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They predicted an ice age in the 70's

Posted on 24 September 2007 by John Cook

The argument "they predicted an ice age in the 70's" has barnstormed into the Top Ten thanks largely to an Investor's Business Daily article claiming James Hansen believed we were heading for an ice age. This is based on the 1971 paper Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate (Rasool 1971) that speculated if aerosol levels increase 6 to 8 fold, it could trigger an ice age.

However, James Hansen wasn't an author of the Rasool paper and never made any ice age predictions. So what was his involvement? According to Investor Business Daily, "Aiding Rasool's research was a 'computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen'." [ UPDATE - James Hansen explains in more detail about his program used in Rasool's paper ] As Tim Lambert succintly puts it at Deltoid, "By their logic, if I borrow a pen from you, you must agree with everything I write with your pen."

Putting James Hansen aside, the whole logic that "climate scientists got it wrong in the 70's so they must be wrong now" is a flawed ad hominem argument that says nothing about the current science of anthropogenic global warming. Is it really appropriate to compare a single study in the 70's to the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming today?

National Academy of Sciences - now and then

The most comprehensive study on the subject (and the closest thing to a scientific consensus at the time) was by the US National Academy of Sciences. It's basic conclusion was "…we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate…"

Contrast this with the US National Academy of Science's current position: "there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring... It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities... The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action." Incidentally, this is in a joint statement with the Academies of Science from Brazil, France, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom.

Other indications of current consensus

Other scientific bodies that have released statements endorsing anthropogenic global warming include:

None of these bodies (at least the ones that existed back then) endorsed ice age predictions in the 70's. More on scientific consensus...

So global cooling predictions in the 70's amounted to media hype over essentially a single study. Today, an avalanche of studies and overwhelming scientific consensus endorse anthropogenic global warming. To compare cooling predictions in the 70's to the current situation is both inappropriate and misleading.

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Comments 1 to 46:

  1. I well remember this as I was still in college at the time. The winter of '78 was one of the worst. In Buffalo NY the snow along roads was higher than a semi and there were many accidents because you could not see a vehicle approaching an intersection. It was popularized by the television show "In Search Of" at the time hosted by the very popular actor L. Nimoy (Mr. Spock from the original Star Trek). So it had a very wide audience and became very well known.
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  2. RE: "Other scientific bodies that have released statements endorsing anthropogenic global warming include: National Center for Atmospheric Research"

    RE: "None of these bodies (at least the ones that existed back then) endorsed ice age predictions in the 70's."

    I would like to draw your attention to this document, which was titled: "A New World Climate Norm? Climate Change and itsEffect on World Food"

    And that story was written by: Walter Orr Roberts, of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, and National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

    Here is an URL. to a .pdf copy of the article:

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  3. NecktopPC... You note that Roberts is one individual and not the entire NOAA. No one is suggesting that some scientists might have had dissenting opinions in the 1970's. But even given that, you might look further into Walter Orr Roberts work.

    First off, he's an astrophysicist, not a climate scientist. Second, he was active in the global warming issue where he attempted to get cooperation between the US and Russia to address the issue. LINK

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  4. Rob Honeycutt...You chose to dispel the information by a noted climate scientist, associated with the 'National Center for Atmospheric Research" - that organization was mentioned by the story here - and perhaps it serves to fit with your personal opinions or narrative...who knows?

    RE: "First off, he's an astrophysicist, not a climate scientist."

    Yes; an astrophysicist who's work spans decades of studying the influences of the sun on weather and climate.

    Your impression on what makes a climate scientist is obviously also skewed - and your choice of providing a link to the story carried by the the New York Times, only confirmed that Dr. Roberts was in fact, viewed as a climate scientist - its in the headline itself.

