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The greenhouse effect and planet Earth

There's weather, and then there's climate. Weather patterns come and go, but forecasting has become much more accurate through improved meteorological techniques. Climate change is harder to predict. But, as the CBC's Peter Kent shows in this 1984 documentary, it's happening. Carbon dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere have been steadily rising, and by the year 2050 the average global temperature may rise by five degrees Celsius due to the greenhouse effect.
• The phenomenon of the greenhouse effect was first noted in the 19th century and linked to changes in the climate in 1896. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, in 1938 British scientist Guy S. Callandar first put forth the idea that human activity could boost greenhouse gas levels enough to bring about global warming.

 • Peter Kent, the host and journalist in this 1984 documentary, was elected to Canada's House of Commons in 2008 and was named Minister of the Environment in 2011. In a subsequent interview with CBC-TV's Evan Solomon, Kent said much of what was predicted in the documentary had proven true.
Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: Jan. 24, 1984
Guest(s): Lester Brown, John Gribbin, Kenneth Hare, Alan Longhurst, Phillip Marolis, Murray Mitchell, Michael Oppenheimer, Stephen Seidel, C.S. Wong
Reporter: Peter Kent, Bob McDonald
Duration: 30:07

Last updated: November 23, 2012

Page consulted on December 18, 2012

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