Climate Change

Global Warming

Hey, wait a minute, weren’t scientists warning us of an impending ice age back in the 1970s?

Beginning in 1970, there was considerable media attention given to speculation that Earth would soon see a new ice age. A scientific paper published in 1971 by S.I. Rasool and S.H. Schneider at the Institute for Space Studies is often cited as predicting an ice age. The paper was about the effects of aerosol levels in the atmosphere; the authors speculated such levels would rise by 600 to 800 percent over the next few years, and that this would trigger an ice age. What actually happened was that aerosol levels fell. Even if they hadn’t, many scientists believe that Rasool and Schneider were inaccurate in their estimates about how carbon dioxide levels affected temperatures. Nevertheless, this publication and others that cited it drew the attention of the media, leading many people to believe that the next big climactic change would be a cooling off period.


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