A stroll through the New York Times Archives

What were climatologists (or climate specialists as they used to be called) saying publicly in the 1970s and before? A quick stroll through the New York Times archives, conveyed to us by Chris Horner, reveals some illuminating stories. This is a long post, so please unfold if you want the full details. Lets start off in 1979…

Scientists at World Parley Doubt Climate Variations Are Ominous; Forgetting the Past Major Shifts in Past

February 16, 1979, Friday
By WALTER SULLIVAN Special to The New York Times
Section: Business & Finance, Page D13, 688 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – GENEVA, Feb. 15 This winter Chicago was paralyzed by snow. Last winter it was Boston. European Russia has just suffered its coldest December in a century. In Britain and Western Europe, the summer of 1976 was the hottest in 250 years.


Climatologists Are Warned North Pole Might Melt; Another Projection

February 14, 1979, Wednesday
By WALTER SULLIVAN Special to The New York Times
Page A21, 879 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – GENEVA, Feb. 13 There is a real possibility that some people now in their infancy will live to a time when the ice at the North Pole will have melted, a change that would cause swift and perhaps catastrophic changes in climate.


Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing; Major Cooling May Be Ahead; Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate Is Changing; a Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable

May 21, 1975, Wednesday
Section: The Week In Review, Page 92, 2838 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – The world’s climate is changing. Of that scientists are firmly convinced. But in what direction and why are subjects of deepening debate.

……and 3 1/2 years later we have….

Experts Tell How Antarctic’s Ice Could Cause Widespread Floods; Mushy Ice Beneath Sheet

January 8, 1979, Monday
Special to New York Times
Page A19, 572 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – HOUSTON If the West Antarctic ice sheet slips into the sea, as some glaciologists believe is possible, boats could be launched from the bottom steps of the Capitol in Washington and a third of Florida would be under water, a climate specialist said today.

…..but again
2 Climate Experts Decry Predictions of Disasters; Drought in Africa

February 22, 1976, Sunday
By WALTER SULLIVAN Special to The New York Times
Page 48, 823 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – BOSTON, Feb. 21–Two authorities on climate change have termed irresponsible recent predictions of an impending ice age or other climatic disaster. The also said that any global effects of man-made air pollution on the climate to date remained obscure.

Books of The Times; Forecast: A Freezing Machine (about, guess what)

….uh oh…that marvelous word “unanimous” was used, but in connection with cooling:

SCIENTISTS AGREE WORLD IS COLDER; But Climate Experts Meeting Here Fail to Agree on Reasons for Change

January 30, 1961, Monday
Section: BUSINESS FINANCIAL, Page 46, 1326 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – After a week of discussions on the causes of climate change, an assembly of specialists from several continents seems to have reached unanimous agreement on only one point: it is getting colder.

….super sonic airplanes gases “Cool” the planet??

Experts Fear Great Peril If SST Fumes Cool Earth

December 21, 1975, Sunday
Page 32, 1057 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – A federally sponsored inquiry into the effects of possible climate changes caused by heavy supersonic traffic in the stratosphere has concluded that even a slight cooling could cost the world from $200 billion to 500 times that much in damage done to agriculture, public health and other effects.

….take THAT, “consensus”!!

Climate Specialists, in Poll, Foresee No Catastrophic Weather Changes in Rest of Century; Warning About Carbon Dioxide

February 18, 1978, Saturday
By WALTER SULLIVAN Special to The New York Times
Page 9, 967 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – WASHINGTON, Feb. 17–A poll of climate specialists in seven countries has found a consensus that there will be no catastrophic changes in the climate by the end of the century. But the specialists were almost equally divided on whether there would be a warming, a cooling or no change at all.

….”inevitable”??? Anther one of those words.

Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing; Major Cooling May Be Ahead; Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate Is Changing; a Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable

May 21, 1975, Wednesday
Page 45, 2828 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – The world’s climate is changing. Of that scientists are firmly convinced. But in what direction and why are subjects of deepening debate.

….and we have….
Disaster Novels

January 27, 1980, Sunday
Section: The New York Times Book Review, Page BR4, 1171 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – NOVELS of disaster, be they personal, national, global or cosmic, are among the most satisfying stories I can think of. There is something wonderfully heartwarming about sitting in a comfortable chair with a cool drink …


July 9, 1936, Thursday
By The Associated Press.
Page 1, 1328 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – CHICAGO, July 8. — Fatalities increased to 120 tonight after the sixth consecutive day of exhausting heat had battered at temperature records from the Western plains to the Eastern seaboard. Death totals mounted hourly from heat and drowning as thousands fled to the beaches for relief. To yesterday’s toll of fifty-four, fifty-nine deaths were added during the day.

