DailyTech - Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling
Short Sharp Science: Who sparked the global cooling myth?The graph for HadCRUT (above), as well as the linked graphs for RSS and UAH are generated month-to-month; the temperature declines span a full 12 months of data. The linked GISS graph was graphed for the months of January only, due to a limitation in the plotting program. Anthony Watts, who kindly provided the graphics, otherwise has no connection with the column. The views and comments are those of the author only.
They say that in the 1970s, climate scientists claimed that we were headed for a mini ice-age. They then point out that this never happened, and so question the strength of current predictions that the globe will be between 2 and 5 °C warmer by 2100.
Fair enough. But was there ever a consensus over global cooling in the 1970s?
A few climate scientists have now scanned through the research literature of the time. For 1965 to 1979, they found seven articles that predicted cooling, 44 that predicted warming and 20 that were neutral. The results are being published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
You can also read summaries on RealClimate and on ScienceNews, though if you're interested in how the myth of global cooling was turned on its head, it is well worth reading the researchers' own version, which is freely available (as a PDF).
In other words, it appears there was not a scientific consensus over global cooling. So what created the fuss?
Possibly a careful selection of news items by certain politicians. According to the version of the study currently available online:When the myth of the 1970s global cooling scare arises in contemporary discussion over climate change, it is most often in the form of citations not to the scientific literature, but to news media coverage. That is where US Senator James Inhofe turned for much of the evidence to support his argument in a Senate floor speech in 2003 (Inhofe 2003). Chief among his evidence was a frequently cited Newsweek story: "The Cooling World" (Gwynne 1975).