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« Quote of the day, academic extremism edition | Main | Greens running scared of debate »
Friday
Dec042015

More on the ice age scare

 

In Quadrant magazine, Tony Thomas has been doing some fascinating research on the 1970s ice age scare.

A great embarrassment to the warming-catastrophic community is that 40 years ago the climatology scare was about cooling and onset of an ice age. Warmists today go, “Pooh! That cooling stuff  then was just a few hyped-up articles in magazines. Cooling never got any traction in the real science community!”

Really? Then explain this away

Read the whole thing.

 

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Reader Comments (89)

When your are practicing 'head you lose tails I win science' then there is no issue with claiming black is white and always has been , so the ,ironic, denial of past claims of climate doom form a new 'ice age' is easy stuff .

On factor remains the same through-out the whole scare , their total inability to say what would 'disprove ' their theory , and although in any other area of academic work this is would a major, if not fatal weakness, in climate 'science' this means they can claim everything and anything has 'proof ' and while nothing can be dis-proof.

And this heap of rotting dug they have built castles of 'settled science ' you have to give them credit for that . Although it helps that the snake oils salesman , is not only selling snake oil but it mostly in charge of the process which judges if snake oil actually works.

Dec 4, 2015 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

But that's just evidence.
Science isn't about evidence - it just leads to debates where more evidence is presented.
Where will it end?

Science is about faith.
Science is settled.

(Sorry. Still reeling from the anti-Enlightenment stupidity on the last thread).

Dec 4, 2015 at 10:35 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated the peer-reviewed literature even then.

From The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus,
BULLETIN of the AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY February 2008.

Dec 4, 2015 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

http://journals.ametsoc.org/mwg-internal/de5fs23hu73ds/progress?id=dNszhim2FfxU6taCNvxldOv67iSXlPliMvXxsPSRNRw,&dl

Dec 4, 2015 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke
Neither if those links works.
Were you around in the 1970s? I remember lots of scare stories about impending doom due to cold.
Take all the current scare stories and replace the concept 'hot' with 'cold' and you're right back there.
I didn't believe activist rubbish then; I see no reason to believe the same activist rubbish with slightly different words now.

Dec 4, 2015 at 10:56 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

At School in Cheshire, early to mid 1980s, the geography teacher told us "the Earth is cooling down, the ice is coming back, and if that happens we will all die"

Same School, late 1990s/early 2000s, the same teacher told my nephew "the Earth is warming up, the ice is melting, and if that happens we will all die"

One constant, just change the narrative.

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterDerek

'that's all myth that some some 1970's scientists really thought an ice age was coming'
'Scientists said something else' ...sites like SkS say
@Phil, watch Star Treks's Mr Spock (Leonard Nimoy) say "scientists say" Ice Age Scare 1979 documentary

Ending "...the result could be hunger and death on a scale unprecedented in all of history..."
"What scientists are telling us now is that the threat of an ice age is not as remote as they once thought. During the lifetime of our grandchildren Arctic cold and perpetual snow could turn most of the inhabitable portions into a polar desert".
from a longer version
"..climate experts believe the next Ice age is on its way according to recent evidence could come sooner than anyone had expected."

"Today the island is poised on the brink a by ice age conditions a critical signal post-purchase changes in the Earth’s climate according to geologists"

"Doctor Gifford Miller is a glaciologist from the University of Colorado. He is been studying the climate and glaciers are baffin island for the past six years."
GM : “For the last 3,000 years the summer temperatures have been getting colder.."

Ernie Sieber is Superintendent of Baffin National Park .."It looks like the climate has changed looks like is has turned colder "


Part 2 ends with a scientist speaking "We can currently say with confidence that we are heading towards another ice-age"
In parts 2 and 3
the voice is scientist Dr Stephen Schneider (National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder)
But later he Went From Cooling Alarmist To Warming Alarmist In Just Four Years!

“Schneider was one of the first in the scientific community to warn of the impending Ice Age with this paper –

“Schneider S. & Rasool S., “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols – Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate”, Science, vol.173, 9 July 1971, p.138-141″

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:22 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

The climate kook exercise in Orwellian media control has been pretty effective.

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

@Phil Clarke
Can you define what is consensus now, and in the 1970's please ?