    Roberts was a founder of the Department of Astrogeophysics at the University of Colorado and took a personal research interest for many years in the study of influences of the sun on weather and climate -

    There is an enormous of amount of information on Dr. Roberts on this wikipedia website -

    And we have the American Meteorological Society (AMS) recognizing Dr. Roberts -

    There are many individuals (almost all) on the "Skeptical Science Team" who are not listed as having specific degrees in climatology (only one); they hold degrees in other studies.

    Have you realized, that the head (chairman) of the IPCC, is an economist...has a degree in?

    So what is a climate scientist?

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    Moderator Response:

    [Rob P] All caps removed. All caps are a breach of the comments policy & are tedious to correct. Any further breaches may result in the entire comment being removed. 

  5. NecktopPC...  If you'll read the paper you originally posted, it's not a paper about ice age predictions. It's a paper about agriculture in the face of a cooling climate. Roberts did work with people like Carl Sagan on the issue of nuclear winter. There were a few papers out at the time about the potential for cooling the planet through human aerosol emissions. Those are both reasonable issues to consider in terms of impacts on agriculture and food production.

    I honestly don't see that you have any point.

    Relative to the relevant degrees held by SkS contributors, that hardly matters because contributors are reporting on science that is produced by climate scientists. 

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  6. Rob Honeycutt...I have read the document (paper as you put it) and I never stated that it was "a paper about ice age predictions".

    RE: "t's a paper about agriculture in the face of a cooling climate"

    Exactly - and in the story, it does mention the following: "The Earth may have entered a new "little ice age."

    Now; there were other scientist whom were involved in the study of the climate (weather, space, oceans, sun, etc, etc.) and articles written in science magazines as well, that were hinting at a return to an ice age...predictions if you will.

    RE: "I honestly don't see that you have any point."

    I would not have expected a different response.

    BTW: the only reason for me having put certain words of my last post in upper case, was merely a means for me to supply emphasis - I guess I could have used the bold or underline feature however.

    I find to be of a cynical nature, that moderators quickly assume that someone is shouting, or being rude, when using upper case lettering - that's a very insecure attitude in this business.

    So what degrees in particular, does make a climate scientist?

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  7. Rob Honeycutt...Can you provide a source to your comments "policies" that I may be able to review them, thus being able to know in future, how to avoid any breaches. 

    I hope that by me using a TLA (three letter acronymn, e.g. BTW) in upper case, was not adding to anymore unnecessary work for you. 

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  8. NecktopPC... It wasn't me that moderated your post. It was RobP. If you look directly above the text box where you write your comments you will see a sentence with an embedded link stating...

    "Political, off-topic or ad hominem comments will be deleted. Updated Comments Policy..."

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  9. Rob Honeycutt...You stated in your comment to me at 01:02 AM the following: "You note that Roberts is one individual and not the entire NOAA"

    I never associated Dr. Roberts with NOAA, but rather, the "National Center for Atmospheric Research".

    But speaking of NOAA, the first in the list of bodies, as it was mentioned in this story, by Mr. Cook; here is an interesting achived article that speaks of a 'cooling climate', as opposed to a warming one, and with conotations toward that of ice ages. A Dr. Murray Mitchell of "NOAA" conducted a survey (study) which revealed a cooling of the earth's surface temperature, by half (0.5) of a degree. This being between 1945 and 1968.

    And a study released by two (2) "NOAA Scientists" noted that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the Continental U.S. had diminished by 1.3 percent between 1964 and 1972.

    And the word "Climatologists", is mentioned in this little story, about Science. 


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  10. NecktopPC @6... If your comment was not intended to be related to a "...predicted ice age in the 70's" then it would be off topic and thusly should be deleted. 

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  11. My mistake on the NOAA/NCAR mix up.

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  12. NecktopPC @9...  So, is there a point you want to make?

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  13. Rob Honeycutt...I did notice that there was a "RobP" in brackets before the moderetor's comment - and thanks for the heads up on where your comments (updated) policy is located - and as I suspected; upper-case lettering, is viewed by your policy makers as shouting.

