How often have you heard a skeptic of man-made global warming dismiss current scientific conclusions regarding climate change by referencing a supposed consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was experiencing “global cooling”. The argument generally goes something like…
“Thirty years ago, they were telling us we were going to freeze. Now they’re telling us we’re going to burn up. They weren’t right then, so what makes anyone think they’re right now?”
Of course, the validity of this argument hinges on the existence of a scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was actually experiencing global cooling. A new set of survey results slated for publishing in the journal of the American Meteorological Society finds that no such consensus existed thirty years ago. A review of the published scientific papers at the time did not find a predominant leaning toward global cooling. In fact, the survey found that references to “global warming” were actually much more prevalent even then.
UPDATED (Jun 25, 2008): Updated with link to the study published by the American Meteorological Society
- Study debunks ‘global cooling’ concern of ’70s – USA Today (Feb 22, 2008)
- THE MYTH OF THE 1970S GLOBAL COOLING SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS – Thomas C. Peterson (NOAA NCDC) & William M. Connolley (British Antarctic Survey)