An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15961 entries, 13944 authors and 1935 subjects. Updated: March 22, 2024

FOOTE, Eunice Newton

1 entries
  • 13464

Circumstances affecting the heat of the sun's rays.

Am. J. Sci. Arts, 22, 382-383, 1856.

Foote was the first scientist known to have experimented on the warming effect of sunlight on different gases. In this two-page paper she theorized that changing the proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would change its temperature.

"Foote conducted a series of experiments that demonstrated the interactions of the sun's rays on different gases. She used an air pump, four mercury thermometers, and two glass cylinders. First she placed two thermometers in each cylinder, then by using the air pump, she evacuated the air from one cylinder and compressed it in the other. Allowing both cylinders to reach the same temperature, she placed the cylinders in the sunlight to measure temperature variance once heated and under different moisture conditions. She performed this experiment on CO
, common air, and hydrogen.[11] Of the gases she tested, Foote concluded that carbon dioxide (CO
) trapped the most heat, reaching a temperature of 125 °F (52 °C).[12] From this experiment, she stated "“The receiver containing this gas became itself much heated—very sensibly more so than the other—and on being removed [from the Sun], it was many times as long in cooling.”[13] Looking to the history of the Earth, Foote theorized that "An atmosphere of that gas would give to our earth a high temperature; and if, as some suppose, 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."[14][15](Wikipedia article on Eunice Newton Foote, accessed 8-2021).

Digital facsimile from the Internet Archive at this link.

Subjects: BIOLOGY › Ecology / Environment › Climate Change, WOMEN, Publications by › Years 1800 - 1899