Timeline of environmental events


Timeline of environmental events

:Expand list|date=August 2008

The timeline of environmental events is a historical account of events that have shaped humanity's perspective on the environment. This timeline includes some major natural events, human induced disasters, environmentalists that have had a positive influence, and environmental legislation.

Other events and periods

*"See" Timeline of meteorology
*"See" Timeline of evolution
*"See" Geologic time scale
*"See" Pleistocene
*"See" Older Dryas stadial
*"See" Younger Dryas stadial

Holocene

10th millennium BC

*Circa 10,000 BCNorth America: Dire Wolf, Smilodon, Giant beaver, Ground sloth, Mammoth, and American lion all become extinct.:::: — Bering Sea: Land bridge from Siberia to North America sinks.:::: — North America: Long Island becomes an island when waters break through on the western end to the interior lake:::: — "Homo floresiensis", the human's last known surviving close relative, becomes extinct.:::: — World: Sea levels rise abruptly and massive inland flooding occurs due to glacier melt.
*Circa 9700 BCLake Agassiz forms.
*Circa 9600 BCYounger Dryas cold period ends. Pleistocene ends and Holocene begins. Large amounts of previously glaciated land become habitable again.
*Circa 9500 BCAncylus Lake, part of the modern-day Baltic Sea, forms.
*Circa 9000 BC - end of the pre-Boreal period of European climate change. Pollen Zone IV Pre-boreal, associated with juniper, willow, birch pollen deposits.

9th millennium BC

*Circa 8000 BCWorld - Rising Sea levels.:::: — Antarctica - long-term melting of the Antarctic ice sheets is commencing.:::: — Asia - rising sea levels caused by postglacial warming.:::: — World - Obliteration of more than 40 million animals about this time.:::: — World population reaches 1 million.:::: — North America - The glaciers were receding and by 8,000 BC the Wisconsin had withdrawn completely.:::: — World - Inland flooding due to catastrophic glacier melt takes place in several regions.

8th millennium BC

*Circa 7640 BC — Date theorized for impact of Tollmann's hypothetical bolide with Earth and associated global cataclysm.

7th millennium BC

*Circa 6500 BCEnglish Channel formed
*Circa 6200 BC — The 8.2 kiloyear event, a sudden significant cooling episode
*Circa 6100 BC — The Storegga Slide, causing a megatsunami in the Norwegian Sea
*Circa 6000 BC — Climatic or Thermal Maximum, the warmest period in 125,000 years, with minimal glaciation and highest sea levels. (McEvedy):: — Rising sea levels form the Torres Strait, separate Australia from New Guinea.:: — Increasing desiccation of the Sahara. End of the Saharan Pluvial period.:: — Associated with Pollen Zone VI Atlantic, oak-elm woodlands, warmer and maritime climate. Modern wild fauna plus, increasingly, human introductions, associated with the spread of the Neolithic farming technologies.:: — Rising sea levels from glacial retreat flood what will become the Irish Sea, separating the island of Ireland from the British Isles and Continental Europe.

6th millennium BC

*Circa 5600 BC — According to the Black Sea deluge theory, the Black Sea floods with salt water. Some 3000 cubic miles (12,500 km³) of salt water is added, significantly expanding it and transforming it from a fresh-water landlocked lake into a salt water sea.
*Circa 5500 BC — Beginning of the desertification of north Africa, which ultimately lead to the creation of the Sahara desert. It's possible this process pushed some natives into migrating to the region of the Nile in the east, thereby laying the groundwork for the rise of Egyptian civilization.
* Circa 5000 BC — The Older Peron transgression, a global warm period, begins.
* 5000 BC — Use of a sail begins. The first known picture is on an Egyptian urn found in Luxor.

4th millennium BC

*Circa 3600 BC - 2800 BC — Climatic deterioration in Western Europe and the Sahara. In Europe Pollen zone VII Sub Boreal, oak and beech. Glacial advances of the Priora oscillation, with lower economic prosperity in areas not able to irrigate in the Middle East.
*Circa 3100 BC — The Indus Valley Civilization constructs the first advanced system of drainage.

