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A New Treasure Trove Of 1970s “Global Cooling” Articles

Newspaper articles collection strongly indicates that in Italy, like elsewhere, the average reader of newspapers would have had all the reasons to believe in a “global cooling consensus” for much of the 1970’s and even later.

Italian newspaper “La Stampa” has just put online its 1867-today archive (yes, it IS in Italian). What better chance (well, for me at least…) to explore the evolution of “global cooling” thinking in the 1970s beyond the usual English-speaking newsmedia? With the added bonus of plenty of names and other key words to use as…keywords for further research.

Very briefly: in the 15 articles I have found so far:

  • the popularity of scientists predicting an ice age is very clear up to the Feb 1979 meeting of the World Meteorological Organization
  • “upcoming ice age” is the meme du jour up to 1985 at least
  • there is a warmist slant in 1990 but strangely, the arguments of discussion are more or less the same still central to the debate in 2010

This collection strongly indicates that in Italy, like elsewhere, the average reader of newspapers would have had all the reasons to believe in a “global cooling consensus” for much of the 1970’s and even later.


Here’s the article list:

1. June 22, 1976 (n.145, p.14): “Entro cento anni avremo una era glaciale” – “Within a hundred years we’ll get an ice age” by Umberto Oddone

  • Mentions Reid Bryson
  • “not all scientists agree”
  • a Cesare Emiliani from the University of Miami investigates 700,000 years of sea-shells Oxygen isotopes
  • icebreaker “Glacier” gets “stuck in the Atlantic”

2. June 27, 1976 (n.150, p.9): “Tra ghiacci e siccita'” – “Between ice and drought” by Umberto Oddone

  • Earth is “having a fever”
  • Bryson again
  • Cesare Emiliani and sea-shells analysis, again

3. Oct 19, 1976 (n.229, p.21): “Fra pochi anni inverni freddissimi – In Siberia spariranno i cereali?” – “Very cold winters within few years – will grains disappear from Siberia?” by Bruno Ghibaudi

  • 30 years of cooling trend
  • Not a new ice age but hard consequences expected for the USSR
  • Mentions Prok Nikola Volkov, Director, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Leningrad
  • Kara Sea temperature having dropped from -10C to -13C in 30 years
  • Nearby polar seas, decreases of 1 or 2C
  • Sea lanes to Murmansk and Arkangelsk closed by the ice in the early 1900’s, open in 1941-45, now 60% closed again
  • Two teams of French scientists complete research in the Antarctic.
  • Oxygen-isotope analysis indicates climate cycles, with a new cold peak in 3000AD and a warm peak in 9000AD
  • Mentions human influence, possible apocalyptic consequences
  • Recommends an international program to control climate

4. Feb 14, 1977 (n.29, p.3): “E’ giunta l’era glaciale” – “The ice age has come” by Alberto Rapisarda

  • Bryson again. Must have been very popular.

5. Jan 3, 1978 (n.1, p.3): “Si torna all’era glaciale?” – “A return to the ice age?” by Umberto Oddone

  • Mentions a new book “Climatologia” by Prof. Mario Pinna
  • Suggests getting warm clothes ready, for a few decades or for thousands of years

6. Apr 14, 1978 – (n.85, p.15): “Aiuto, arriva l’era glaciale” – “Help, the ice age is coming” (unsigned article)

  • “Many meteorologists” “convinced” about upcoming little ice age
  • Climate for 90% of the time warmer than at present
  • Causes of the cooling: disagreement
  • According to Juri Izrael, Hydrometer Service Director for the USSR: deforestation, landscape changes
  • According to James Hays of Columbia University and Nicholas Shackelton of Cambridge University: orbital changes
  • Hurd Willett of MIT mentioned as expecting lower temps
  • “Many meteorologists” of the opinion that “it’s all due to changes in the Sun”

7. Apr 27, 1978 (n.95, p.9): “Siamo alla soglia dell’era glaciale?” – “Are we on the edge of an ice age?” by Umberto Oddone

  • Mentions “18 known American climatologists” and a series of articles on Die Welt
  • North Polar ice cap increases from 1971 to 1978 by 12%
  • Antarctic ice mass increase from 1966 to 1967 by 10%
  • Global temperature down in 30 years by 0.5C
  • Mentions Bryson expecting a return to the little ice age
  • Mentions other climatologists as far more pessimist (“big” ice age) – work by the Impact Team headed by climatologist William Colby, former head of the CIA – “snowblitz”
  • Mentions Dansgaard
  • Mentions Calder as reporting the opinion of “not few” scientists

