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UN Climate Talks Start Monday: Here’s Your 83-Second Primer

For the 18th consecutive year, world leaders will try to figure out what to do about climate change


On Monday, world leaders will meet in Doha, Qatar, for the 18th annual Conferences of the Parties meeting, a chance to get together and chit-chat about climate change. The generally-agreed upon goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees C seems to be pretty much out the window, with the world instead on the path for 4 degrees of warming, says Bloomberg. The COP meeting would be the logical place to iron out a deal to reverse that ominous future.

On his DotEarth blog, Andrew Revkin points to the above video by the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo, a cute animation that broadly outlines the history of climate negotiations.

The video kicks off with the 1992 United Nations talks, the onset of modern political discussions of climate change. But, if you ask Reuters, the history of humans worrying about climate change stretches back just a bit further.

300 BC – Theophrastus, a student of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, documents that human activity can affect climate. He observes that drainage of marshes cools an area around Thessaly and that clearing of forests near Philippi warms the climate.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Here’s the Reality We’re Signing Up For By Letting Climate Change Happen
Report: Climate Change Threatens National Security
Here’s Why We’re Not Living in an Ice Age (And Why That Matters for the Future)

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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