3rd Millennium BC

*2900 BC — Floods at Shuruppak from horizon to horizon, with sediments in Southern Iraq, stretching as far north as Kish, and as far south as Uruk, associated with the return of heavy rains in Nineveh and a potential damming of the Karun River to run into the Tigris. This ends the Jemdet Nasr period and ushers in the Early Dynastic Period of Sumer cultures of the area. Possible association of this event with the Biblical deluge.
*2650 BCSumerian epic of Gilgamesh describes vast tracts of cedar forests in what is now southern Iraq. Gilgamesh defies the gods and cuts down the forest, and in return the gods say they will curse Sumer with fire (or possibly drought). By 2100 BC, soil erosion and salt buildup have devastated agriculture. One Sumerian wrote that the "earth turned white." Civilization moved north to Babylonia and Assyria. Again, deforestation becomes a factor in the rise and subsequent fall of these civilizations.::: — Some of the first laws protecting the remaining forests decreed in Ur.
*2600 BC — First artificial sewage systems constructed in the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro of the Indus valley. There were networks of brick-lined sewage drains and outdoor flush toilets connected.
*2500 BC — Sahara becomes fully desiccated. Desiccation had been proceeding from 6000 BC, as a result of the shift in the West African tropical monsoon belt southwards from the Sahel. Subsequent rates of evaporation in the region led to a drying of the Sahara, as shown by the drop in water levels in Lake Chad. Tehenu of the Sahara attempt to enter into Egypt, and there is evidence of a Nile drought in the pyramid of Unas.
*2200 BC — Beginning of a severe centennial-scale drought in northern Africa, southwestern Asia and midcontinental North America, which very likely caused the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt as well as the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia.

2nd millennium BC

*1900 BC — The Atra-Hasis Epic describes Babylonian flood, with warnings of the consequences of human overpopulation.
*1450 BCMinoan civilization in the Mediterranean declines, but scholars are divided on the cause. Possibly a volcanic eruption was the source of the catastrophe (see Minoan eruption). On the other hand, gradual deforestation may have led to materials shortages in manufacturing and shipping. Loss of timber and subsequent deterioration of its land was probably a factor in the decline of Minoan power in the late Bronze Age, according to John Perlin in "A Forest Journey".
*1206 BC - 1187 BC — Evidence of major droughts in the Eastern Mediterranean. Hittite and Ugarit records show requests for grain were sent to Egypt, probably during the reign of Pharaoh Merenptah. Carpenter has suggested that droughts of equal severity to those of the 1950s in Greece, would have been sufficient to cause the Late Bronze Age collapse. The cause may have been a temporary diversion of winter storms north of the Pyrenees and Alps. Central Europe experienced generally wetter conditions, while those in the Eastern Mediterranean were substantially drier. There seems to have been a general abandonment of peasant subsistence agriculture in favour of nomadic pastoralism in Central Anatolia, Syria and northern Mesopotamia, Palestine, the Sinai and NW Arabia.
*c 2000 BC-1000 BC - The Sarasvati River dries up. Desertification of the Thar Region begins.

1st millennium BC

*800 BC - 500 BCSub-Atlantic period in Western Europe. Pollen Zone VIII, sub-Atlantic. End of last Sea Level rise. Spread of "Celtic fields", Iron Age A, and Haalstadt Celts. Increased prosperity in Europe and the Middle East.
*500 BCRoman Republic, Cloaca Maxima (big sewer) is built in Rome by Etruscan dynasty of Tarquins. As Rome grows, a network of cloacae (sewers) and aqueducts are built.:: — World population reached 100 million [ [http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/worldhis.html Historical Estimates of World Population ] ] .
*250 BCAshoka introduces animal welfare legislation in India
*Circa 225 BC — The Sub-Atlantic began about 225 BC (estimated on the basis of radiocarbon dating) and has been characterized by increased rainfall, cooler and more humid climates, and the dominance of beech forests. The fauna of the Sub-Atlantic is essentially modern although severely depleted by human activities. The Sub-Atlantic is correlated with pollen zone IX; sea levels have been generally regressive during this time interval, though North America is an exception.
*Circa 200 BCSri Lanka first country in the world to have a [http://www.slwcs.org/ nature reserve] , King Devanampiyatissa established a wildlife sanctuary

1st millennium AD

*100 to 400 — Decline of Roman Empire may have been partly due to lead poisoning, according to modern historian and toxicologist Jerome Nriagu. Romans used lead acetate ("sugar of lead") to sweeten old wine and turn grape pulp into a sweet condiment. Usually the acidic wine or pulp was simply left in a vat with sheets of lead. An aristocrat with a sweet tooth might have eaten as much as a gram of lead a day. Widespread use of this sweetener would have caused gout, sterility, insanity and many of the symptoms which were, in fact, present among the Roman aristocrats. High levels of lead have been found in the bones of aristocratic Romans. Far more than simply using lead pipes or lead utensils, the direct consumption of lead-sweetened wine and foods created serious and widespread lead poisoning among upper-class Romans.
*535-536: global climate abnormalities affecting several civilizations.