8. Jan 4, 1979 (n.3, p.4): “Sta per cominciare un’era glaciale – secondo meteorologi giapponesi” – “An ice age is coming – according to Japanese meteorologists” by press agency Ansa-Reuter

  • Mentions Junkichi Nemoto – University of Saitama – saying a “little ice age” is already underway
  • Mentions WMO conference in Feb 1979 in Geneva

9. Jan 9, 1979 (n.8, p.28): “Ma perche’ parlare di era glaciale?” – “And why all the talk of an ice age?” by Stefano Pavan

  • Mentions climate wars
  • Hubert Lamb, Alastair Woodroffe: snowblitz (snow accumulating by not completely melting by the end of the summer), 50cm/year

10. Feb 19, 1979 (n.48, p.3): “Cambia il nostro clima – Il mondo va verso una nuova era glaciale?” – “Our climate is changing – Is the world going towards an ice age?” by Fabio Galvano

  • Mentions the WMO Conference in Geneva
  • “400 climatologists” meeting to discuss how humanity can adapt to climate changes
  • Conference President – Robert White
  • Mentions some scientists as believing that Earth is moving towards an ice age
  • Mentions most scientists as believing that Earth is getting warmer due to human activities
  • Greenhouse effect from a sulphuric acid/ammonium sulphide “polar fog”
  • Mentions Stephen Schneider as expecting 2C-3C of increase in the temperate zones in 2050, as CO2 concentrations double. Mentions William Kellogg as expecting another doubling by 2100, with +6C
  • Mentions +20C at the Poles
  • Mentions the Amazon turning into a Sahara (Harry Knowles)
  • Geoengineering in the USSR proposed by climatologist Federov

11. Jan 20, 1982 (n.16): “Tranquilli, non e’ un’altra era glaciale” – “Keep cool, there’s no ice age coming” by James Wagner, National Weather Service

  • No ice age
from Piero Bianucci's Apr 21, 1982 article
from Piero Bianucci's Apr 21, 1982 article

12. Apr 21, 1982 (n.25, p. 3): “Questo freddo di aprile farà’ scendere i ghiacciai?” – “This cold in April will expand the glaciers?” by Piero Bianucci

  • Detailed temperature graph for the last 80,000 years
  • Mentions winter 81-82 as colder than 77’s, considered “coldest in the century” by “American climatologist”
  • Walter Orr Roberts and sun/drought link
  • Mentions Stephen Schneider, according to whom the “turnaround year” from a warming trend to a cooling one was 1972, a year with drought in the USSR, floods in Pakistan, and a delayed start of the monsoon season.
  • Mentions Lamb describing a “butterfly effect” on climate

13. Jan 30, 1985 (n.155, p. 2): “Dietro l’angolo c’e’ un’era glaciale?” – “Is there an ice age behind the corner?” by Stefano Pavan

  • Nicholas Shackleton, Cambridge University – shells analysis indicates a descent into an ice age – for 5,000 years, an accumulation of 50cm/year – “snowblitz”
  • Mentions Danish glaciologists as saying that summer insolation in the Northern Hemisphere has come down, and it’s lower than when 90,000 years ago there was a sudden cooling episode
  • Mentions Nigel Calder’s “The Weather Machine” with a long list of countries that would fall against the climate catastrophe

14. Oct 10, 1990 (n.436, p. 21): “Il clima cambia, ecco gli indizi” – “The climate changes, here’s the evidence” by Angelo Tartaglia
15. Oct 10, 1990 (n.436, p. 21): “I dati sono insufficienti” – “There is not enough data” by Stefano Pavan

  • Both articles could have been written yesterday, including skeptics at the MIT and computer models at the UK’s Met Office

44 replies on “A New Treasure Trove Of 1970s “Global Cooling” Articles”

[…] · The Claim: Declarations about MGW have been discussed in peer-reviewed scientific literature for 50 years. We entreat Shawn to provide us with just one little citation from 1961. It seems that one Roger Revelle was into global warming in the 50’s, but did he publish any peer-reviewed articles? Of course, the Swede Arrhenius is credited with first proposing the relationship between CO2 and warming. His prediction: ‘a doubling of CO2 would increase the temperature by 5C’. We would certainly be amiss if we didn’t mention the ubiquitous Dr. Hansen, who seems to have come to the fore with an article in the NYT by one Walter Sullivan on slow news day in 1981. There is even a newspaper article (peer-reviewed?) from 1957. But the big news was not warming, but rather cooling, and the coming of a new ice age. There were the usual fear-mongering articles and yes, peer-reviewed literature to support the scientists’ claims. See Here, and Here. […]

[…] It’s global cooling again (via Drudge): Climate change could lead to colder winters in northern regions, according to a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research on Tuesday. […]

Climate fraud (and the resultant taxes), yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
(Last link of Banned Book):

Yep. The propaganda mill tries to minimize it, and claim it wasn’t such a large or serious a movement, but that is a lie. I remember it well.

