Thursday, 30 October 2008

They predicted a cooling in the 70ies

As you've all noticed i haven't had much time lately to blog because of work-related reasons. And also because, even though this blog just started, it already did generate a lot of private mailing of people commenting on the things i write. Which pleases me because it seems this blog, as was the aim when starting it, is filling the hole there still was in the Dutch speaking part of the world.

One of the claims people sceptical towards climate science often repeat is the one that 'back in the 70ies they predicted a cooling' where the argument should suggest 'them' predict no matter what, as long as 'them' can claim the end of the world is near.

Besides the logical problems with the argument itself (scientifical knowledge accumulates, which can result in a paradigm shift) there's something even more problematic with the argument : it seems it simply isn't correct.

Peterson, Connolly & Fleck had a closer look at the publications made in the 70ies and presented the result of their investigation in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Their conclusion leaves no doubt :
There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated the peer-reviewed literature even then.
Co-auther William Connolly runs an (excellent) blog called Stoat where the entire paper can be found (pdf). Simply a must read !