ICE AGE PREDICTED IN GLACIER STUDY; New Theory Says Warming of Arctio May Set Stage for Freezing to South Sequence Is Explained

June 16, 1956, Saturday
Page 21, 580 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – The earth is now in an interglacial period and a new Ice Age is expected, according to a suggestion in a new theory on the origin of glaciers. But it may be thousands of years before conditions are ripe for the new Ice Age.

HUNT LOST ARCTIC CURRENT; Coast Guard Fear Mild Winter In North Means Climate Change Here.

May 19, 1924, Monday

Scientists Reviving Speculation on Climate and Slipping Antarctic Ice; Theory of Linked Events Evidence in Bones Volcanic Dust Theory In Less Than a Century

March 9, 1980, Sunday
Page 43, 1161 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – Scientists are reviving the controversial notion that millions of cubic miles of Antarctic ice can sometimes abruptly slip off the continent into the sea, resulting in extreme increases in global ocean levels and precipitating a dramatic chilling of the world’s climate.

Norway Glaciers Shrink; Disappearance Foreseen

January 19, 1938, Wednesday
Page 26, 142 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – The Norwegian glaciers are shrinking in size at such a rate that, if the trend continues, glaciers and snowfields will disappear from Norway just as they did for a period after the last great Ice Age, when forests spread over the Dovre range.

Wood, Field and Stream; Fishermen in Florida Get Impression That the Ice Age Is Returning

February 28, 1967, Tuesday
By OSCAR GODBOUT Special to The New York Times
Section: Sports, Page 45, 497 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – STUART, Fla., Feb. 27–Scientists say the next ice age isn’t due for at least a few thousand years yet, but to judge by the temperatures afflicting Florida they must be wrong. The leading edge of the ice cap must be at the Georgia state line and moving southward fast.

……El Nino-a threat 46 years ago

RUINOUS CURRENT HELD DUE IN PERU; Cinematologist Predicts That Cyclical Pacific Change Will Hit This Year

January 27, 1961, Friday
Page 5, 327 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – A Dutch authority on climate change predicted yesterday that El Nino, a catastrophic ocean current, would sweep down the West Coast of South America this year.


September 17, 1958, Wednesday
Page 3, 191 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – Engineers may someday build a huge dam between Greenland and Norway to avert another Ice Age, a speaker suggested

STILL THE ICE AGE GRIPS THE PLANET; Byrd in the Antarctic Will See Spectacular Aspects of the Earth’s Slowly Shrinking Glacial Cloak

April 29, 1928, Sunday
Section: The New York Times Magazine, Page SM2, 2650 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – THE Brontosaurus has gone to fossll; what once were Cala mites are now coal and will soon be nothing; but the stupendous drama of the Ice Age, concerning which so much has been written in the past tense, is still in progress.

MENACE OF A NEW ICE AGE TO BE TESTED BY SCIENTISTS; Indications in Arctic That Have Caused Some Apprehension — MacMillan Expedition Will Leave for Greenland Next Month to Study Recent Movements of Glaciers.

June 10, 1923, Sunday

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – IS another Ice Age coming? Are the scenes of the latter Pleistocene Age — the geologic period -which immediately preceded our own — to be repeated? And, if so, what will it mean to the inhabitants of the earth? In an effort to determine whether there is any likelihood of such a cataclysmic occurrence the MacMillan expedition will leave this month for Greenland to study the recent movements of glaciers on that island continent.

GLACIERS’ EBB SPED BY HOT ’34 SUMMER; Last Remnants of Ice Age Are Receding at Double-Time, Geologists Are Told.

April 28, 1935, Sunday
Page 28, 844 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – WASHINGTON, April 27. — The great glaciers of the West, last remnants of the Ice Age on continental United States, have been retreating from their strongholds in the mountains at double time since last year. This was reported before the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union by Francois E. Matthes of the United States Geological Survey, chairman of the union’s committee on glaciers.

Science Watch; Carbon Dioxide in the Ice Age

April 29, 1980, Tuesday

Snow From Ice Age Found to Be Dirtier Than Today’s Snow

August 31, 1975, Sunday
Page 87, 355 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 30 (AP) An Ohio State University study of ice cores from the last glacial period about 14,000 years ago shows that snow was much dirtier than that falling today.

Satellite Finds Changes In Sun’s Energy Output

August 10, 1980, Sunday
Page 43, 269 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (UPI)–A new satellite instrument has discovered that the Sun’s radiation output has changed by as much as two-tenths of 1 percent over the last few months, enough, perhaps, to affect the weather on the Earth.

