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Definitive Evidence for Global Cooling Consensus in the 1970s (3)

A series of blogs analizing Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck’s (PCF) largely mistitled “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Volume 89, Issue 9, September 2008, pp 1325-1337). Previous considerations about a global cooling consensus in the 1960’s can be read here and here.

4 – AN INCOHERENT TIME FRAME

In the previous blogs in the series, we have seen how the very statements made by Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck’s (PCF) The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensuscan be used to demonstrate that there was indeed a global cooling scientific consensus, in the 1970s.

The whole concept of the “myth” is merely based on definitions. Besides, PCF’s own methodology meant disregarding almost everything written about global cooling anyway.

Moreover: they have been cavalier with the temporal series of events.

=====

What is the meaning of “the 1970’s”? In the “Perpetuating the Myth” Box (page 1326, page 2 in the PDF file), PCF are particularly disingenuous in their criticism of Singer and Avery (2007), Balling (1992), Giddens (1999), Michaels (2004) and pretty much everybody else.

From PCF’s own analysis, in fact, one can distinguish two eras, with a “cooling consensus” up to 1975:

PCF: “Indeed, the Earth appeared to have been cooling for more than 2 decades when scientists first took note of the change in trend in the 1960s. The seminal work was done by J. Murray Mitchell [in 1963, showing that] global temperatures had increased fairly steadily from the 1880s, the start of his record, until about 1940, before the start of a steady multidecade cooling (Mitchell 1963). By the early 1970s, when Mitchell updated his work (Mitchell 1972), the notion of a global cooling trend was widely accepted, albeit poorly understood.

The first satellite records showed increasing snow and ice cover across the Northern Hemisphere from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. This trend was capped by unusually severe winters in Asia and parts of North America in 1972 and 1973 (Kukla and Kukla 1974),which pushed the issue into the public consciousness (Gribbin 1975). The new data about global temperatures came amid growing concerns about world food supplies, triggering fears that a planetary cooling trend might threaten humanity’s ability to feed itself (Thompson 1975).

The start of the “warming” era is placed by PCF around 1976:

PCF: “It was not long, however, before scientists teasing apart the details of Mitchell’s trend found that it was not necessarily a global phenomenon.Yes, globally averaged temperatures were cooling, but this was largely due to changes in the Northern Hemisphere. A closer examination of Southern Hemisphere data revealed thermometers heading in the opposite direction (Damon and Kunen 1976).

Therefore, according to PCF themselves, scientists up to 1975 would have mostly agreed that the world was cooling. What is wrong then in stating that global cooling was at the time “scientific verity” (Bray 1991)? “Orthodox scientific opinion” in 1974, that is 25 years before Giddens wrote the text below, was exactly as he described it:

Giddens: “Yet only about 25 or so years ago, orthodox scientific opinion was that the world was in a phase of global cooling.

What one could say is that Singer, Avery, and most of those mentioned in that Box, are as guilty as PCF in viewing the 1970’s with glasses tinted with today’s mindframes (eg exaggerating any mention of “global cooling” into “ice ages”).

But is PCF’s the one truly unmissable statement:

PCF: “Clearly, if a national report in the 1970s advocates urgent action to address global warming, then the scientific consensus of the 1970s was not global cooling.

The U.S. National Research Council report they refer to, is from 1979. How could people know about that report, in 1975?

PCF’s analysis is not temporally sensible.

QED.

=====

In a lyrical passage, PCF state their research is all the more interesting because it shows the emerging in the 1970s of “the integrated tapestry that created the basis for climate science as we know it today“. That’s a myth in its own right, and the topic for the next blog in the series.

(continues…)

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  1. 2011/04/05 at 03:16

    quote: “Also, he goes on and on about how climate science was in its infancy. Who cares? Still doesn’t change the fact that the so-called “experts” at that time were projecting a global cooling consensus.”
    ~ ~ ~
    How in logic’s name do we get from the scientific consensus on the temperature record – to scientists projecting global cooling into the coming Ice Age, scientist’s don’t know squat myth??

    Beyond looking at the temperature record, scientists where also noticing the atmospheric CO2 record and from the long studied physics of CO2 and energy absorption they knew this would have a warming influence.

