Why ?




Climate Science : Greenhouse Effect :


Hans Seuss





Wikipedia : Hans Seuss


Hans Eduard Suess


( December 16, 1909 – September 20, 1993 ) [1]


was an Austrian born American physical chemist and nuclear physicist.


He was a grandson of the Austrian geologist Eduard Suess.



Hans Eduard Suess
Born 29 December 1909
Died 20 September 1993 (aged 83)
Alma mater University of Vienna
Known for Suess effect
Awards V. M. Goldschmidt Award (1974)
Scientific career
Fields Chemistry





Suess earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Vienna in 1935 under the supervision of Philipp Gross[2].


During World War II, he was part of a team of German scientists studying nuclear power and was advisor to the production of heavy water in a Norwegian plant (see Operation Gunnerside).


After the war, he collaborated on the shell model of the atomic nucleus with future (1963) Nobel Prize winner Hans Jensen.[3]


In 1950, Suess emigrated to the United States.


He did research in the field of cosmochemistry, investigating the abundance of certain elements in meteorites with Harold Urey (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1934) at the University of Chicago.


In 1955, Suess was recruited for the faculty of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and in 1958 he became one of the four founding faculty members of the University of California, San Diego.


He remained at UCSD as Professor until 1977 and as Emeritus Professor thereafter.[3]


He established a laboratory at UCSD for carbon-14 determinations, where he trained students including Ellen R.M. Druffel,[4] now the Fred Kavli Professor of Earth System Science at University of California, Irvine.[5]


Suess's most recent research was focused on the distribution of carbon-14 and tritium in the oceans and atmosphere. On basis of radiocarbon analyses of annual growth-rings of trees he contributed to

  • the calibration of the radiocarbon dating scale, and
  • the study of the magnitude of the dilution of atmospheric radiocarbon by carbon dioxide from fossil fuels burned since the industrial revolution. This dilution is known as the Suess effect (see articles about the anthropogenic greenhouse effect).

The mineral suessite, a Fe, Ni-silicide in Enstatit-Chondrites, is named after him.[6]





On September 20, 1993, Suess died in a La Jolla retirement home.[7]


Name confusion


Suess was frequently confused—by the US Postal Service among others—with a contemporary, the famed children's writer Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel), when both men resided in La Jolla, California.


The two names have been posthumously linked as well: both men's personal papers are housed in the Geisel Library at the University of California, San Diego.[8]



Wikipedia : Roger Revelle


Roger Randall Dougan Revelle 


( March 7, 1909 – July 15, 1991 )


was a scientist and scholar who was instrumental in the formative years of the University of California San Diego and was among the early scientists to study anthropogenic global warming, as well as the movement of Earth's tectonic plates.[1]


UC San Diego's first college is named Revelle College in his honor.




Global warming


Hans Suess was recruited by Revelle,[4] and they co-authored a 1957 paper using Carbon-14 isotope levels to assess the rate at which carbon dioxide added by fossil fuel combustion since the start of the industrial revolution had accumulated in the atmosphere.


They concluded that most of it had been absorbed by the Earth's oceans, contrary to the assumption made by early geoscientists (Chamberlin, Arhenius and Callendar) that it would simply accumulate in the upper atmosphere to "lower the mean level of back radiation in the infrared and thereby increase the average temperature near the earth's surface."


There had been little sign to date of this greenhouse effect causing the anticipated warming, but the Suess-Revelle paper suggested that increasing human gas emissions might change this.


They said that "human beings are now carrying out a large scale geophysical experiment of a kind that could not have happened in the past nor be reproduced in the future."[5]


Revelle told journalists about the issues, and testified to Congress that "The Earth itself is a space ship", endangered by rising seas and desertification.


A November 1957 report in The Hammond Times described his research as suggesting that "a large scale global warming, with radical climate changes may result" – the first use of the term global warming.[6]


A biographer of Suess later said that, although other articles in the same journal discussed carbon dioxide levels, the Suess-Revelle paper was "the only one of the three to stress the growing quantity of CO
contributed by our burning of fossil fuel, and to call attention to the fact that it might cause global warming over time."[4]



Revelle and Suess described the "buffer factor", now known as the "Revelle factor", which is a resistance to atmospheric carbon dioxide being absorbed by the ocean surface layer posed by bicarbonate chemistry.


Essentially, in order to enter the ocean, carbon dioxide gas has to partition into one of the components of carbonic acid: carbonate ion, bicarbonate ion, or protonated carbonic acid, and the product of these many chemical dissociation constants factors into a kind of back-pressure that limits how fast the carbon dioxide can enter the surface ocean.


Geology, geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, ocean chemistry ... this amounted to one of the earliest examples of "integrated assessment", which 50 years later became an entire branch of global warming science.