Science; Worrying About a New Ice Age

February 23, 1969, Sunday
Section: the week in review, Page E10, 1187 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – For the past few hundred thousand years the climate of the earth has oscillated enough to produce a succession of frigid ice ages and warm interglacial periods. It has generally been assumed that these climate changes were gradual, but new theories that they occur with devastating suddenness are now being tested.

WARMING TREND SEEN IN CLIMATE; Two Articles Counter View That Cold Period Is Due

August 14, 1975, Thursday
Section: Sports, Page 24, 759 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – Articles in two scientific journals have questioned widely publicized predictions that, in coming decades, the world climate will deteriorate severely affecting food production and, perhaps, initiating a new ice age.

Climate Experts Assay Ice Age Clues

January 27, 1972, Thursday
Special to The New York Times
Section: BUSINESS/FINANCE, Page 74, 731 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – PROVIDENCE, R. I., Jan. 26 — After invading Nebraska and Colorado, the armadillos, faced with increasingly frigid weather, are in retreat from those states toward their ancestral home south of the Mexican border. The winter snow accumulation on Baffin Island has increased 35 per cent in the last decade.

Frozen Key To Our Climate; The world’s ice masses may be ushering in a fifth Ice Age. Frozen Key To Our Climate

NEW STUDIES POINT TO ICE AGE AGAIN; Scientist Says U.S. May Be Engulfed in 80,000 Years

Get Out the Ear Muffs: New Ice Age Forecast

November 11, 1956, Sunday
Page 40, 140 words

April 9, 1968, Tuesday

December 7, 1958, Sunday
Section: Magazine, Page SM72, 2601 words


Section: review of the week editorials, Page E8, 511 words
May 5, 1935, Sunday

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – In the address that he delivered before the American Geophysical Union, Mr. F.E. MATTHES of the Geological Survey presented evidence that the glaciers of the United States are melting away faster than ever, and this because of last year’s abnormally hot Summer.

FLOODS THREATEN AUSTRIAN CAPITAL; Viennese Authorities Prepare Plans to Protect Citizens– Cold Closes Old Cafes. GREEKS PUSH FLOOD AID Venizelos Family Gives $6,500 to Subscription for Sufferers– New Ice Age Predicted. Greeks Push Relief. Blizzard Sweeps Turkey. Predicts Another Ice Age.

February 24, 1929, Sunday
Page 6, 933 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – VIENNA, Feb. 23 (AP).–Scarcely has Austria emerged from the recent disastrous cold wave, which brought bitter suffering, than it is now confronted with the danger of a new calamity in the form of floods from the swollen rivers and lakes.

MACMILLAN FOUND ICE CAP RECEDING; Explorer, Returning to Maine, Tells of Discovering Remnant of Old Glacier.NOW 700 MILES IN AREALocated in Baffin Land and IsCalled Last of Sheet ThatOnce Covered Continent. ENDURED GREAT COLD Expedition Was Beset by WorstStorm He Ever Experiencedin Arctic. “At End of Ice Age.” Gives School for Eskimos. Finds Ice Cap’s Remnant.

September 20, 1929, Friday
Special to The New York Times.
Page 26, 875 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – WISCASSET, Me., Sept. 19.–Home again from the North, where he had been with a party of scientists since the latter part of January, Commander Donald B. MacMillan, the…

Gulf Stream Reverses Its Direction; British Isles Fear a Return of the Ice Age

August 7, 1928, Tuesday
Page 23, 183 words

SEES GLACIAL ERA COMING.; Prof. Schmidt Warns Us of an Encroaching Ice Age.

October 7, 1912, Monday

America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-Year Rise

March 27, 1933, Monday
By The Associated Press.
Page 1, 392 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – WASHINGTON, March 26. — That next ice age, if one is coming, when glaciers may come grinding down from the North again to overwhelm America, is still a long way off, if Uncle Sam’s weather charts are any indication.

BYRD CONTRASTS THE TWO POLAR REGIONS; The Admiral Explains the Vast Difference Between Conditions in the Arctic, an Ocean Where There Is Life, and the Antarctic, a Lifeless Continent in Its Ice Age, Based on his Flights Over Both Poles–He Finds the Call to Revisit Them Almost Irrestible Divergent Polar Conditions. A Desolate Region. Conditions on Arctic Trip. The Hazards of Flight. The Advantage of Planes. Polar Weather. Winter Stay Necessary. Preparation Essential. Theory and Practice. Water, Snow and Ice.