Here is a working link to the 2008 paper you and 'Think Progress' quote
I see it's by top scientist "William Connolley", who used to work fulltime at Wikipedia altering climate articles to make sure that stayed On (His) Message.
" article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) by Thomas Peterson, William Connolley, and John Fleck"
There was a long rebuttal on WUWT.

Of Course Steve Goddard can be a bit kooky but he does list a number of scientists who hyped global cooling

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:33 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

There is no 'myth' of a consensus because there was no scientific consensus then and few skeptics consider a consensus as that useful a concept anyway. There are merely hypotheses and observations that confirm it or not! Lindzen reports it as roughly 50/50 (because the field was much smaller, more poorly funded and as a result healthier), but as far as the media is concerned there was no doubt of impending catastrophe because if it bleeds it leads. For much of us who were around then it was a scant 5 years between the catastrophic global cooling meme to the catastrophic global warming meme which directly led to my immediate and lasting scepticism.

A very similar thing happened with the acid rain scare of the '80s. there was no consensus but it was taken as writ by the media. The subsequent real science showed that the effect was negligible and the forests were safe. Some trees even thrived! Yet we still have the crap policy in place to prevent that non-problem!

But since consensus is not a term that should be used for science in the first place such nuance is just a pathetic attempt to avoid facing the truth - that they didn't then and still don't have much of a clue about what drives climate; they just change the scare story to match the catastrophe meme current temperature trend an keep on assuming the nonlinear, chaotic climate can be reduced to a 2-variable linear graph.

The only constant is that too many earth scientists seem to want to pin an impending catastrophe on fossil fuels by some means for reasons that are quite difficult to fathom but do not arise from science.

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Phil Clarke

Fair enough. There was no scientific consensus about an imminent ice age back then. Here is the link you apparently bungled.

Similarly, there is no scientific consensus about any dangerous forthcoming global warming now. Just look at what those few who argue any such thing put forward in support for their beliefs:

Cook et al, with their laughable abstract based second guessing

Doran and Zimmerman, the original 97% figure, with their two generic questions, and a sample of 79 answers

Or Anderegg et al, trying to label certain individuals as extra 'credible'

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1

The Rasool/Schneider paper required a 4-fold increase in aerosol levels to produce a 3.5C cooling - about half way to an ice age. The various Clean Air Acts put paid to that. In fact in no year did the the number of studies predicting cooling outweigh those predicting warming. Its called the cooling myth for a reason.

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1

The Rasool/Schneider paper required a 4-fold increase in aerosol levels to produce a 3.5C cooling - about half way to an ice age. The various Clean Air Acts put paid to that. In fact in no year did the the number of studies predicting cooling outweigh those predicting warming. Its called the cooling myth for a reason.

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Jonas

Cook et al, with their laughable abstract based second guessing

That was just a part of the study. Another part was authors self-rating their own papers, which confirmed the abstract assessments (which confirmed Doran, Anderegg). Maybe these studies all got to the same number by random chance.

Or maybe not, Richard Tol took issue with some of the methodology used by Cook et al, but he also wrote

The consensus is of course in the high nineties. No one ever said it was not. We don’t need Cook’s survey to tell us that

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Tol said something
Now has anyone read the new article and has something to say ?

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:51 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

There was a long rebuttal on WUWT.

Its not that long, and in no way a rebuttal. The CIA study it relies upon mentions only climate change, some regional cooling but also increased droughts and monsoons.

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

It's funny the excuses they come up with. 'Clean air acts' indeed! The timing is even wrong!

It is equally valid to say that the current plateau should have happened in the 60's when the sunspots levelled out and that the dip from 1945 onwards was caused by fossil fuel cooling that was cleared up by the clean air acts. There is just as much actual science involved!

And if any skeptic had been mad enough to say in the 80s/90s that the extra heat would hide itself in the deep ocean but not be detectable at the surface we'd have been laughed off the stage. Yet climate shamens ritually use that unphysical excuse today to explain the pause. Others of course deny there is even a pause - if you squint, adjust and/or ignore it or that 30 years is enough to declare warming but not cooling or even that the models of doom are still trustworthy despite their obvious failures because the spread of results are so huge that anything is possible.