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  14. Yes. That's pretty standard netiquette, and it's applied here equally to all commenters. Please also take note of the policies related to off-topic, ad hominem and sloganeering (repeatedly making the same point). Those are the ones that most often get people banned. And note ahead of time that moderation complaints also get deleted.

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  15. "NecktopPC @6... If your comment was not intended to be related to a "...predicted ice age in the 70's" then it would be off topic and thusly should be deleted - Rob Honeycutt@10"

    I might remind you, that it was a comment made by Mr. Cook, which read: "None of these bodies (at least the ones that existed back then) endorsed ice age predictions in the 70's."

    The term ice age prediction, is simply alluding to the fact or science which showed global cooling - and if the globe continues to cool, then it could very well be expected, that there may be a return to another ice age.

    I have been on topic, of global cooling, and for the period in question, from the start of my first comment here, and have shown where the information which I have provided, makes references to, or uses the words ice age - call that 'prediction' if you will, but lets not turn this into word semantics.

    The science was, and remains evident, regarding global cooling in that period.

    If you wish to delete my comments, or have RobP do so, becuse it upsets the policies of your website, then that is totally up to you and your colleagues; isn't it?

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  16. Rob Honeycutt@12

    My point was being made from the start. There were scientists (Hansen included) who realized, from studies, surveys and or data, that the globe was cooling, and many of them referenced this global cooling, to a possible (prediction) return to an ice age.

    And I point out @9 that this was the consensus coming from NOAA (one of two, that existed back then) as cooling.

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  17. Rob Honeycutt@11

    No worries!

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  18. NecktopPC... John Cook's comment is accurate. Your references do nothing to refute that. You provided a link to a paper by Roberts that discusses agriculture and food supply in a cooling world. As I stated, Roberts worked with Sagan and others on at least two separate issues related to potential global cooling. Nuclear winter and human emissions of aerosols. Roberts was also very active, as was Sagan, in research on global warming.

    You state that, "The science was, and remains evident, regarding global cooling in that period." But thus far you've not linked to any specific science on global cooling in the 1970's.

    I would highly suggest you check out a paper by Peterson 2008, The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus. PDF

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Yes, please do read Peterson. Note that it is incumbent on posters to produce evidence to back claims. Peterson produces strong evidence against a consensus on cooling. In my opinion, you either need to redefine consensus or find something better than Peterson that produces the opposite conclusion.

  19. "If you wish to delete my comments, or have RobP do so, becuse it upsets the policies of your website, then that is totally up to you and your colleagues; isn't it?"

    Playing the potential victom is rather unbecoming. Plenty of people come to SkS and strongly argue their points without problem at all, even when they go against the scientific consensus position, as long as they play by the rules. That's not about getting upset. It's about keeping the conversations here polite and constructive.

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  20. "The science was, and remains evident, regarding global cooling in that period."

    And isn't it interesting that, even though we'd come through a period of cooling from 1940-1960, most scientists were more concerned about the challenges we face in relation to global warming due to emissions of greenhouse gases.

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  21. Rob Honeycutt@14

    On one hand, you asked me a couple times, what my point is, or was, and now your alluding to me 'repeatedly making the same point'.

    What point is that then?

    And now you seem to be adopting the stance of an adlescent, whom, when they can't have things their way, they try to break the other persons computer, or simply grab their little network and run off, with all the cords becoming unplugged (banned).

    RE: "And note ahead of time that moderation complaints also get deleted."

    I'll be certain not to complain about any moderation actions.

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  22. Rob Honeycutt@19

    I'm not "Playing the potential victom" at all. You blatantly threatened me @14 - and you speak about conduct unbecoming?

    I don't know?

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Please stick to topic. Any discussion of moderation is offtopic. Further offtopic discussions by either of you will be deleted.

  23. No. I merely let you know how policy is applied here to everyone. I was trying to help you so that you could make your points without running afoul of moderation policy.

