Made In Saratoga: The Mother Of Climate Change

How Upstate New York-based scientist Eunice Newton Foote's research changed the CO2 game.

Eunice Newton Foote lived in Saratoga Springs shortly after discovering the effects of carbon dioxide on a warming planet.

Two words: climate change. That’s right, the first person to theorize that changes in carbon dioxide in our planet’s atmosphere could impact its temperature lived in Saratoga County shortly after her groundbreaking discovery.

Eunice Newton Foote, an American scientist who attended Troy Female Seminary (now the Emma Willard School), discovered that, when placing two glass cylinders, one with “carbonic acid gas” (the term for carbon dioxide at the time), the other with “common air,” in sunlight, the one with carbon dioxide stayed warmer longer.

Foote presented her findings in a paper entitled, Circumstances Affecting The Heat Of Sun’s Rays, at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Albany in 1856 and subsequently published it.

Three years later, Irish physicist John Tyndall published similar, more detailed research that is typically credited as the foundation of climate science.

Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is the director of content at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living.


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