Scientists in the 1970s were predicting a major cooling of the Earth's atmosphere, but fears of a coming ice age never happened, and likely won't, the technology blog Arstechnica
Geoscience educator and hydrogeologist Scott Johnson says that in the 70's, "emissions of aerosols from dirty fossil fuel burning and the cool phase of a Pacific Ocean cycle related to the strength of the trade winds" resulted in slightly cooler temperatures.
But the causes of the temperature dip "were far from clear" at that time, and some scientists took it as a sign of a coming global cooling.
"There seems little doubt that the present period of unusual warmth will eventually give way to a time of colder climate, but there is no consensus with regard to either the magnitude or rapidity of the transition," Johnson writes.
"The onset of this climatic decline could be several thousand years in the future, although there is a finite probability that a serious worldwide cooling could befall the Earth within the next hundred years.
"The phrase 'there is a finite probability that' could just as well be written 'it's not impossible that.' As a prediction of looming catastrophe, that would be some pretty weak tea."
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