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  24. Rob Honeycutt@18

    I disagree with you on the accuracy of Mr. Cooks comment, that's all - and I have been working on providng some refrences, which are helping to substantiate the inacuracy of his statement, and or story here.

    RE: "thus far you've not linked to any specific science on global cooling in the 1970's."

    I am doing my best at providing information (circa 1970s) which has, included the names of scientists, and the organizations of which they were associated with, at the time, i.e. NOAA & NCAR (thus far) and the association (ice age) that have been mentioned together with global cooling.

    By the way; I have read Peterson's paper, and perhaps you have read Idso's paper as well - "The Climatological Significance of a Doubling of Earth's Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration"

    There is another, which is more on topic of the sun and its effects on climate, as per Dr. Roberts - the paper is by Scafetta - "Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications"

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  25. Rob Honeycutt@20

    Thank you - and I'll certainly be cautious, to avoid 'running afoul of the moderation policies.

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    Moderator Response:


    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  26. NecktopPC @24... You can disagree all you like, the fact remains that "None of these bodies...endorsed ice age predictions in the 70's." John is referring to scientific bodies. You've yet to show us one of the bodies that endorsed that position.

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  27. NecktopPC... I hope you are aware that Idso and Scafetta represent a very small fraction of researchers who hold such position. Both of them are very well known to all the regulars at this site. In such, you're attaching yourself to a position that is extremely unlikely to be correct. 

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  28. One might assume that other scientist have been, and are continuing to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Roberts...NCAR:

    There will be another Little Ice Age in 2030, according to solar scientists – the last one was 300 years ago-

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Dont assume - produce evidence.

  29. Yes, the sun could perhaps go into a low irradiance state similar to that of the Maunder Minimum. But what you have to understand is the relative radiative forcing compared to changes in CO2 and other human caused factors.

    We are very fortunate to live on a planet that goes around a very stable star whose radiative output varies only a fraction of a percent. So, that change in radiative forcing of maybe -0.3W/m2 for a new Maunder Minimum is small compared to the 2.3W/m2 we see for human factors.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Straying off topic again. Any further discussion should perhaps be here.

  30. U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming

    The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts. Dr. S. I. Rasool of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Columbia University. LINK

    RE: "None of these bodies (at least the ones that existed back then) endorsed ice age predictions in the 70's."

    Did they (NASA) not endorse Dr. Rasool?

    What is NASA without its scientists, which it, hires?

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  31. This is an article referencing a research paper that was published by Rasool and Schneider. There's an accurate accounting of this paper on wiki here.

    The paper was later retracted. 

    But again, this was not a stated position of NASA. It was merely one paper that was quickly retracted.

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  32. "The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age"

    Evidence says otherwise.  No, the Sun isn't going to save us from Global Warming:

    It's NOT the Sun

    RC on 'Not even a solar minimum'.


    "Those hoping that the sun could save us from climate change look set for disappointment. The recent lapse in solar activity is not the beginning of a decades-long absence of sunspots – a dip that might have cooled the climate. Instead, it represents a shorter, less pronounced downturn that happens every century or so."

    "According to the Gleissberg cycle, the next solar maximum – in about 2024 – will probably be a dud too, but then cycles will become more energetic once again, and any cooling effect the brief downturn has had on Earth's climate will also vanish."


    Even if the sun got stuck in a permanent Maunder Minimum, the warming from our CO2 emissions will still warm our planet and continue to change our climate:

    "Thus if the sun remains “out”, i.e., stuck for a long period in the current solar minimum, it can offset only about 7 years of CO2 increase. The human-made greenhouse gas climate forcing is now relentlessly, monotonically, increasing at a rate that overwhelms variability of natural climate forcings. Unforced variability of global temperature is great, as shown in Figure 4, but the global temperature trend on decadal and longer time scales is now determined by the larger human-made climate forcing. Speculation that we may have entered a solar-driven long-term cooling trend must be dismissed as a pipe-dream."

