Portrait, photogravure, Svante August Arrhenius (1859-1927) Swedish chemist / Photographische Gesellschaft Berlin, 1910, reproduction of a photograph, c. 1910
Svante Arrhenius won a Nobel Prize for his research on electrochemistry. But he also studied the climate system. He was interested in finding out the cause of ice ages, and thought that the answer might be found in the changing composition of the atmosphere.
In 1896 he published a paper that examined the effect of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere on the surface temperature of the Earth. He calculated how much heat greenhouse gases could absorb and developed the first model of the influence of carbon dioxide on the climate.
Later on, he investigated the impact of human activity on the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He suggested that an increase of coal burning might benefit humans by preventing a new ice age.