Just Cool It

Ever heard the one about all the sci­en­tists in the sev­en­ties who claimed the plan­et was cool­ing and that’s why we can’t trust sci­en­tists who now claim the plan­et is warm­ing? Yeah, me too. Well, next time you hear it, you can point out it was nev­er true in the first place. The con­sen­sus back then was that the plan­et was warm­ing. We’re just more sure of it now after three decades of research.

Thomas Peter­son of the Nation­al Cli­mat­ic Data Cen­ter sur­veyed dozens of peer-reviewed sci­en­tif­ic arti­cles from 1965 to 1979 and found that only sev­en sup­port­ed glob­al cool­ing, while 44 pre­dict­ed warm­ing. Peter­son says 20 oth­ers were neu­tral in their assess­ments of cli­mate trends. The study reports, “There was no sci­en­tif­ic con­sen­sus in the 1970s that the Earth was head­ed into an immi­nent ice age. “A review of the lit­er­a­ture sug­gests that, to the con­trary, green­house warm­ing even then dom­i­nat­ed sci­en­tists’ think­ing about the most impor­tant forces shap­ing Earth­’s cli­mate on human time scales.”

The jour­nal arti­cle can be found here [.pdf]. via Real­Cli­mate