    Basically, even a Grand Solar Minimum would barely make a dent in human-caused global warming.

    Link 1
    Link 2
    Link 3

    Even on the regional level, the effects are very limited (per Nature):

    "This offsets or delays the global warming trend by ~2 years and is small compared with the modelled global warming"

    Gavin Schmidt at RC (Unforced Variations thread):

    "It’s a 60% reduction in the magnitude of the solar cycle (not solar activity), and it’s not obviously terrible. It’s a statistical projection with no physics, so the extent to which it’s believable is unclear. The connection to a new ‘mini ice age’ is completely made up. That level of change in solar forcing is about -0.1W/m2, which would be made up in just 3 years of current CO2 concentration growth."

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  33. NecktopPC

    From the abstract for the Rassol and Schneider paper from 1971:

    "An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 ° K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age." (my emphasis).

    They certainly did not predict that an ice age would happen. Rather, to paraphrase them, 'if air pollution gets a lot worse and is sustained for some years then we think that might trigger an ice age'.

    And within a few years they subsequently reversed that conclusion. Stephen Sccheider, then a young researcher, described this paper as one of the biggest mistakes of his life.

    And they both worked at the Goddard Institute of Space Studies at the time. Yes a research division of NASA. But hardly NASA as a whole.

    Large organisations such as NASA tend not to 'endorse' every single published paper that their scientists produce - not all of them will be correct. All science is tentative until corroborated by further research.

    Such organisations, when they do 'endorse' something, usually do it when a body of science has built up sufficiently on a subject. In this case the cooling paper was actually overturned several years later.

    So NASA, as an organisation, did not make an official endorsement of any cooling prediction. And they did not 'endorse' the idea of warming officially till many years later.

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  34. Glenn Tamblyn@33

    Yes; NASA did youse those exact words. LINK

    There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past. The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research. LINK

    The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7 centimeters) per year. This small thickening, sustained over thousands of years and spread over the vast expanse of these sectors of Antarctica, corresponds to a very large gain of ice - enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise.

    "The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away," Zwally said. "But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for." Read more

    Can we irrefutibly say that the jury is out on this issue?

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  35. NecktopPC @34... No, that is just a paper (one of a great many) listed on the NASA website. That is not a position statement made by NASA.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] I think some definitions would help keep this discussion focused. "Endorsement" by an organization means a position statement from that organizations governing body. (Such as a great many science organization have made about global warming).  Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. No one paper is evidence for a consensus.

  36. Glenn Tamblyn@33 - "So NASA, as an organisation, did not make an official endorsement of any cooling prediction."

    But would they want to make an official endorsement of atmospheric cooling at this stage of the game?

    Is the following statement getting any colser to such an official endorsement; do you think?

    In a NASA first, researchers at GISS accomplished such a feat as they calculated the temperature impact of each of these variables — greenhouse gases, natural and manmade aerosols, ozone concentrations, and land use changes — based on historical observations from 1850 to 2005 using a massive ensemble of computer simulations. Analysis of the results showed that these climate drivers do not necessarily behave like carbon dioxide, which is uniformly spread throughout the globe and produces a consistent temperature response; rather, each climate driver has a particular set of conditions that affects the temperature response of Earth.

    The new calculations reveal their complexity, said Kate Marvel, a climatologist at GISS and the paper's lead author. “Take sulfate aerosols, which are created from burning fossil fuels and contribute to atmospheric cooling,” she said. LINK

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] This is an example of official endorsement on climate change. Similar statements can found by most of the world's academy.

  37. NecktopPC @37... He was offering up an example of a position statement from a scientific organization, of the sort that John Cook was talking about.

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  38. Is the following statement getting any colser to such an official endorsement; do you think?

    Nope. Unfortunately for some reason I can't get access to the GISS website. But that text appears in many different sources. So presumably a press release perhaps or a reporter interviewed them. But look at the actual paper, here.

