Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Cooling Debate-A brief historical interlude

If you think global warming is a heated discussion, just wait till you get to global cooling. Apparently, this theory has been around since 1970s. This is the text of Newsweek’s 1975 story on the trend toward global cooling. Back then, world temperatures had been falling since about 1940.
“…And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.
To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras – and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average. Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the “little ice age” conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 – years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City…”
The Cooling World - Newsweek, April 28, 1975

The theory was justified…for a while…then the 80’s happened and the theory was discarded in most serious academic circles. Until now that is. Now the Global Freeze Scenario is seriously being considered again. Below, I cite one of the many recent articles I have found sprouting on the net about the subject. Very interesting read from The Times:
“…While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean…
…That leveling off is just what is expected by the chief rival hypothesis, which says that the sun drives climate changes more emphatically than greenhouse gases do. After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago.”

The full article at:

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