Climate Change Culture Global Warming History Omniclimate Science Skepticism

Evidence About The 1970s Global Cooling Consensus Keeps Piling Up

Not just Damon and Kunen’s (already mentioned here)…by chance, I have found yet another Science paper (this time Broecker from August 1975) making it clear that, for a few years up to then, the general consensus among scientists had been that the world was cooling:

[…] the present cooling trend […] the natural climatic cooling which, since 1940, has more than compensated for the carbon dioxide effect[…]

Time to repeat myself:  we have a ‘widely accepted [by the scientific community]…global cooling trend’, at least judging from Mitchell’s work in 1972; doubts about that growing in the same scientific community from 1975/1976, as per Damon and Kunen’s paper; but not early enough to prevent Newsweek from publishing its 1975 article, one that even mentions a certain Dr Murray Mitchell. That means that pieces of the global cooling puzzle do suggest that cooling was a widely-held view in the 1970s. Admittedly, such an agreed view did not last the whole decade: rather, it concerned the 1972 to 1975 period.

etc etc

0 replies on “Evidence About The 1970s Global Cooling Consensus Keeps Piling Up”

So 30 years from now will folks be using this web site and a few others to “prove” there was no consensus back in the early 2000’s? I lived through the 1970’s and all we heard was cooling and ice ages -Just like we hear about warming now. Both are wrong. Both ignore cycles.

Some more:

“The facts have emerged, in recent years and months, from research into past ice ages. They imply that the threat of a new ice age must now stand along-side nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.”
– Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist and producer of scientific television documentaries, “In the Grip of a New Ice Age,” International Wildlife, July 1975.

“At this point, the world’s climatologists are agreed…Once the freeze starts, it will be too late.”
– Douglas Colligan, “Brace Yourself for Another Ice Age,” Science Digest, February 1973.

“I believe that increasing global air pollution, through its effect on the reflectivity of the earth, is currently dominant and is responsible for the temperature decline of the past decade or two.”
– Reid Bryson, “Environmental Roulette, Global Ecology: Readings Toward a Rational Strategy for Man, John P. Holdren and Paul R. Ehrlich, eds., 1971.

“[Compared to the recent period, t]here appears to be nothing like it [in warmth] in the past 1,000 years.”
– Reid Bryson, in New York Times Staff, 1975, p. 170

I lived through that decade as a teenager,who heard a lot about cooling discussions.They were there and what is more,books were being published discussing the obvious cooling trend at the time.I have two of the books written by Reid Bryson and also by John Imbrie.

I remember Walter Cronkite repeatedly going to great lengths to report the blizzards and other unusually cold and snowy weather for several years in the mid/late 1970’s.

Some of the most prominent climatologists of the day (in the late 1960’s to late 1970’s) were expressing concern about the cooling trend.

At my forum,I have a 3 part video presentation that covers it well the concern about the cooling trend.From 1978:

I get irritated when we have people try hard to downplay the concerns that were definitely prevalent at the time.

You are confusing two completely different issues: observation of the recent past and prediction of the future. There is no question whatever that global temperatures fell slightly from roughly 1940 to 1975. That’s data. There’s nothing to argue about, nothing to accept or deny: it’s what was observed.

In the early 1970s, some scientists started to wonder if this was a trend. Since the scientific community is far more open to contrary ideas that many bloggers, those wonderings were published, along with other conjectural papers that pointed in the opposite direction. You can find a partial history of climate science in the 1970s here:

You’ll find a very nice summary of the history of climate change science here:

Readers in need of increased humility might want to read this bibliography of published scientific papers dealing with climate change:

The overall conclusion of all this is simple: the claim that scientists in the 1970s were convinced that the climate was cooling is totally, completely, BOGUS.

“There is no question whatever that global temperatures fell slightly from roughly 1940 to 1975…the claim that scientists in the 1970s were convinced that the climate was cooling is totally, completely, BOGUS.”

You should read what you write.

Tit for tat: And perhaps you should pay attention to what I write:

“You are confusing two completely different issues: observation of the recent past and prediction of the future.”

I agree there are two if not more issues at stake here…that’s why I find it strange that so much time has been spent in demonstrating global cooling was a “myth” when it’s mainly a matter for the dictionary.

I have not followed all your posts on this subject, so I don’t know if you have this reference already:

L. Ponte, The Cooling, Prentice-Hall, Inc., New Jersey, 1976.

where we can read the following:

“Our planet’s climate has been cooling for the past three decades… Some monitoring stations inside the Arctic Circle report that temperature has been falling by more than 2°C per decade for the past thirty years.”


“There is no agreement on whether the Earth is cooling. There is not unanimous agreement on whether it has cooled, or one hemisphere has cooled and the other warmed. One would think that there might be consensus about what data there is — but there is not. There is no agreement on the causes of climatic change, or even why it should not change among those who so maintain. There is certainly no agreement about what the climate will do in the next century, though there is a majority opinion that it will change, more or less, one way or the other. Of that majority, a majority believe that the longer trend will be downward.”

He he…,

In that book,which I have read back in the late 1970’s.There are a number of passages where they were discussion how fast snow and ice can accumulate to promote a full blown ice age phase in as little as ten years.

They were strongly thinking that the undeniable (at the time) cooling trend,could lead to a new ice age phase.It is scattered all over in the thick book.

You are being improperly selective in your quotes.

I suggest that YOU actually read the book.

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