Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Global Cooling Consensus Myth Debunked

Here is another great installment in the Climate Denial Crock of the Week series, this time dealing with the supposed consensus of science in the 1970's that we were experiencing global cooling and were headed for another ice age. As one should expect with our media, statements by scientists were taken out of context, and portrayed as being more dire, conclusive, and general than they actually were. Some of the tastier tidbits from the scientists and the scientific report that mentioned global cooling:

"Well nobody likes to be wrong. But remember, I never said 'I predict that we are going to induce an ice age. What I said was 'under these assumptions, this is what you get. Other scientists say that could trigger an ice age."

...we do not have a good quantitative understanding of the our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate...

The onset of [cooling]...could be several thousand years in the future, although there is a finite possibility that a serious worldwide cooling could befall the earth within the next 100 years.

A leading effect is the enrichment of the atmospheric CO2 content by the combustion of fossil fuels...such effects may offset a future natural cooling trend, or to enhance a natural warming.

Doesn't sound like a scientific consensus on global cooling now, does it? As should come as no surprise to anyone, the media took the sexiest, most alarmist portions of the report and sensationalized them, making them appear far more certain than they actually were.

The final nail in the coffin was the study of the 71 peer-reviewed studies on the subject from 1965 to 1979:

7 predicted cooling
20 neutral
44 predicted global warming cooling was never more than a minor aspect of the scientific climate change literature of the era, let alone a scientific consensus.

This is a far cry from the consensus that exists now, where practically every major scientific organization in the world supports the global warming theory. Those who claim otherwise are simply engaging in historic revisionism.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I'm leaving this comment months too late, but I've only just discovered the global cooling consensus is a myth. This is absolutely brilliant news. You see, this is big for me as both of my parents are huge global warming/evolution/big bang theory skeptics and I'm proud to say I'm branching away from that. And finally, finally, finally I am researching global warming. Thank you to the people at Science Avenger for popping up in my search engine against all odds.

ScienceAvenger said...

No problem, glad you appreciate it. Your parents need to understand, as so many do, that science is not about justifying our preconceived notions. It's about the evidence, no matter how much it might grate against our religious or common sensibilities. Try running the results of quantum mechanics by them, should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Where can I find this report with the survey of scientists? If I showed this to a friend they would cast it aside because there's no link. I want to shut this clown up!