20th Conference on Climate Variability and Change


The myth of the 1970s global cooling scientific consensus

Thomas C. Peterson, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and W. M. Connolley and J. Fleck

There is an enduring popular myth that in the 1970s the substantial majority of scientific opinion was predicting “global cooling” in the form of an “imminent” ice age. This myth is invoked by global warming skeptics to assert that current work on global warming represents a flip-flop by scientists and must therefore be invalid. While there were some lay articles and books published during this era that inappropriately blurred timescales to give the impression that a new ice age could occur in a matter of a decade or so, global cooling was never a widely accepted climate change paradigm among scientists working in the field. Indeed, our search of the peer-reviewed literature from 1965 to 1979 only turned up two articles projecting cooling while 13 times as many articles projected warming.

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Poster Session 4, Climate of the 20th Century (C20C) Poster Session
Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM, Exhibit Hall B

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