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Global cooling consensus

One of the strangest aspects of the global warming malarkey, to those old enough to remember the 1970s decade fairly well, has been the attempt by some warmists to kill off the idea that there was ever a serious concern by scientists about global cooling in the 1970s, and present it instead as though it was merely a view of the news media of the time. The person spearheading the airbrushing out of history of scientific backing for the global cooling scare was the former climate scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, William Connolley, who also held a key position in the editing arrangements for Wikipedia, and was a co-founder of the RealClimate blog.

Connolley had a website which included a webpage on his own 'research' into the global cooling scare, and he claimed that there were several times as many scientific papers written about global warming relative to global cooling produced in the period 1965 to 1979, indicating that the scientific consensus on global warming actually stretched back to the 1960s. Connolley's research was later turned into a paper in 2008, called "The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus". The lead author of the global cooling myth paper was Thomas Peterson, currently Chief Scientist at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, with Connolley included as a co-author.

Green bias is quite common amongst British academics, for example 22% of academics indicated they intended to vote for the Green party in the 2015 UK General Election. Connolley goes even further up the bias scale, being an active member of the Green party rather than merely being a voter, so there has always been some suspicion that his research into quantifying the number of global cooling papers might have been a bit slipshod.

In 2009 the AGW sceptic blogger Maurizio Morabito (who runs a blog called "Omnologos") managed to find a document written by the CIA intelligence agency in 1974 (on a microfiche in the British Library) which strongly suggested that there was a scientific consensus about global cooling in the early 1970s. It seems unlikely that an intelligence agency would not be competent enough to identify the prevailing opinion of the time, it's the sort of thing that intelligence agencies are supposed to do.

CIA document

The latest development on whether there was a scientific consensus on global cooling is that it looks like somebody has now done a more thorough appraisal of the scientific papers from that era. The global cooling myth paper could only find 7 papers associated with global cooling in the period 1965 to 1979. Kenneth Richard, in a recent post in the NoTricksZone blog, has managed to increase this to 220 papers for the 1965 to 1979 period, and found 285 papers for the 1960 to 1979 period. Assuming the global cooling myth paper did correctly identify the number of global warming papers produced in the 1965 to 1979 period, given as being 44, then that would mean that 220 out of 264 papers were for global cooling, a 'consensus' for the cooling position of 83%.


James Delingpole has also commented on the new research by Kenneth Richard at Breitbart:


Re: Global cooling consensus

For some reason I have amemory of something about some Israeli researching into, not Global Cooling, but Global Chilling. (You never know when the difference of a word may impact on the search engines) and what struck me was that this research was recognised by the Warmists who claimed "Global Chilling is masking the true effects of global warming."

I do remember that at school, if we were told anything, it was that we would enter a new ice age..... and if this proves to be the case I am pretty sure it will be claimed that this too is masking the true effects of AGW.

Re: Global cooling consensus

I got a feeling you're actually talking about "global dimming" rather than "global chilling". The effect was first noticed by somebody working in Israel. There was a BBC Horizon documentary on this particular issue made about ten years ago, which this webpage describes (there is also a link to a transcript for the programme on the webpage):

Horizon - global dimming

But being a BBC documentary, it didn't bother to mention that "global brightening" is also going on as well as "global dimming". This Met Office webpage on global dimming from 2013 gives more details about the issue:

Met Office - global dimming

Extract from the Met Office webpage:

"The amount of sunlight received at the Earth's surface has declined at some observing stations, but not at others.

Continuous dimming has been observed at Hong Kong.

No dimming has been seen at some sites (such as Lerwick, UK).

Other sites have shown dimming until around 1980, but subsequently show significant brightening (e.g. Uccle, Belgium and Israel)."

So in Israel, the country where the effect was first identified, brightening has actually been going on since 1980, which the Horizon documentary didn't mention. Places like Lerwick in the UK's Shetland Islands have never seen any dimming, which suggests that most of the oceans probably haven't seen any dimming. Dimming is apparently still going on in India and China, including Hong Kong.

Re: Global cooling consensus

On the subject of global cooling, there are still a small number of scientists and researchers around who are predicting that global cooling will arrive in the first half of the 21st Century. The NoTrickZone blog published a list of about thirty of these people in 2010:

cooling predictor list

Another global cooling predictor that has just appeared in the last couple of years is UK academic (originally from the Ukraine), Valentina Zharkova, of the University of Northumbria (previously Newcastle Polytechnic). She is predicting a new Little Ice Age in the period 2020 to 2053, in which the average global temperature will drop by about 1.5 deg C.