Curators' Blog

Snow Day Reading!

On this blisteringly cold day we thought it would be appropriate to share what’s on our Curator’s reading list.

James Rodger Fleming’s book “The Callendar Effect” (recommended to us by a museum visitor) tells the story of long-time Horsham resident, Guy Stewart Callendar. Callendar is notable as the scientist who established the carbon dioxide theory of climate change.

Callendar was born in Montreal, Canada in 1898 and moved to Britain before his 1st birthday. He lived in Ealing and Worthing before moving to Horsham in 1942 in order to work at Langhurst, a secret government research facility in West Sussex.

Callendar was a talented scientist and worked in several different disciplines including steam engineering, combustion technologies, space heaters, and on the Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation (FIDO) that saved thousands of airmen’s lives during the Second World War.

Callendar’s passion for climate study meant that he conducted much of his research is this area in his spare time. He was the first scientist to discover that the planet had warmed. Without the use of modern computer modelling techniques he collected world temperature measurements and suggested that this warming was related to carbon dioxide emissions. This became known as the “Callendar Effect”.

Scientists and researchers at the time struggled to believe that humans could have such an enormous impact on the global climate, a belief that persists in some communities to this day.

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