    They were also studying sulphur dioxide and other aerosols. Why did you fail to mention some of those cooling studies were into effects of increasing levels of aerosols. Or that society did a very good job of cleaning up those aerosols, thus eliminating the danger of aerosol inducted ice age which some scientists implied could happen has society’s emissions of aerosol increased by a multiple of four.

    Between tortured logic, willfully ignoring significant details and the general misdirection, I’m quite disappointed in this series.

    • Cory
      2011/04/06 at 01:52

      quote: “How in logic’s name do we get from the scientific consensus on the temperature record – to scientists projecting global cooling into the coming Ice Age, scientist’s don’t know squat myth??”

      Who said anything about “scientific consensus on the temperature record – to scientists projecting global cooling into the coming Ice Age”?

      quote: “Beyond looking at the temperature record, scientists where also noticing the atmospheric CO2 record and from the long studied physics of CO2 and energy absorption they knew this would have a warming influence.”

      They weren’t talking about the atmospheric CO2 record. They were talking about the supposed cooling. And, again, as I already pointed out, all PCF did was confirm exactly that of which has been said, of which, they claimed was a myth”. That, “[b]y the early 1970s, when Mitchell updated his work (Mitchell 1972), the notion of a global cooling trend was widely accepted, albeit poorly understood.

      The first satellite records showed increasing snow and ice cover across the Northern Hemisphere from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. This trend was capped by unusually severe winters in Asia and parts of North America in 1972 and 1973 (Kukla and Kukla 1974), which pushed the issue into the public consciousness (Gribbin 1975). The new data about global temperatures came amid growing concerns about world food supplies, triggering fears that a planetary cooling trend might threaten humanity’s ability to feed itself (Thompson 1975).“ And that, according to PCF, “Yes, globally averaged temperatures were cooling, but this was largely due to changes in the Northern Hemisphere. A closer examination of Southern Hemisphere data revealed thermometers heading in the opposite direction (Damon and Kunen 1976).“ It matters not whether it was “largely due to changes in the Northern Hemisphere” and that “[a] closer examination of Southern Hemisphere data revealed thermometers heading in the opposite direction”. It’s irrelevant. Still doesn’t change the fact that the “globally” averaged temperatures were cooling.

      quote: “They were also studying sulphur dioxide and other aerosols. Why did you fail to mention some of those cooling studies were into effects of increasing levels of aerosols. Or that society did a very good job of cleaning up those aerosols, thus eliminating the danger of aerosol inducted ice age which some scientists implied could happen has society’s emissions of aerosol increased by a multiple of four.”

      First, I didn’t think there was a need to mention “some of those cooling studies were into effects of increasing levels of aerosols”. I think that’s pretty much common knowledge…isn’t it? Second, when you say “society did a very good job of cleaning up those aerosols, thus eliminating the danger of aerosol inducted ice age”…and, you’re surprised and scientists are surprised when the globe starts warming back up? Isn’t that what it was supposed to do…after those aerosols were eliminated? But, then, OH NO, it’s time to create another scare. OMG! The globe was cooling because of aerosols and, now, after the aerosols were eliminated, the GLOBE IS STARTING TO WARM? AHHHHH! Does that make one ounce of sense too you? Maybe, we shouldn’t have even eliminated the aerosols and, we wouldn’t even be dealing with the “warming” factor today…huh? Is that our solution to global warming? Aerosol induced global cooling? It’s amazing too me how they can go from global cooling and claim it’s aerosols that’s inducing it, say we need to eliminate the aerosols and, thus, this leads to the globe warming back up and, then, fly into a panic when the globe starts warming back up after eliminating the aerosols and spin into yet another scare. And, besides, I don’t think it was aerosols of which were causing the global cooling in the first place. It was those particulates which created smog, which blocked out the sun, which were inducing the global cooling. And, that too, has been greatly reduced over the years and, yet again, this leads to the planet warming back up…doesn’t it?

