posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 07:08 PM
Originally posted by Essan
Originally posted by HoldTheBeans
Back in the seventies the same scientists pushing global warming now were the ones howling about an ice age coming.
Actually, back in the seventies most scientists were 'pushing' global warming due to CO2 - those howling about an ice age were mostly the same ones
howling about an ice age today. I guess some folk never give up ......
I tend to think that the scientists 'howling' about the onset of global cooling today are people who just don't like following popular belief.
Anyway, the people who thought that we were headed for an ice age in the 70's were mostly not members of the scientific community. Pre-1970's, it
was believed that small changes in the amount of penetrating sunlight could trigger the onset of a new ice-age. They had reason to believe that the
greenhouse affect was being augmented greatly by increased CO2 concentrations, but also believed that this was being countered by low lying clouds
generateed as a result of dust, smog, contrails, etc. Essentially, they didn't know where the climate was headed. At this time though, the public
weren't to aware of the consequences of climate change.
In the early 1970's, the National Science board released a few documents relating to climate change, but they still weren't entirely sure if we were
headed for a period of global cooling or one of warming. By this stage, the former actually had a mixed following within the scientific community and
a rather more significant one amongst the general public - though the latter was mostly due to misrepresentations of scientific data in the press. A
lot of the speculations were a result of steadily deceasing global temperatures from the 1945 to the 1970's. However, by the time this trend was
placed in view of the public eye (in about 1970), temperatures had ceased to decrease and the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas was begining to become
more recognised. Fast forward a few decades, and here we are. We have a much more complete knowledge of climate change, etc. than we did then. You
have to remember as well that it wasn't until the 1970's that records of global temperatures were being compiled. It should also be noted that, even
despite the lack of understanding of climate change and being on the back of a 25 year decrease in temperatures, scientists still knew that such
trends were not reason enough to make predictions on global warming/cooling, etc. The fact is that these trends were quite poorly understood and no
one thenn really knew what brought them about, which is what gave rise to much of the conflicting opinions of the time.
Also, the notion that interglacial periods such as the one we are currently in have only lasted 10,000 years is a falicy. Current calculations show
that the present interglacial cycle would have lasted tens of thousands of years, even without human perturbation. Some scientists believe that the
increasing presence of CO2 in our atmosphere will even be enough to completely supress the next ice-age completely, although I don't think this a
popularly held belief.