The American ‘allergy’ to global warming: Why?
[Via The Seattle Times]
Tucked between treatises on algae and prehistoric turquoise beads, the study on page 460 of a long-ago issue of the U.S. journal Science drew little attention.
“I don’t think there were any newspaper articles about it or anything like that,” the author recalls.
But the headline on the 1975 report was bold: “Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” And this article that coined the term may have marked the last time a mention of “global warming” didn’t set off an instant outcry of angry denial.
Over 35 years ago, Wally Broecker’s article coined the word global warming. Using primitive computers – the most powerful supercomputer of the day was about as powerful as an iPad 2 – Broecker made some initial suppositions about temperature changes based on the level of knowledge at the time.
History over the last 35 years have shown his predictions to be amazingly accurate. His model showed that CO2 production by humans would begin to overwhelm the effects of other natural processes. Here is a figure of his prediciton and real data since 1975 (from SkepticalScience):
Not too bad a difference between real data and an idealized curve based on some necessarily inexact numbers. We have much more exact numbers today and more complicated models than he had but they simply simply add details to the overall effect.
Nothing that has been discovered in the last 35 years has disproven his paper. In fact, a much wider body of knowledge covering many more disciplines exists today than he had access to. All of them support his model.
Arrhenius discussed heating of the globe by human produced carbon dioxide over 100 years ago. Frank Capra produced an educational film on the subject in the mid-1950s. Broecker provided not only the model but accurate predictions 35 years ago. That model has been refined but not overturned by intense research since.
I think I’ll stick with 110 years of scientific research rather than corporate sponsored media campaigns.