The reality is that the climate changes naturally and unpredictably. There is no warming masked by cooling, hidden heat or hidden sinks, there is just too much hubris that what we don't understand can't be that important.

Dec 4, 2015 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Another thing that the purveyors of artificial cooling like to forget is that if the 70's were artificially cooled by manmade aerosols then they should not be calculating trends from then. An error made all the time by the execrable Tamino.

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

As I said Phil Clarke,

Look what tosh they dish up in support for some alleged 'scientific' consensus ...

Or have you reverted to some retreat position were you now argue that there is a high degree of conformity among those who anyway believe in said (but unspecified) proposition?

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Phil C


Maybe these studies all got to the same number by random chance.

Well, in particular since they asked or purported to answer altogether different questions, and arbitrarily decided what/who should be included and not as a basis for some 97% number.

I'd say this most definitely was not by chance. It was (at least in Cook's and Anderegg's case) pseudoscience at its finest.

And as a matter of fact, I am quite grateful that these 'studies' were published (including the various Lewandowsky versions about 'deniers').

Because it immediately reveals that those who refer to or even lean on them really have nothing of more substance, that they (most definitely) aren't arguing any science ...

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Nice find. Back in the 70's the oil was also about to run out supposedly. Put the 2 things together and it was pretty scary. It helped me to learn not to trust authority of any shape or form, a lesson that has significantly helped me over the subsequent years. Now it is pavlovian and whenever I hear a phrase like "cast iron guarantee" or "97% of scientists say" or "it's worse than we thought" etc etc etc my immediate reaction is "Who, what, when, where, why and how?" and to start digging for facts, corroboration and rebuttals. Anyone who has failed these tests gets filed under untrustworthy and worse.

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

Summary :
#1 Letter from the Australian Federal Minister for Science 1975

"a new ice-age could be on the way...
..The Prime Minister [Gough Whitlam] is very interested...
#2 The reply report from the Academy of Science begins by acknowledging CAGW theory as as an old theory, but then say yes seems cooling and gives some examples. Then says "some climatologists to suggest..‘Little Ice Age’ "
, but says don't worry, it's normal for climate to vary over long long periods.
It pooh poohs idea that weather events are linked to cooling
..Then goes on to warn about complexities and jumping to conclusions ...
There's more

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:49 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Steve Goddard regularly links to old news items (via a paywalled site) reporting on the Coming Iceage Scare. In recent weeks these have included efforts by Paul Ehrlich (1974), National Geographic (1976) and University Of Colorado (1972). Being a born in the reign of George VI, I can remember the scare quite clearly.

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

@Phil Clarke

As I recently posted on another thread, the Rasool and Schneider paper also dismissed catastophic warming:

There is a 44-year-old report by Rasool and Schneider for the Goddard Institute for Space Studies entitled ‘Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate’. The authors discuss climate sensitivity although they do not call it that. Here is an extract from the report: “From our calculation, a doubling of CO2 produces a tropospheric temperature change of 0.8⁰ K. However, if more CO2 is added to the atmosphere the RATE [my caps] of temperature increase is proportionally less and less, and the increase eventually levels off. Even for an increase in CO2 by a factor of 10, the temperature increase does not exceed 2.5⁰ K. Therefore the runaway greenhouse effect does not occur because the 15 µ-m CO2 band, which is the main band of absorption, ‘saturates’, and the addition of more CO2 does not increase the infrared opacity of the atmosphere.” They go on to say that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would need to increase by a factor of 1000 before there was a risk of runaway warming.

The report may be found at http://vademecum.brandenberger.eu/pdf/klima/rasool_schneider_1971.pdf

Care to comment?

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

Now back to Connolley's report : It is a strawman as it purports to debunk a past consensus of global cooling.
But that was not skeptics point, they are just saying "don't say no one talked of global cooling in the 1970's, cos we have video of serious scientists seriously believing it."

* I a still have that question for @Phil Clarke : Can you define what is consensus now, and in the 1970's please ?

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:56 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


A great embarrassment to the warming-catastrophic community is that 40 years ago the climatology scare was about cooling and onset of an ice age.

No it wasn't. My goodness, Andrew, you post some utter nonsense on your site.

Dec 4, 2015 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Phil Clarke, all your evidence that there was no ice age scare in the 70s is anecdotal, and written 40 years later.