7th century

*676Cuthbert of Lindisfarne enacts protection legislation for birds on the Farne Islands (Northumberland, UK).

8th century

*Circa 750 — Start of the Medieval Warm Period

9th century

*Circa 850 — Severe drought exacerbated by soil erosion causes collapse of Central American city states and the end of the Classic Maya civilization.

2nd millennium AD

13th century

*Circa 1250 — Start of the Little Ice Age

14th century

*1347 to 1350s — Bubonic plague decimates Europe, creating the first attempts to enforce public health and quarantine laws.
*1366 — City of Paris forces butchers to dispose of animal wastes outside the city (Ponting); similar laws would be disputed in Philadelphia and New York nearly 400 years later.
*1388Parliament passes an act forbidding the throwing of filth and garbage into ditches, rivers and waters. City of Cambridge also passes the first urban sanitary laws in England.

15th century

*1420 to 1427, Madeira islands : destruction of the laurisilva forest, or the woods which once clothed the whole island when the Portuguese settlers decided to clear the land for farming by setting most of the island on fire. It is said that the fire burned for seven years.

16th century

*1546 — Italian physician Girolamo Fracastoro outlines theory of contagious disease. He reasoned that infectious diseases could be passed on in 3 ways: simple contact, indirect contact, and minute bodies over distance through the air.
*1560 to 1600 — Rapid industrialization in England leads to heavy deforestation and increasing substitution of coal for wood.

17th century

*1609Hugo Grotius publishes "Mare Liberum" (The Free Sea) with arguments for the new principle that the sea was international territory and all nations were free to use it for seafaring trade. The ensuing debate had the British empire and France claim sovereignty over territorial waters to the distance within which cannon range could effectively protect it, the three mile limit.
*1640Isaac Walton writes "The Compleat Angler" about fishing and conservation.
*1662John Graunt publishes a book of mortality statistics compiled by parish and municipal councils in England. Although the numbers are inaccurate, a start was made in epidemiology and the understanding of disease and public health.
*1690 — Colonial Governor William Penn requires Pennsylvania settlers to preserve one acre of trees for every five acres cleared.:: — The last Mauritius dodo dies. The extinction was due to hunting, but also by the pigs, rats, dogs and cats brought to the island by settlers. Later the species has become an icon on animal extinction [ [http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct/speciesinfo/dodobird.htm Recently Extinct Animals - Species Info - Dodo ] ] .

18th century

*1700 — Some 600 ships are engaged in hauling "sea coal" from Newcastle to London, an enormous increase compared to 1650, when only two ships regularly carried sea coal. Rapid industrialization and the demand for iron and naval supplies has stripped England's forests.
*1711Jonathan Swift notes the contents of London's gutters: "sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts and blood, drowned puppies, stinking sprats, all drenched in mud..."
*1720 — In India, hundreds of Bishnois Hindus of Khejadali go to their deaths trying to protect trees from the Maharaja of Jodhpur, who needed wood to fuel the lime kilns for cement to build his palace. This event has been considered as the origins of the 20th century Chipko movement.
*1739Benjamin Franklin and neighbors petition Pennsylvania Assembly to stop waste dumping and remove tanneries from Philadelphia's commercial district. Foul smell, lower property values, disease and interference with fire fighting are cited. The industries complain that their rights are being violated, but Franklin argues for "public rights." Franklin and the environmentalists win a symbolic battle but the dumping goes on.
*1748Jared Eliot, clergyman and physician, writes "Essays on Field Husbandry in New England" promoting soil conservation.
*1762 to 1769 — Philadelphia committee led by Benjamin Franklin attempts to regulate waste disposal and water pollution.
*1773William Bartram, "(1739-1823)". American naturalist sets out on a five year journey through the US Southeast to describe wildlife and wilderness from Florida to the Mississippi. His book, "Travels", is published in 1791 and becomes one of the early literary classics of the new United States of America.

