NASA Scientists Predicted a New Ice Age in 1971

September 19th, 2007 5:45 PM

This seems destined to be ignored by today's climate change obsessed media: Scientists from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies - the very organization now presaging gloom and doom at the hands of global warming - predicted a new ice age back in 1971.

Think this will be a focus of tonight's evening news broadcasts?

Regardless of the answer, the Washington Times wonderfully reported Wednesday (emphasis added throughout, h/t Marc Morano):

NASA scientist James E. Hansen, who has publicly criticized the Bush administration for dragging its feet on climate change and labeled skeptics of man-made global warming as distracting "court jesters," appears in a 1971 Washington Post article that warns of an impending ice age within 50 years.

The Post archives do indeed identify the existence of such a piece, with the following preview:

The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts. Dr. S. I. Rasool of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Columbia University says that...

The Times piece continued:

The scientist was S.I. Rasool, a colleague of Mr. Hansen's at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The article goes on to say that Mr. Rasool came to his chilling conclusions by resorting in part to a new computer program developed by Mr. Hansen that studied clouds above Venus.

The 1971 article, discovered this week by Washington resident John Lockwood while he was conducting related research at the Library of Congress, says that "in the next 50 years" - or by 2021 - fossil-fuel dust injected by man into the atmosphere "could screen out so much sunlight that the average temperature could drop by six degrees," resulting in a buildup of "new glaciers that could eventually cover huge areas."

It turns out the Post was referring specifically to an article published at the journal Science that day, which was written by Rasool and S. H. Schneider.

Science archives identified the following abstract of the piece entitled "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate," and indicated the authors were from "Institute for Space Studies, Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration" (emphasis added):

Effects on the global temperature of large increases in carbon dioxide and aerosol densities in the atmosphere of Earth have been computed. It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Because of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 ° K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.

How marvelous. Yet, 36 years later, this same organization is predicting a planetary cataclysm at the hands of global warming.

Which one of this agency's warnings should we heed?