Climate science depends on rewriting history, as you keep proving. Keep up the good work.

Dec 4, 2015 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

and Andrew lets you have your say ,a freedom and a courtesy the supporters of your side of argument won't extend to Skeptics

So aTTP did you cheer on Mugabe when he got up and made his speech in Paris on Monday.

Dec 4, 2015 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

How embarrassing!

Dec 4, 2015 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Elliot

I know the Pope has issued an encyclical on 'climate change catastrophism' ...

And that the climate scare hopefuls/supporters embraced it wholeheartedly and lauded the Pope for his wisdom.

Me too would be interested in both Mugabes stance on 'climate change catastrophism' and what its supporters have to say about that.

Dec 4, 2015 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

I recall a documentary,The presenter said that the tiny amounts of co2 from human activity..might....just might save us from impending death by freezing, Or we may have to all go and live at the equator.
Catastophe!
They think heat is bad?..Lets try living under a couple of kilometers of the hard cold stuff.
We don`t need to dodge one or two ice ages....we need to dodge ALL of them.
Lets warm this snowball up!

Dec 4, 2015 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterbanjo

aTTP 1:03 you do post some rubbish on this site. As a UK child in the 70s, I can remember the scare stories. Are you telling me my memory is wrong?

Dec 4, 2015 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A great embarrassment to the warming-catastrophic community is that 40 years ago the climatology scare was about cooling and onset of an ice age.
No it wasn't. My goodness, Andrew, you post some utter nonsense on your site.
The Seer of Blackford Hill enters, pontificates airily and passes on! Since he was, by my calculation about 15 when all this was going down I wonder how he knows what was being said at the time while those of us of marginally more mature years don't.
At least this comment makes sense of a sort. The last contribution was down at his usual gnomic standard:
You can't say something like this, and be taken seriously.
This was a rewrite of an article a year ago which had been blown apart by Paul, Rog Tallbloke, His Grace, Willis Eschenbach, Doug Keenan, Kevin Marshall and many others.
Did he mean it wasn't a re-write or it hadn't been blown apart or simply that those who blew it apart weren't "the right sort"?
No wonder he's forever complaining we don't understand him.

Dec 4, 2015 at 1:57 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I own a book by Nigel Calder, dated 1974, "The Weather Machine and the Threat of Ice", published by the BBC.
On the sleeve "The threat of a new Ice age turns out to be more ominous than the experts thought, even a few years ago".
Near the end of chapter 2, after a paragraph about falling harvests "The simplest and most likely reason is that the early part of this century represented a short break in the Little Ice Age, which is now resuming. The chief contrary hope must be that the cooling in the north that has proceeded since 1950 will reverse".

Dec 4, 2015 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex11

Mike Post: as you note, less than 6 years from now the Rasool/Schneider paper will be celebrating its half-century. Things have moved on a little, just 3 years later the Charney report estimated an equilibrium sensitivity of 2-3.5C, consistent with the present-day number.

Golf Charlie. Phil Clarke, all your evidence that there was no ice age scare in the 70s is anecdotal, and written 40 years later.

That is so demonstrably the opposite of reality, I was tempted to ignore. Check out the BAMS piece, it is a literature review of papers published in the relevant period.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

There was also more recently a mini ice-age scare of gulf stream shift bringing cooling to the USA and UK which engendered documentaries of its own - with serious scientists from Woods Hole. Of course that was based on a myth too. As Carl Wunsch wrote in the economist letters page - this 'could only happen if the Earth stopped spinning'. Richard Seager has a webpage devoted to this particular myth...
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/gs/

It is amazing what apparently qualified academics will collectively parrot due to a combination of hubris, base ignorance and devout pessimism!

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

ATTP - I'm sure you're right, and War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery and Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex11

A great embarrassment to the warming-catastrophic community is that 40 years ago the climatology scare was about cooling and onset of an ice age.

