top of page

9. Eunice Newton Foote

…and here at TCCP we are big on atmospheric chemists and scientists in general, so expect to hear from them. A lot. About all things. All topics. On matters ranging from climate tech and Anthropocene architecture to the climate education gap and everything in between.

Speaking of scientists, did you know that a woman named Eunice Newton Foote was the first person to document global warming?

Foote was the first to demonstrate the greenhouse effects of certain gases and also the first to theorise about their interaction with the Earth’s atmosphere over an extended period of time.

Her explanation of the greenhouse effect, which would help scientists understand the underlying mechanisms behind global warming in the 20th century, predated John Tyndall’s by three years.

Her experiment, which was documented in a brief scientific paper entitled ‘Circumstances affecting the heat of the sun’s rays,’ in 1856 noted that ‘the highest effect of the sun’s rays, I have found to be in carbonic acid gas [carbon dioxide].’

Looking back on Earth’s history, Foote explained that ‘an atmosphere of that gas would give to our earth a high temperature ... at one period of its history the air had mixed with it a larger proportion than at present, an increased temperature from its own action as well as from increased weight must have necessarily resulted.’

Alongside her interest in science, Foote was also an active women’s rights advocate and was on the editorial board of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention.

Eunice Foote’s story is the first seedling to ours. That intersection of curiosity and indomitability is where our particular story begins.

You see it all started…


bottom of page