics Today, Jan 2011). In the 150 years since the publication of Tyndalls seminal work, the sciences of atmospheric radiative transfer and climate have developed and deepened our understanding of the world we live in and our impact upon it.

This conference will celebrate Tyndall’s achievements and examine developments in key areas of climate science, current scientific issues and their implications. It will also celebrate the increasing recognition of Tyndall’s work and reputation.

Topics and Call for Abstracts:

The Tyndall Conference 2011 will cover the following topics, and the Scientific Advisory Committee would like to invite the submission of abstracts on topics 2 and 3:

John Tyndall: his life, work and scientific legacy – A number of presentations highlighting different aspects of Tyndall’s contribution to science.
Greenhouse Warming Potentials and other metrics for comparison of radiatively active substances.
Climate feedbacks: the current science.

Abstracts should be submitted by July 1st 2011.

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tyndall in the News

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John Tyndall, Royal Institution of Great Britain, London (Photo by Michael D. Barton)

From Project Syndicate: The World of Ideas:

The Scientific Road to Copenhagen
Stephan Ramstorf

BERLIN – On June 10, 1859, six months before Charles Darwin published hisOrigin of Species , the physicist John Tyndall demonstrated a remarkable series of experiments at the Royal Institution in London. The meeting was chaired by Prince Albert. But neither he, nor Tyndall, nor anyone in their distinguished audience could possibly have anticipated the extent to which the experiments’ results would preoccupy the world 150 years later.

This month, thousands of people from all over the world, including many heads of state, will gather in Copenhagen to try to forge an agreement to drastically cut atmospheric emissions of an invisible, odorless gas: carbon dioxide.  Despite efforts by some leading countries to lower expectations ahead of the conference about what can and will be achieved, the meeting is still being called the most important conference since World War II.  And at the conference’s heart are the results of Tyndall’s experiments.

But the story starts even before Tyndall, with the French genius Joseph Fourier. An orphan who was educated by monks, Fourier was a professor at the age of 18, and became Napoleon’s governor in Egypt before returning to a career in science. In 1824, Fourier discovered why our planet’s climate is so warm – tens of degrees warmer than a simple calculation of its energy balance would suggest. The sun brings heat, and earth radiates heat back into space – but the numbers did not balance. Fourier realized that gases in our atmosphere trap heat. He called his discovery l’effet de serre – the greenhouse effect.

Read the rest of the piece here.

From the radio program Science Spin (Dubline City FM 103.2 FM):

Can incineration provide the answer to our waste disposal problems? Jackie Keaney of Indaver Ireland, and Ollan Herr, of the Zero Waste Alliance go head to head on the issue. Plate Tectonics is the concept up for explanation and discussion this week, with the help of John Gamble, Professor of Geology at University College Cork. This week we profile the life and scientific legacy of Carlow-born John Tyndall, in conversation with Roger Whatmore, Chief Executive Officer with the Tyndall National Institute, which was named in Tyndall’s honour.

Listen to the half-hour program here.

Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 9:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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Scientific American: Carbon Dioxide and Climate

Scientific American online has up an article from July 1959 about the role of carbon dioxide in climate change. Of course, Tyndall is mentioned in this article as having stated the theory in 1861:

Even the carbon dioxide theory is not new; the basic idea was first precisely stated in 1861 by the noted British physicist John Tyndall. He attributed climatic temperature-changes to variations in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The article links to a video on SciAm’s blog 60-Second Science about “A history of the climate change conspiracy,” featuring historian of science Naomi Oreskes:

Published in: on December 4, 2008 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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