Damm I was hoping it was going to get warmer.
I dont like the cold, Have already shifted 21 times for warmer areas, almost there.

come to curaçao! right on top of the thermal equator
besides, we need some more recalcitrants

[…] In fact, we now know that “the world” was not cooling at the time, but “the Northern Hemisphere” was. Only thing, the scientists in 1972 had no way to know it was just a Northern Hemisphere thing. All of this is actually quite inconsequential wrt the original question (once again: “Did the scientists believe in the 1970s that there was global cooling?“). Anyway: in the published scientific literature, the global cooling idea started in fact evaporating in 1975, and had been replaced by global warming at full speed from 1979 or so (curiously, in sync with the PDO…). The same happened but much more slowly outside the world of research, so most people have been exposed to “global cooling” (actually, to global cooling consensus…. […]

I suppose you’ve checked out google books too? Here’s a few old New Scientist articles about the 1970s forthcoming ice age. There’s pobably more – apologies if there are too many -edit as you see fit.

Forgot to paste here this comment of mine originally at Real Science:

Hopefully I or somebody with a little more time to spare will be able to go through the list of names appearing in my blog, and see what they were publishing in the scientific literature.

The Schneider quote in particular about 1972 being the tipping point from “warming” to “cooling” is priceless (if accurate!).

People with the usual tired replies(“it’s all newspaper articles!”) should explain how exactly different journalists in different continents speaking different languages managed to sustain the “global cooling meme” for so many years in face of overwhelmingly contrary scientific opinion (that I prettyh doubt ever existed).

Also it is important to note that, far from being the silly democratic/ committee-based endeavor of our times, science in the past had its superstars, with authorities built upon hard work and capable of single-handedly defining what the consensus was: climatologist Mitchell in 1972 (mind you, correctly mentioned even by Peterson, Connolley and Fleck even if they forgot what that article meant) like paleontologist Glaessner in 1957.

So all the counting up of cooling vs warming articles may amount to literally nothing, just like a soccer team scoring 500 goals in Third Division still won’t be remembered as the year’s national champion

“People with the usual tired replies(“it’s all newspaper articles!”) should explain how exactly different journalists in different continents speaking different languages managed to sustain the “global cooling meme” for so many years in face of overwhelmingly contrary scientific opinion (that I prettyh doubt ever existed).”

Exactly so!! And so far as I am aware, this important issue has not yet been addressed. Not even mentioned in almost all cases.

Journalists, generally speaking, do not make up out of thin air the basis of their reports. Some kind of coordinated effort across languages, countries, time periods, and somewhat complicated concepts would have been necessary to carry a fiction to such heights of visibility.

Tellingly, scientists and other informed individuals are usually the sources for the basis of the reports. The very same category of people who now proclaim that it never happened.

Just to clarify, I am wrong in thinking that the 7 ‘articles’ you mention are actually published science papers while this other 15 articles, are indeed just that – magazine articles and the like?

anivegmin – and they’re obviously a tough challenge for people somehow incapable to read a blog post, let alone a newspaper article…

I remember “Global Cooling” or “Nuclear Winter” stories running at the same time as “Global Warming”

By the way, are they really trying for a third name change to “Climate Interruption”?

Holdren (Obama’s “science” adviser), was one of the “coolists” back then. In fact he was one of the authors of an article talking about how to create global warming to fight off the ice age. Now he’s apparently just as busy playing a “warmist” role.

Keep in mind that Obama got involved in the establishment of the CCX before becoming president. (CCX – Chicago Climate Exchange).

Wow … with all those mirror-image memes, it’s almost like déja vu … all over again!

Never let it be said that the scaremongers are not expert at “recycling”!

Excellent find, Maurizio, and a great follow-up to your earlier discovery, the 1974 CIA document. Leads me to wonder just what else is out there from pre-internet times (and outside the Anglosphere), waiting to be found.

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