El camino científico a Copenhague

BERLÍN – El 10 de junio de 1859, seis meses antes de que Charles Darwin publicara  El origen de las especies , el físico John Tyndall demostró una serie asombrosa de experimentos en la Royal Institution de Londres. El encuentro estuvo presidido por el príncipe Alberto. Pero ni él, ni Tyndall, ni nadie en su distinguida audiencia podría haber anticipado de alguna manera hasta qué punto los resultados de los experimentos podrían preocupar al mundo 150 años más tarde.

Este mes, miles de personas de todo el mundo, entre ellas muchos jefes de Estado, se reunirán en Copenhague para intentar forjar un acuerdo destinado a reducir drásticamente las emisiones atmosféricas de un gas invisible e inodoro: el dióxido de carbono. A pesar de los esfuerzos de algunos países líderes para reducir las expectativas previas a la conferencia sobre lo que se puede lograr y lo que se va a lograr, a la cumbre todavía se la sigue considerando la conferencia más importante desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Y en el corazón de la conferencia aparecen los resultados de los experimentos de Tyndall.

Pero la historia comienza incluso antes que Tyndall, con el genio francés Joseph Fourier, un huérfano educado por los monjes. Fourier ya era profesor a la edad de 18 años y se convirtió en el gobernador de Napoleón en Egipto antes de reanudar una carrera en el mundo de la ciencia. En 1824, Fourier descubrió por qué el clima de nuestro planeta es tan cálido -decenas de grados más cálido de lo que sugeriría un simple cálculo de su equilibrio energético-. El sol aporta calor y la Tierra irradia calor de nuevo al espacio -pero las cifras no estaban en equilibrio-. Fourier detectó que los gases en nuestra atmósfera atrapan el calor. El llamó a su descubrimiento l’effet de serre -el efecto invernadero.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/29y9oYs/es;
  1. Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

    The Brexit Surrender

    European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have given the go-ahead to talks with Britain on post-Brexit trade relations. But, as European Council President Donald Tusk has said, the most difficult challenge – forging a workable deal that secures broad political support on both sides – still lies ahead.

  2. The Great US Tax Debate

    ROBERT J. BARRO vs. JASON FURMAN & LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS on the impact of the GOP tax  overhaul.


    • Congressional Republicans are finalizing a tax-reform package that will reshape the business environment by lowering the corporate-tax rate and overhauling deductions. 

    • But will the plan's far-reaching changes provide the boost to investment and growth that its backers promise?


    ROBERT J. BARRO | How US Corporate Tax Reform Will Boost Growth

    JASON FURMAN & LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS | Robert Barro's Tax Reform Advocacy: A Response

  3. Murdoch's Last Stand?

    Rupert Murdoch’s sale of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets to Disney for $66 billion may mark the end of the media mogul’s career, which will long be remembered for its corrosive effect on democratic discourse on both sides of the Atlantic. 

    From enabling the rise of Donald Trump to hacking the telephone of a murdered British schoolgirl, Murdoch’s media empire has staked its success on stoking populist rage.

  4. Bank of England Leon Neal/Getty Images

    The Dangerous Delusion of Price Stability

    Since the hyperinflation of the 1970s, which central banks were right to combat by whatever means necessary, maintaining positive but low inflation has become a monetary-policy obsession. But, because the world economy has changed dramatically since then, central bankers have started to miss the monetary-policy forest for the trees.

  5. Harvard’s Jeffrey Frankel Measures the GOP’s Tax Plan

    Jeffrey Frankel, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former member of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, outlines the five criteria he uses to judge the efficacy of tax reform efforts. And in his view, the US Republicans’ most recent offering fails miserably.

  6. A box containing viles of human embryonic Stem Cell cultures Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

    The Holy Grail of Genetic Engineering

    CRISPR-Cas – a gene-editing technique that is far more precise and efficient than any that has come before it – is poised to change the world. But ensuring that those changes are positive – helping to fight tumors and mosquito-borne illnesses, for example – will require scientists to apply the utmost caution.

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now