19th century

*1815 — Eruption of Mt. Tambora in what is now Indonesia, largest of Holocene.
*1816 — "The year without a summer."
*1820World population reached 1 billioncite web |title= "United Nations Population Fund moves Day of 6 Billion based on new population estimates" |publisher= Population Connection |date= 1998-10-28 |url= http://www.populationconnection.org/Reports_Publications/Reports/report14.html |accessdate= 2006-03-11 ] .
*1828Carl Sprengel formulates the Law of the Minimum stating that growth is limited not by the total of resources available, but by the scarcest resource.
*1845 — First use of the term Carrying capacity in a report by the US Secretary of State to the Senate.
*1849 — Establishment of the U.S. Department of Interior.
*1851Henry David Thoreau delivers an address to the Concord (Massachusetts) Lyceum declaring that "in Wildness is the preservation of the World." In 1863, this address is published posthumously as the essay "Walking" in Thoreau's "Excursions".
*1854 — "Henry David Thoreau" publishes "Walden; or, Life in the Woods".
*1859 — Publication of second edition of William Elliott's Carolina Sports by Land and Water (first published in 1846), an early example of the hunter-as-conservationist, a phenomenon which became increasingly important for conservationism.
*1860 — "Henry David Thoreau" delivers an address to the Middlesex (Massachusetts) Agricultural Society, entitled "The Succession of Forest Trees," in which he analyzes aspects of what later came to be understood as forest ecology and urges farmers to plant trees in natural patterns of succession; the address is later published in (among other places) Excursions, becoming perhaps his most influential ecological contribution to conservationist thought.
*1864George Perkins Marsh publishes Man and Nature; or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action (revised 1874 as The Earth as Modified by Human Action), the first systematic analysis of humanity's destructive impact on the natural environment and a work which becomes (in Lewis Mumford's words) "the fountain-head of the conservation movement."
*1866 — The term Ecology is coined (in German as Oekologie by Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel "(1834-1919)" in his Generelle Morphologie der Organismen. Haeckel was an anatomist, zoologist, and field naturalist appointed professor of zoology at the Zoological Institute, Jena, in 1865. Haeckel was philosophically an enthusiastic Darwinian. Ecology is from the Greek oikos, meaning house or dwelling and logos, meaning discourse or the study of.
*1869Samuel Bowles publishes Our New West. Records of Travel between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean, an influential traveller's account of the wilds and peoples of the West, in which he advocates preservation of other scenic areas such as Niagara Falls and the Adirondacks.
*1872 — The term acid rain is coined by Robert Angus Smith in the book "Air and Rain".:: — US first national park, Yellowstone National Park.:: — Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton of Nebraska City, Nebraska. It occurs every year on the last Friday in April in the US.
*1874Charles Hallock establishes Forest and Stream magazine sparking a US national debate about ethics and hunting.:: — German graduate student Othmar Zeidler first synthesises DDT, later to be used as an insecticide.
*1876 — British River Pollution Control Act makes it illegal to dump sewage into a stream.
*1879U.S. Geological Survey formed. John Wesley Powell, explorer of the Colorado River a decade earlier, will become its head in March 1881.
*1883 - Eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia. The sound of the explosion is heard as far as Australia and China, the altered air waves causes strange colours on the sky and the volcanic gases reduce global temperatures during the following years.
*1890Yosemite National Park Bill, established the Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks in California.
*1891Oscar Baumann, Austrian explorer of East Africa, publishes an eye-witness account of the extreme drought period 1883-1902 called Emutai by the maasai [http://www.physorg.com/pdf83678030.pdf] .:: — General Revision Act.
*1892John Muir, "(1838 - 1914)", founded the Sierra Club.
*1895 — Sewage cleanup in London means the return of some fish species (grilse, whitebait, flounder, eel, smelt) to the River Thames.

20th century

*1900 - The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 hits Galveston, Texas and reverses the city's previously rapid growth.
*1902George Washington Carver writes "How to Build Up Worn Out Soils".
*1903 — March 14, US President Theodore Roosevelt creates first National Bird Preserve, (the beginning of the Wildlife Refuge system), on Pelican Island, Florida. :: — 7300 hectares of land in the Lake District of the Andes foothills in Patagonia are donated by Francisco Moreno as the first park, Nahuel Huapi National Park, in what eventually becomes the National Park System of Argentina.
*1905 — The term smog is coined by Henry Antoine Des Voeux in a London meeting to express concern over air pollution.
*1906Antiquities Act, passed by US Congress which authorized the president to set aside national monument sites.:: — San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fires destroy much of the city.

