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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ice Age Predicted

At least as far back as he 1970s (I recall predictions from the 1950s and 1960s), scientists were predicting an ice age. NOT global warming, but global cooling. As evidence, I present excerpts from this article from TIME magazine, Monday, Jun. 24, 1974 --

Science: Another Ice Age?

In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada's wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest. Rainy Britain, on the other hand, has suffered from uncharacteristic dry spells the past few springs. A series of unusually cold winters has gripped the American Far West, while New England and northern Europe have recently experienced the mildest winters within anyone's recollection.

As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.

Read more:,9171,944914-1,00.html#ixzz0Z9DjWZTQ

Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin's Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth.

Read more:,9171,944914-2,00.html#ixzz0Z9DSesO8



Mike Kriskey said...

Hey, Tessa. Enjoying your blog as always.

I'd hesitate before citing Time magazine's article on the new ice age, simply because man-caused global warming fanatics will scoff that it's not a scientific publication. (As if Time made up the concern out of whole cloth.)

Here are a couple of scholarly papers that said the same thing at the same time:

Return of the ice age and drought in peninsular Florida?
Joseph M. Moran, Geology 3 (12): 695-696 (1975)

Convection in the Antarctic Ice Sheet Leading to a Surge of the Ice Sheet and Possibly to a New Ice Age
T. Hughes, Science Vol. 170. no. 3958, pp. 630 - 633 (1970)

Of course, the "new ice age" story came from many more papers than this, but for some reason they've been scrubbed---no easy web search will turn them up. I don't have personal access to these papers, but at least they exist, if anyone challenges you on the Time Magazine piece. If you want to go further than I have time for, I believe that Science had quite a few papers on the coming ice age back in the day.

(I remember the coming ice age, too.)

Mike Kriskey said...

Oh, and one of my co-bloggers at Threedonia writes wonderful posts on the topic:

That's his latest, but there's a bunch.

tuffy777 said...

thanx, Mike!
I've been searching everywhere for sources like these
~~ Tessa

The History Rat said...

As for an ice age...

Sample cores from Antarctica showed the last ice age started within a matter of ten years when what is called "the great conveyor belt" shuts down. This belt takes warm water from the equator and takes it the poles so they don't freeze over. Then cold water is taking to the equator from the poles and the whole process starts over again. However, when the caps melt and there is no cold water to take back, the belt shuts down and just like that the poles begin to freeze over because the belt is no longer bringing warm water to the poles.