Revelle Buffer Factor - (n.)

The "buffer factor" compares the sensitivity of the two reservoirs, the ocean and the atmosphere, in their abilities to a change in their total carbon dioxide content. The value of the factor depends on the extent to which equilibrium with carbonate sediments has been achieved in a given situation. In a now-famous article published in the journal Tellus in 1957, Revelle and Suess applied previous scientists’ work with their buffer factor to calculate the amount that CO2 would increase over the century, and they expressed concern that “human beings are now carrying out a large-scale geophysical experiment of a kind that could not have happened in the past nor be reproduced in future.” The "buffer factor" was also discovered and discussed independently by a scientist named G.N. Plass.