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Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Climate Consensus That Never Was

The 25 October issue of Science News contains an article germane to one of the issues discussed recently by PhACT. Titled "Cooling climate 'consensus' of 1970s never was," it reports on a study convincingly documenting that, while popular media may have given disproportionate attention to the possibility of a new ice age (coincidentally, I only recently saw such an article in the first, 1976 edition of Analog Annual which I happened to purchase a few years ago), in "major journal papers published between 1965 and 1979...only seven articles predicted that global average temperature would continue to cool. During the same period, 44 journal papers indicated that the average temperature would rise and 20 were neutral or made no climate predictions." This contradicts the claim frequently made by global warming skeptics that "not long ago experts all believed the Earth was cooling, not warming," the implication being that the experts could be wrong again.

The Science News article is readable by the public at http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/37590/title/Cooling_climate_%E2%80%98consensus%E2%80%99_of_1970s_never_was.

Eric Hamell

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