In the article, Molena described how carbon dioxide in the air is associated with warmer temperatures, and "since burning coal produces carbon dioxide, it may be inquired whether the enormous use of that fuel in modern times may be an important factor in filling the atmosphere with this substance, and consequently indirectly raising the temperature of the Earth."
When Molena's story was published, scientists had already been predicting the effects of coal combustion on climate for the past few decades. Researchers were studying the topic at least as early as 1882, as evidenced by H.A. Phillips' paper titled "Pollution of the Atmosphere," published that year in the journal Nature.
Jeff Nichols, a historian at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told Quartz that he's found many examples of newspaper articles published between 1883 and 1912 that make predictions about how rising carbon dioxide levels alter the climate. The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Kansas City Star all published articles about rising carbon dioxide levels affecting the climate more than a hundred years ago, Quartz reported.