*1908Muir Woods National Monument was established on January 9 and now governed by the National Park Service.:: — The National Conservation Commission, appointed in June by President Roosevelt.:: — An article by Robert Underwood Johnson in "Century" magazine, "A High Price to Pay for Water," helps bring the [http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amrvhtml/consbib8.html Hetch Hetchy controversy] to national attention.
*1909 — US President Theodore Roosevelt convenes the North American Conservation Conference, held in Washington, D.C. and attended by representatives of Canada, Newfoundland, Mexico, and the United States.

1910s

*1913 — US Congress enacts law which destroyed the Hetch Hetchy Valley.
*1916 — US Congress created the National Park Service.
*1918 — The Save-the-Redwoods League is founded to the protect the remaining Coast Redwood trees. Over 60% of the redwoods in California's state redwood parks have been protected by the organization. :: — Scientific American reports alcohol-gasoline anti-knock blend is "universally" expected to be the fuel of the future. Seven years later, in Public Health Service hearings, General Motors and Standard Oil spokesmen will claim that there are no alternatives to leaded gasoline as an anti-knock additive.:: — Congress approves the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which implements a 1916 Convention (between the U.S. and Britain, acting for Canada) for the Protection of Migratory birds, and establishes responsibility for international migratory bird protection.:: - Spanish Flu kills between 50 to 100 million people worldwide

1920s

*1921Thomas Midgley discovers lead components to be an efficient antiknock agent in gasoline engines. In spite of the well known toxic effects, lead was in ubiquitous use. First banned from use in Japan 1986. [www.worldbank.org/transport/publicat/b09.pdf]
*1927Great Mississippi Flood.
*1928Thomas Midgley develops chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) as a non-toxic refrigerant. The first warnings of damage to stratospheric ozone were published by Molina and Rowland 1974. They shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their work. Since 1987 world production is reduced under the Montreal Protocol and banned in most countries.
*1929 — the Swann Chemical Company develops polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) for transformer coolant use. Research in the 1960s revealed PCBs to be potent carcinogens. Banned from production in the US 1976, probably 1 million tonnes of PCBs were manufactured in total globally.

1930s

*1930 — World population reached 2 billion.
*1932 to 1937 — Exceptional precipitation absence in northern hemisphere exacerbated by human activities causes the Dust Bowl drought of the US plains and the Soviet famine of 1932-1933 (harsh economic damage in US and widespread death in USSR)
*1933 — First legislation on Animal rights adopted, Germany [ [http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/Germany/Nazianimalrights.htm Nazi Germany and Animal Rights ] ] .:: — Publication of "Game Management" by Aldo Leopold.
*1934Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act.
*1935Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act.
*1939 — The insecticidal properties of DDT discovered by Paul Hermann Müller, who was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his efforts. The first ban on its use came in 1970.

1940s

*1944Flood Control Act of 1944 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on December 22.
*1945 — Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. First use of atomic weapons during war.
*1947 — Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
*1948World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. Founded in 1948, its headquarters is located in Gland, Switzerland.
*1949 — First known dioxin exposure incident, in a Nitro, West Virginia herbicide production plant. Extensively used during the Vietnam War 1961 - 1971 as Agent Orange. Production ban in the US on some component from 1970.

1950s

*1951The Nature Conservancy is an environmental organization founded in the United States.:: — World Meteorological Organization (WMO) established by the United Nations.
*1954 — The first nuclear power plant to generate electricity for a power grid started operations at Obninsk, Soviet union on 27 June. The first substantial accident happened on 10 October 1957 in Windscale, England.:: — Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act
*1956Minamata disease, a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. :: — Fish and Wildlife Act.
*1958Mauna Loa Observatory initiates monitoring of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels. The time series eventually became the main reference on global atmospheric change.

