Eunice Newton Foote: While we often talk about climate change and the destructive effects of greenhouse gases on a daily basis, many of us have never heard of Eunice Newton Foote.
Eunice Newton Foote She was an American scientist who, as early as 1856, recognized the dangerous impact of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Google has thus devoted today’s doodle to this environmental pioneer in honour of her 204th birthday.
This signifies that her research was largely overlooked for almost 100 years, and she is credited as the first person to “sow the seed of interest in climate change issues.”
And for anyone wondering, her nickname is no coincidence: Her father was reportedly a distant relative of Sir Isaac Newton.
In a brief description of her doodle, Google states that science was Foote’s lifelong passion, and she also devoted time to campaigning for women’s rights.
In 1848, she participated in the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York, and became the fifth signatory of the Declaration of Sentiments, which demanded equality for women in social and legal status.
Women were mostly excluded from the scientific world at the time, but that did not stop Foote from undertaking her own research.
After placing a thermometer in glass cylinders, she observed that the cylinder containing carbon dioxide became the warmest and took the longest to cool down.
As a result, she became the first scientist to establish a connection between rising CO2 levels and the warming of the environment.
Foote published a second study on atmospheric electricity for the “Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science” magazine after publishing her findings.
As Google notes, these were the first two physics studies ever published by an American woman.
Building on Foote’s experiments, a male scientist presented his research in 1856 at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, establishing the greenhouse effect as we know it today.
While none of us may enjoy the fact that this event has gone unnoticed for so long, we should always remain grateful to Foote for bringing it to our attention many years ago.