No it wasn't. My goodness, Andrew, you post some utter nonsense on your site.
Dec 4, 2015 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Yes it was. I was there too.
Your statement is true only insofar as they are not embarrassed. They are shameless. Just like you.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I have great respect for old thinkers, with the high crest I believe made in the 19th century (although we are all made to believe its the 20th, or nowadays)

Nothing matches the efforts of Riemann, Cauchy , Poincare, Pierce, heck there are even a few English thinkers

the coming ice age is of greater concern as it will undoubtedly stronly diminuish life on the planet.
Hopefully CO2 DOES contribute to some extra warming.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusC

How the climate debate works:
1) Sceptic provides evidence (BOM report on cooling)
2) Believer provides evidence for something else (papers guessing at warming) and then declares that initial evidence doesn't exist.
3) Sceptic repeats that initial evidence needs to be considered but concedes that there were other views and so no consensus exists.
4) 2nd Believer claims that it is silly to consider the initial evidence because of the current consensus that it doesn't exist.
5) Sceptics question sanity of Believers.
6) Believers question sanity of Sceptics.

But...
7) The evidence still exists. The scare was of cooling before it was of warming.
Moral:
Beliefs are irrelevant. The facts matter.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:35 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Once an agreement has been reached, 'carbon' has been globally priced and a central authority created to distribute the agreed-upon reparations the 'interest' in climate will wane and the 'guilty' will be hung out to dry. Of course, since the aims of the scare will have already been realised, who will care?

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

Phil Clarke, you dismiss evidence you don't like as being anecdotal. What don't you like about it?

You make your own arguments demonstrably false. Please carry on.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Beliefs are irrelevant. The facts matter.

Good man.

Peer-reviewed articles 1965-1979

7 predicted cooling
44 predicted warming
20 neutral.

Fact.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, you've got it.
There was no consensus on the climate as predicting the weather is hard.

But there was a decision to weigh up the debate and make a kind of Summary for Policy Makers - that's the evidence of this article.

That the cooling scare was then real and warned about.
And the warming scare is now real and warned about.

But you are right that there are always lots of predictions.
No-one really knows what will happen - then or now.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:48 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

I have researched this a bit myself. I found the reference to the Australian Academy of Science report in a soil science textbook back in the 1990's and contacted the authors recently (about 5 years ago), they put in touch with the Academy archive and, on production of a modest fee I obtained a scanned copy of the report in PDF form.

Concerning Lindzen's 50:50 view on the split of scientists back in the 1970's on warming or cooling, I think that is probably a fair assessment. I remember the cooling scare meme very well, but then newspapers are sold on fear, not on good news.

I have an original copy of the WMO proceedings of the 1975 symposium on long term climatic fluctuations. Lots of now well known names appear, including Bradley, Trenberth, Schneider and Lamb. Having reviewed the papers in that symposium, which would have been the pinnacle of such science at the time, I would say the split is fairly even between CO2 warming and global cooling views.

Interestingly, Schneider presents talks about solar and volcanic influences, not CO2, and also the early NCAR GCM.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:50 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

7 predicted cooling
44 predicted warming
20 neutral.

Fact.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clark


Wow, you counted every article everywhere, did you? I'm beginning to think you are actually John "97%" Cook in disguise.

You still don't get it. Counting a number of (self-selected) articles doesn't prove anything, either for or against. What is being discussed is the fact of people with a pet theory grabbing hold of the public microphone (the media) to promote their pet theory.

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

According to Quadrant


The report’s summary affirmed that the cooling reports were coming from “some climatologists”, as distinct from media beat-ups. It affirmed that cooling from 1940 to 1975 had dropped global temps by 0.3degdC ........


That rate would be at the rate of about -0.12°C/decade.
Looking at the Skeptical Science Temperature Trend Calculator current data sets give -0.026 to -0.031°C/decade, about a quarter of the cooling rate calculated four decades ago. Must be due to improved homogenisation techniques from expert climate scientists. :)

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

michael hart, I think Phil Clarke would rather rely on computer adjusted climate science like Mann's Hockey Stick, and peer reviewed fabrications such as the 97% Consensus, than dusty library books, and actually speaking to people with memories.

This is the latest attack spin from climate science groupies. Dismissing evidence as 'anecdotal' if it didn't appear in peer approved CliSciFi comics.

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil Clarke

" Things have moved on a little, just 3 years later the Charney report estimated an equilibrium sensitivity of 2-3.5C, consistent with the present-day number." You have lost me. Rasool and Schneider explained many years ago why there will be no run away warming due to CO2. I believe that this was also demonstrated in the lab in the 19th century.

Dec 4, 2015 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

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