1960s

*1960 — World population reached 3 billion.:: — Mobilisation in France to preserve the Vanoise National Park in the Alpes (Val d'Isère, Tignes, etc.) from an important touristic project. The park itself was created three years later, in 1963, and was the first French natural park.
*1961World Wildlife Fund (WWF) registered as a charitable trust in Morges, Switzerland, an international organization for the conservation, research and restoration of the natural environment.
*1962Wallace Stegner publishes the "Wilderness Essay".:: — Rachel Carson publishes "Silent Spring".
*1964Norman Borlaug takes position as the director of the International Wheat Improvement Program in Texcoco, Mexico. The program leads to the green revolution.:: — Wilderness Act.
*1965Hurricane Betsy flooded large areas of New Orleans (USA) drowning around 40 people.
*1966National Wildlife Refuge System Act.:: — Fur Seal Act.
*1968 — The Apollo 8 picture of earthrise.:: — National Trails System Act.:: — Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
*1969National Environmental Policy Act including the first requirements on Environmental impact assessment.:: — Accidental pollution of the Rhine in Europe, by 500 liters of Endosulfan, a kind of insecticide. The river was contaminated on more than 600 km and more than 20 million fish died [ "Environmental movement" article in the French Encyclopedia Universalis] ] .:: — The Icelandic summer-spawning herring stock collapses as a result of a combination of high fishing pressure and deteriorating environmental conditions. From being a stock that was distributed over large areas in the North Atlantic, the stock was reduced to a small stock in Norwegian coastal waters. International efforts have later started to rebuild the stock.:: — Category 5 Hurricane Camille caused damage and destruction across much of the Gulf Coast of the United States.

1970s

*1970Earth Day, millions of people gather in the United States for the first Earth day organized by Gaylord Nelson, former senator of Wisconsin, and Denis Hayes, Harvard graduate student.:: — US Environmental Protection Agency established.:: — Clean Air Act.:: — Resource Recovery Act.:: — Francis A. Schaeffer publishes Pollution and the Death of Man.:: — Arne Næss leads the non-violent civil disobedience protest against damming of the Mardalsfossen waterfall, later publishing on the deep ecology philosophy.
*1971 — The international environmental organisation Greenpeace founded in Vancouver, Canada. Greenpeace has later developed national and regional offices in 41 countries worldwide.:: — International Institute for Environment and Development established in London, UK. One offshoot is the World Resources Institute with its biannual report "World Resources" since 1984.:: — Nonprofit Keep America Beautiful launches the nationwide "Crying Indian" television public service advertisement, reaching nearly every American household.
*1972 — The Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm, Sweden 5 to 16 June, the first of a series of world environmental conferences.:: — United Nations Environment Programme founded as a result of the Stockholm conference.:: — the "Oslo Convention on dumping waste at sea", later merged with the "Paris Convention on land-based sources of marine pollution" into the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic.:: — The Club of Rome publishes its report Limits to Growth, which has sold 30 million copies in more than 30 translations, making it the best selling environmental book in world history.:: — Marine Mammal Protection Act.:: — Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (also known as Ocean Dumping Act).:: — Noise Control Act.:: — Clean Water Act.:: — Coastal Zone Management Act.:: — First photograph of the whole illuminated Earth taken from space, Apollo 17, resulting in the famous "Blue Marble" photograph, said to have been at least partly responsible for launching the modern environmental movement.:: — Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) - major amendments
*1973OPEC announces oil embargo against United States.:: — World Conservation Union (IUCN) meeting drafts the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):: — Endangered Species Preservation Act.:: — E. F. Schumacher publishes Small Is Beautiful.
*1974Chlorofluorocarbons are first hypothesized to cause ozone thinning.:: — National Reserves Management Act.:: — World population reached 4 billion.:: — State Natural Heritage Program Network launched in the US.
*1975Energy Policy and Conservation Act.
*1976Dioxin accidental release in Seveso, Italy on 10 July, killing animals and traumatizing the population.:: — Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
*1977Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.:: — Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act.
*1978Brominated flame-retardants replaces PCBs as as the major chemical flame retardant. Swedish scientists noticed these substances to be accumulating in human breast milk 1998. First ban on use in the EU 2004.
*1979 — The Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution is established to reduce air pollutant emissions and acid rain.:: — Three Mile Island, worst nuclear power accident in US history.:: — Hans Jonas publishes "The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of Ethics for the Technological Age".

1980s

*1980Mount St. Helens erupts explosively in Washington state.:: — Superfund (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act or CERCLA)
*1982Coastal Barrier Resources Act.
*1984Bhopal disaster in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh (Methyl isocyanate leakage).
*1986Chernobyl, world's worst nuclear power accident occurs at a plant in Ukraine.:: — Emergency Wetlands Resources Act.:: — Tetra-ethyl lead phase-out was completed in the US.:: — Northern Rivers Rerouting Project abandoned by the USSR government.
*1987 — World population reached 5 billion.:: — The Report of the Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future on sustainable development, is published.
*1988Ocean Dumping Ban Act.:: — Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by two United Nations organizations, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess the "risk of human-induced climate change".
*1989Exxon Valdez creates largest oil spill in US history.:: — Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer entered into force on January 1. Since then, it has undergone five revisions, in 1990 (London), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing).

