Global Warming Timeline

Last updated: Jul 25, 2018

This timeline lists historical events and observations about the temperature of Earth's climate system.

Greenhouse Effect

1824 - French mathematician and physicist, Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier calculates that the existence of an atmospheric effect is keeping the Earth warmer than it would be otherwise. He uses the analogy of a greenhouse.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

1988 - The panel was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), two organizations of the United Nations. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President of the United States Al Gore.

Toyota Prius Introduction

1997 - Toyota introduces Prius in Japan, first mass-market electric hybrid car; swift progress in large wind turbines, solar electricity, and other energy alternatives. International conference produces Kyoto Protocol, setting targets for industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if enough nations sign onto a treaty (rejected by US Senate in advance).

Earth Day 2000

April 22, 2000 - 5,000 environmental groups around the world were on board, reaching out to hundreds of millions of people in a record 184 countries. Events varied: A talking drum chain traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa, for example, while hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., USA.

Paris Agreement

2015 - Nearly all nations pledge to set targets for their own greenhouse gas cuts and to report their progress.

West Antarctic Ice Sheet

2015 - Researchers find collapse of West Antarctic ice sheet is irreversible, will bring meters of sea-level rise over future centuries.