ARRHENIUS, Svante August. Chemistry in Modern Life.

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ARRHENIUS, Svante August. Chemistry in Modern Life. New York: Van Nostrand, 1927.

8vo. Original blue cloth, gilt lettering to front and spine; pp. xvi + 286, frontispiece portrait of author, 11 plates, text illustrations; very good.
First English edition, third printing, first published in Swedish. The Nobel Prize-winning Arrhenius played an important part in the development of climate change science, being the first to estimate how increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide affected the Earth's surface temperature. He addresses this concern in this, his last work of popular science: "It is possible that a great increase in carbon dioxide content of the air, due to burning of the fossil fuels, might bring about increased heat-absorption in upper-air layers and as a result lessen the temperature differences between different areas of the earth…". He also emphasises the need to conserve our natural resources, and in so doing almost creates a manifesto for the nascent environmntal movement: "Thou shalt not destroy anything useful. It is the use of so- called waste products which brings about a maximum return. Herein lies our hope for the future. Priceless is that fore-thought which has lifted mankind from the wild beast to the high standpoint of civilized humanity".

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