1990s

*1990National Environmental Education Act.:: — European Environment Agency was established by EEC Regulation 1210/1990 and became operational in 1994. It is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.:: — The IPCC first assessment report was completed, and served as the basis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).:: — Clean Air Act - major amendment
*1991 — The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed 4 October. The agreement provides for the protection of the Antarctic environment through five specific annexes on marine pollution, fauna, and flora, environmental impact assessments, waste management, and protected areas. It prohibits all activities relating to mineral resources except scientific.::— World's worst oil spill occurs in Kuwait during war with Iraq.:: — Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established by donor governments.
*1992 — The Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to June 14, was unprecedented for a United Nations conference, in terms of both its size and the scope of its concerns.:: — United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change opened for signature on 9 May ahead of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.:: — The international Convention on Biological Diversity opened for signature on 5 June in connection with the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.:: — World Ocean Day began on 8 June at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.:: — The Canadian government closes all eastern seaboard fishing grounds due to insufficient recovery of the stock.:: — Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency established.:: — The metaphor Ecological footprint is coined by William Rees.
*1993 — The Great Flood of 1993 was one of the most destructive floods in United States history involving the Missouri and Mississippi river valleys.
*1994United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.:: — The first genetically modified food crop released to the market. It remains a strongly controversial environmental issue.
*1995 — Scotland's Environmental Protection Agency is established.
*1996Western Shield, a wildlife conservation project is started in Western Australia, and through successful work has taken several species off of the state, national, and international (IUCN) Endangered Species Lists..
*1997 — July, U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, which stated that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations.:: — The Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in December. It is actually an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Countries that ratify this protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases.
*1999 — World population reached 6 billion.

21st century

*2001 — U.S. rejects the Kyoto Protocol.:: — The IPCC release the IPCC Third Assessment Report.
*2002Earth Summit, held in Johannesburg a United Nations conference.
*2003 — The world's largest reservoir, the Three Gorges Dam begins filling 1 June. :: — European Heat Wave resulting in the premature deaths of at least 35,000 people.
*2004Earthquake causes large tsunamis in the Indian Ocean, killing nearly a quarter of a million people.:: — FBI initiates Operation Backfire - an anti-terrorist law enforcement operation against "Eco-Radicals."
*2005 — Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma cause widespread destruction and environmental harm to coastal communities in the US Gulf Coast region.:: — The Kyoto Protocol came into force on February 16 following ratification by Russia on November 18, 2004.
*2006 — Former U.S. vice president Al Gore releases "An Inconvenient Truth", a documentary that describes global warming. The next year, Gore is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (jointly with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) for this and related efforts.:: — The BBC's "Climate Chaos" season includes "Are We Changing Planet Earth?", a two-part investigation into global warming by David Attenborough.:: — The Stern Review is published. The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, says that it shows that scientific evidence of global warming was "overwhelming" and its consequences "disastrous".:: — World population reached 6.5 billion [cite web |url= http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11545564/ |title= World population hits 6.5 billion |accessdate=2007-04-19 |last= David |first=Leonard |date= 2006-02-25 |publisher=MSNBC ]
*2007 — The IPCC release the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.:: — Power Shift 2007 - the first National Youth Climate Conference, held in College Park, MD and Washington, D.C. November 2-5, 2007. Power Shift 2007: Rise to the Climate Challenge saw over 5,000 youth converge in Washington, D.C. to build their movement, lobby congress, and make a statement about the way youth feel about Global Warming.
*2008 — A world changing, The Green Movement becomes main-stream. Consumers force corporations to take responsibility on all fronts.

See also

*List of environmental issues
*Timeline of environmental history of New Zealand

References

Further reading

* [http://www.radford.edu/~wkovarik/envhist/ Environmental History Timeline]
* [http://firstgov.gov/ Firstgov.gov] - various United States government sites
*"The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, "(1850-1920)"" — [http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amrvhtml/conshome.html The Library of Congress]
* "The Global Environmental Movement", John McCormick (London: John Wiley, 1995).


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