Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics, 08/23/2006. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


The term “global warming” was coined in 1896 by the Swedish chemist Svante August Arrhenius. He observed that as the consumption of hydrocarbon fuels and industrial production had grown over the years, the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gasses (GHG), mainly carbon dioxide (CO2, which accounts for 80 percent of these gasses), began to correlate with a global increase in temperature. There is now general agreement in the scientific community that it is the burning of these carbon containing fuels that is causing global warming. There are two means to combat this warming: first, to reduce CO2 emissions; second, to offset emissions by sequestering (i.e. capturing and storing) carbon in such places as old mines, oceans, forests and agricultural land.