Revelle, Roger, et al. | The Buffer Mechanism of Sea Water

  • Offprint of this important paper correcting the long-held assumption that most of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere was absorbed by the oceans, among the earliest work of Roger Revelle (1909-1991), one of the founders of modern climate change science.

    Oceanography was a young field and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at La Jolla still a small marine station when Revelle arrived as a research associate in 1931. The following year he was engaged in cataloguing samples of marine sediments when he became interested in calcium carbonate and the “buffer mechanism” of seawater, its ability to regulate C02 in the atmosphere. He and his co-authors “found that only half of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuel and other anthropogenic activities went into the ocean, not ninety-eight percent as had previously been thought. Revelle later cited this work as the beginning of his interest in the carbon cycle which eventually led him to an interest in measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide” (Day, Roger Randall Dougan Revelle Biography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography Archives).

    Revelle went on to a distinguished career, serving as director of the Scripps Institution between 1950 and 1964 and as a scientific advisor to the Kennedy administration, though he also supported nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific and anti-Communist loyalty oaths. He was instrumental in creating the International Geophysical Year and was founding chairman of the first Committee on Climate Change and the Ocean.

  • ...Bulletin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California, La Jolla, California. Technical Series, Volume 3, No. 11, pp. 231-278, 6 figures in text, 9 tables. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1934.

    Octavo. Lacking the wrappers. Graphs and tables within the text. Lacking the wrappers, as noted. Some spotting to the lower edge of the text block. Very good condition.