Swedish Chemistry

January 27, 2012

Nothing remarkable about this little piece – a bit of explanatory visuals about the chemistry of greenhouse gases – except – it answers a burning question:
How the heck do you pronounce “Svante Arrhenius”.

If you’re pressed for time, cute swedish girl tells you at 2:00.

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5 Responses to “Swedish Chemistry”


  1. I have a chemisty PhD and for the last 2.5 years I’ve worked as a postdoc at the Svante Arrhenius laboratory in Stockholm as a chemistry postdoc. I can verify that what is said in this video about greenhouse gases and the emission/re-radiation of energy from greenhouse gases is correct… and I’m glad it’s being popularized for the public. Science literacy, particularly when it comes to climate change, is in short supply. Science illiteracy enables climate denialism to take a far stronger hold of the public’s beliefs than it is entitled to on the basis of facts.

    I would add that whilst the video mentions making light harvesting technologies more efficient through chemistry research, that’s not where it ends. There are a number of things chemists are looking at that were not mentioned, including catalytic water oxidation (efficiently splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen), that have the potential to solve the energy crisis.

  2. Martin Lack Says:

    Amazing – I would never have guessed you pronounce it quite like she did.

  3. Alteredstory Says:

    The last name threw me – had to play it a couple of times.

    Plus, it sounds real nice the way she said it. I like the Scandinavian languages.


  4. One little criticism about the narrative at 4:12 – 4:32. It implies that, using ice core samples, scientists simultaneously deduced that rising surface temperatures and increasing GHGs “might be linked”. In fact, GHG physics was first published by Fourier in 1827. Arrhenius (pronunciation is so cool) published a first *calculation* of global warming as a function of CO2 in 1896. Anecdotal evidence for rising temperatures began to be gathered in the 1930s.


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