      The logic above runs in conjunction with the following: I keep getting flat tires. I find out I have several dozen nails in my driveway. I clean up the nails and, walla, I no longer have flat tires. But, then, I freak out and am surprised about not getting flat tires anymore and think it’s an omen to something worse yet to come. Well, gee, I wonder why I’m not getting any flats anymore? Oh…yeah, wait, that’s right, I cleaned up the nails that were causing my tires to go flat…huh? Why am I freaking out and being surprised about not having anymore flat tires? Just like, if you believe aerosols were causing the planet to cool and, you clean up the aerosols and the planet starts warming? Why are you freaking out and being surprised about the planet warming? Isn’t that what it was supposed to do when you cleaned up the aerosols. Of which, you believed was causing the cooling?

      • 2011/04/06 at 12:15

        this is actually a very good point…even in the Alarmist Credo, it makes no sense to claim that aerosols were cooling the Earth _and_ be surprised that the Earth has been warming since aerosols have gone down. Thank you Cory.

  2. Cory
    2011/02/17 at 09:31

    Reading this, I am baffled by the part where the writers of “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” carry on about Northern and Southern Hemisphere temperatures when, this is completely irrelevant to the issue. He admits that the averaged temperature globally had cooled…which, coincides with what people are saying, that there was a consensus that the globe was cooling in the 1970s and, what the Northern and Southern Hemisphere temperatures were doing is completely irrelevant and it’s tantamount to nothing but pure gibberish. Further, most of that entire article is gibberish and irrelevant to what the actual issue was. Seems, they figure if they put enough words in it, they’ll baffle folks with endless non-related BS and, this will compel folks to fall for their scam. Additionally, I don’t know where they get the idea anyone has been saying that there was a scientific consensus throughout the 1970s that the globe was cooling. I myself, and most people I know, make sure to say that it was in the early to mid-1970s that this consensus was and, all PCF did was confirm exactly that of which has been said, of which, they claim is a myth. Also, he goes on and on about how climate science was in its infancy. Who cares? Still doesn’t change the fact that the so-called “experts” at that time were projecting a global cooling consensus. And, lastly, if these guys want to go on and on about the media and how it tends to overdramatize things and focus only on that of which graps folks’ attention? Well, gee, much the same thing can be said about the media today with respect to alleged global warming. Do they discount the media’s reporting with respect to today’s “global warming” as they clearly do the media’s reporting of “global cooling” at that time? No, today, the media is their darling and perfect mouthpiece for their pure and simple propaganda. For instance, you won’t see PCF making the following statement with respect to today’s media and their reporting on alleged “global warming” now…will we?

    “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 U.S. 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). The story drew from the latest global temperature records, and suggested that cooling “may portend a drastic decline for food production.” Citing the Kuklas’ work on increasing northern hemisphere snow and ice, and Reid Bryson’s concerns about a long term cooling trend, the Newsweek story contrasts the possibility of cooling temperatures and decreasing food production with rising global populations. Other articles of the time featured similar themes (Time 1974, Mathews 1976).

    […]

    However, the news coverage of the time does reflect what New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin calls “the tyranny of the news peg,” based on the idea that reporters need a “peg” on which to hang a story. Developments that are dramatic or new tend to draw the news media’s attention, Revkin argues, rather than the scientific community (Revkin 2005). A handy peg for climate stories during the 1970s was the cold weather.”

    Well, today, the “handy peg for climate stories” is the warm weather now…isn’t it? So, should we discount the media’s reporting of today’s warm weather just as easily as you and Andrew Revkin discount yesteryear’s reporting of cold weather? Where does these clowns think a majority of the American people get their information from? Most people don’t make it a habit to pour over scientific literature for their climate knowledge needs. They rely on the media and, the media reports that of which the climate scientists, politicians and others are saying about the climate. And, was the media of that time lying? Well, no, according to PCF, they in fact were not. Since, PCF admitted that, indeed, there was a cooling period during the early- and mid-1970s, at least.

    So, frankly, myself, I can only find the article “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” quite laughable and I can’t take it seriously.

  3. Lloyd Burt
    2008/10/16 at 00:14

    The comment about the warmer temperatures in the southern hemisphere in 1976 reminded me of a graph showing the northern/southern hemisphere temperatures independently. The southern hemisphere seems to experience the early stages of any global heating/cooling cycle first, followed a year or more later by a far greater temperature change in the northern hemisphere (due apparently to the various feedbacks in the northern hemisphere).

  1. 2012/03/21 at 01:35
  2. 2010/09/10 at 22:27

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