    The authors aren't just affiliated with GISS. 3 of the 4 are also affiliated with Columbia University. So that comment could just as easily be written "In a Columbia University first, researchers accomplished such a feat ... ". Doesn't sound official then does it? Would that be an official communication from Columbia?

    The definitiuon given by the moderator [PS] is appropriate. 'NASA said' means an official communication from the organisation as a whole. Individual scientific papers, even if accompanied by a press release from the research institution are just that, research papers, with no more or less standing than any other papers from a University or a private industry researcher.

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  39. Glenn Tamblyn@39

    Well; if a statement regarding atmospheric cooling is taking place, and we know from past experience (climate history) that if this cooling continues and the build up of ice continues in Antartica like it is; then it is possible that the planet may very well be headed back into an ice age - and when this 'atmospheric cooling' trend is mentioned on the GISS [NASA] Webpage, and by one of the GISS scientists (Kate Marvel, a climatologist at GISS and the paper's lead author)  then i would have to conclude that the are embracing the science revealing evidence that such mechanics are, taking place, and I view their statemnt as an endorsement and ot their recognition, of global cooling.

    RE: "The definitiuon given by the moderator [PS] is appropriate."

    It may very well be appropriate to the moderator and to your organization. But do you really believe (convinced) that because such a statement was made by that organization, that the issue has thus been settled, and that no other opinions and or studies are worthy? I assume so.

    This comment was directed at me and speaks evidently of what I mentioned above: "I hope you are aware that Idso and Scafetta represent a very small fraction of researchers who hold such position. Both of them are very well known to all the regulars at this site. In such, you're attaching yourself to a position that is extremely unlikely to be correct."

    This type of opiniated stance is not peculiar to the regulars at your site, or even your team. It is, usually a case of; our scientist (the ones we believe in) are correct and yours (the so-called small fraction) are not - the papers that our scientist author are relevant and the ones by your scientist are not.

    The statement which was made regarding atmospheric cooling, is from NASA, and not Columbia University: "To quantify climate change, researchers need to know the Transient Climate Response (TCR) and Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) of Earth. Both values are projected global mean surface temperature changes in response to doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations but on different timescales."

    Does any scientis today, know with emphatic certainty, the 'normal' or standard, if you will, temperature of the Earth's surface, or the oceans for that matter?

    Someone said its 16 degrees - but that temperatures vary greatly around the world, depending on the time of year, ocean and wind currents and weather conditions. 

    Or as the climate changes? Like everyday; somewhere on the planet?

    "There have been many attempts to determine TCR and ECS values based on the history of temperature changes over the last 150 years and the measurements of important climate drivers, such as carbon dioxide. As part of that calculation, researchers have relied on simplifying assumptions when accounting for the temperature impacts of climate drivers other than carbon dioxide, such as tiny particles in the atmosphere known as aerosols, for example."

    Here is their web address, with an included link to the actual paper:

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] If you think Kate Marvel thinks cooling is going to happen anytime soon, then you have either not read paper, or else wilfully misunderstood it. For discussion of paper, try here. The paper primarily reconciles various estimates of climate sensitivity.

    I stick to my definition of "endorsement". If the standard you supposed applied, then these organizations would also be "endorsing" the larger no. of papers warning of CO2-induced warming. (42 to 6).

    [JH] Moderation complaints and sloganeering are prohibited by the SkS Comments Policy.

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Moderating this site is a tiresome chore, particularly when commentators repeatedly submit offensive or off-topic posts. We really appreciate people's cooperation in abiding by the Comments Policy, which is largely responsible for the quality of this site. 
    Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion.  If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.


  40. NecktopPC... It seems to me what you're doing is attempting to cherry pick aspects of various studies in order to confirm a specific conclusion you want to arrive at. There is a very broad scientific consensus on the issue of man-made global warming that is arrived at through evidence from a wide range of research spanning the past century and more.