June 8, 1930, Sunday
By Rear Admiral RICHARD E. BYRD. Copyright, 1930.Pathe News.P. & A. Photo. By The New York Times Company and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch All Rights for Publication Reserved Throughout the World.From Ponting’s “The Great White South.
Section: Special Features, Page 135, 4176 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – CANAL ZONE. I BELIEVE that it is difficult fully to appreciate the two ends of the earth without flying over large areas of the Arctic Ocean or the South Polar Plateau. I must confess that even though I felt I had a fair knowledge of the problems of the South Polar flight before it was …

Transit Study Brings Ridicule

August 21, 1977, Sunday
Page 26, 247 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (UPI)– The Transportation Department has concluded that another ice age would drive Americans southward and that a guerrilla war would make driving dangerous.

Vast Antarctic Ice Sheet Studied for Clues to Periodic Ice Ages

May 22, 1975, Thursday
Page 26, 1042 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – The view that another ice age will probably come, sooner or later, predominates among scientists, but it is argued by some that the last ice age may not be entirely finished.

Vanishing Shield? (Interesting-“an ice age caused by air pollution”,)

April 13, 1975, Sunday
Section: Help Wanted, Page 212, 435 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – So varied and numerous in recent years have been the warnings of hazards from environmental contamination an ice age caused by air pollution, cancer from substances in wide use, and the like that one tends to become inured.

As the Chilled Head for Cover The Earmuff Makes a Comeback

January 29, 1977, Saturday
Section: Travel – Accent on The Sun, Page 24, 569 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – Friends, Romans, Somebody: Lend them your earmuffs. People in need of earmuffs-from messengers in parkas to fashionables in mink are finding it hard to buy a pair in this the worst winter since the Ice Age.

U. S. Team Probes Antarctic Ice To Find Date of Glacial Stream; Further Study Required Seas Free of Ice at Time

February 1, 1957, Friday
By WALTER SULLIVAN Special to The New York Times.
Page 22, 675 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – ABOARD U.S.S. GLACIER, off the Knox Coast, Jan, 28–If this icebreaker is lucky she may be able to find out when the great rivers that drained the once-forested hills of Antarctica were overwhelmed by the Ice Age.

NEXT GREAT DELUGE FORECAST BY SCIENCE; Melting Polar Ice Caps to Raise the Level of Seas and Flood the Continents

May 15, 1932, Sunday

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – WE still speak of “the Ice Age” as if it belonged to the remote geological past. Geologists have reached the conclusion that there were several ice ages. What is more, the last Ice Age, known as the Quaternary, is only about half over, despite our blistering Summers.

Article 18 — No Title

October 24, 1903, Saturday
Section: The New York Times SATURDAY REVIEW OF BOOKS AND ART, Page BR12, 308 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – II. The New York Times Saturday Review of Books: Your correspondent, the learned Cope Whitehouse of Newport, treating the ice age, asserts “[deny that the glacial age ever existed,” and he adds that some years ago he maintained in a paper sent to the Academic des Sciences that it was due to the electrical current generated by the reciprocal rotation of the earth and the sun.

ICE AGES ATTRIBUTED TO EARTH ORBIT SHIFT; Scientists Find Periodic Changes in Path Around Sun ‘Positive Test’ of Climatic Theory

November 30, 1976, Tuesday
Page 18, 745 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – Periodic changes in the earth’s orbit around the sun have been identified as the “fundamental cause” of the ice ages, a team of American and British scientists reported yesterday.

Timer in Sun’s Heart Said to Control Cycle; Climate Fluctuations Similar

December 27, 1978, Wednesday
Page A15, 789 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – The sun, source of life-giving warmth, long assumed to be constant and predictable, has been found surprisingly inconstant both in its rotation and its sunspot activity. Yet it also appeals that sunspot occurrences, while irregular, are controlled by a highly precise timer deep within the sun, according to new evidence.

Remember this one……

Climatic Changes by Aerosols in Atmosphere Feared; Climatic Changes by Aerosols in Atmosphere Feared

September 14, 1975, Sunday
Section: ^@, Page 1, 1682 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – Although attention in the debate regarding the role of fluorocarbon aerosol sprays has hitherto focused on public health questions, it has now been proposed that they could alter world climates.

And if it IS CO2…

The CO2 Gamble

July 12, 1979, Thursday
Page A20, 490 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – No wonder President Carter has been hiding from the energy crisis at Camp David. Most proposed solutions seem to involve untoward, even perilous consequences.

Scientists Fear Heavy Use of Coal May Bring Adverse Shift in Climate; Scientists Fear Heavy Coal Use May Bring Adverse Climate Shift

July 25, 1977, Monday
Page 1, 1284 words

DISPLAYING FIRST PARAGRAPH – “Highly adverse consequences” may follow if the world, as now seems likely, depends increasingly on coal for energy over the next two centuries, according to a blue-ribbon panel of scientists.