    The chances of our planet being headed into a new ice age anytime in the near future is slim to none. And none of the research you're presenting makes a case for this potential, other than a retracted paper from Rasool and Schneider. 

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  41. Rob Honeycutt@40

    Are you certain that the paper (Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate) from Rasool and Schneider has been retracted?

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  42. NecktopPC - The paper wasn't retracted by the publisher (it didn't represent academic mafeasance, it was simply wrong), but from several sources:

    ...Schneider became aware that he had overestimated the cooling effect of aerosols, and underestimated the warming effect of CO2 by a factor of about three. He had mistakenly assumed that measurements of air particles he had taken near the source of pollution applied worldwide. He also found that much of the effect was due to natural aerosols which would not be affected by human activities, so the cooling effect of changes in industrial pollution would be much less than he had calculated. Having found that recalculation showed that global warming was the more likely outcome, he published a retraction of his earlier findings in 1974. (emphasis added)

    In short, the paper was repudiated by one of the authors due to some significant math errors. I would consider that sufficient to render that paper null and void. 

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  43. KR - But is the paper, in fact, null and void?

    Wikipedia however, was caught in a rather coincidental case of malfeasance, in their support for global warming.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Sloganeering is prohibited by the SkS Comments Policy. Please cease and desist. If you do not, you will forfeit your privelege of posting on this website.

  44. NecktopPC - Wiki malfeasance? That's quite a claim, care to support it with some evidence? As a crowd-sourced reference site it's actually quite good about relying on peer-reviewed science, and the occasional mis-edit by ideologically driven or simply cranks tends to get corrected in short order. 

    And if you think the case for anthropologically driven global warming isn't supported, I'll point out that about 97% of the experts in the field would disagree. 

    You're more than welcome to rely upon a paper repudiated by one of the authors due to clear and documentable math errors, 'tho I personally would consider it completely invalidated. But I'll note that if you are reliant upon that weak a reference, one in conflict with the vast majority of work in the climate field, no one should or will take you in the least bit seriously. 

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] The published acknowledgement of the problems with the paper by the authors is here. Claiming fraud in response to information you do not like will not be tolerated here.

  45. NicktopPC @41... Yup. And the references showing this have been offered up to you already.

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  46. Moderator inline @44, I do not think the 1972 comment by Schneider and Rasool to which you link is a retraction of the 1971 paper.  It is certainly not the 1974 retraction mentioned in wikipedia.  However, in 2009, Schneider wrote in an email to Peter Chylek:

    "all good scientists are skeptics and should be challenging every aspect
    of what we do that has plausible alternative hypotheses. I personally
    published what was wrong (with) my own original 1971 cooling hypothesis
    a few years later when more data and better models came along and
    further analysis showed [anthropogenic global warming] as the much
    more likely…In fact, for me that is a very proud event—to have discovered
    with colleagues why our initial assumptions were unlikely and better
    ones reversed the conclusions—an early example of scientific skepticism
    in action in climatology."

    (Quoted here)

    How early Schneider discovered his 1971 paper to be in error is unclear.  Certainly by 1972 he was stating that the model was inadequate, while not precluding the possibility of the accuracy of the predictions.  He wrote:

    "Recent numerical models studying the effect of particles on climate are often based on multiple scattering radiative transfer calculations, and use global averages for particle concentrations and optical properties. By contrasting certain existing models, some major problems in modeling studies that attempt to answer the question of the effects of increased atmospheric particles on climate can be illustrated. It will also be apparent that another uncertainty in the results of such studies arises from a lack of adequate observed input data on the geographic and vertical distributions of particle concentrations and their optical properties. Furthermore, a model that could realistically simulate the impact of increasing atmospheric particle concentration on climate must eventually include the simultaneous coupled effects of all the important atmospheric processes, such as fluid motions and cloud microphysics, in addition to the radiative transfer effects."

    And by 1978, he was convinced that the warming effect of CO2 was the dominant anthropogenic influence on climate.

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