That 70’s Climate Show

I earned my degree in geology (Earth Science) in frigid Connecticut during That 70’s Climate Science Show.  This was very real…


That 70s

1974 TIME magazine article…

The full text of the article can be accessed through Steve Goddard’s Real Science.

There’s also Newsweek


Dan Gainor compiled a great timeline of media alarmism (both warming and cooling) in his Fire and Ice essay.

This 1975 magazine cover and article were very real…

Energy and Climate: Studies in Geophysics was a 1977 National Academies publication. It featured what appears to be the same temperature graph, clearly demonstrating a mid-20th century cooling trend…

The mid-20th Century cooling trend is clearly present in the instrumental record, at least in the northern hemisphere…

According to the models Gorebal Warming saved us from The Ice Age Cometh


So, why are the warmists so obsessed with denying this? Is the mid-20th century cooling period so “inconvenient” that it has to be erased from history like the Medieval Warm Period?

Historical geology…

Suggestion that changing carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere could be a major factor in climate change dates from 1861, when it was proposed by British physicist John Tyndall.


Unfortunately we cannot estimate accurately changes of past CO2 content of either atmosphere or oceans, nor is there any firm quantitative basis for estimating the the magnitude of drop in carbon dioxide content necessary to trigger glaciation.  Moreover the entire concept of an atmospheric greenhouse effect is controversial, for the rate of ocean-atmosphere equalization is uncertain.

Dott, Robert H. & Roger L. Batten.  Evolution of the Earth.  McGraw-Hill, Inc.  Second Edition 1976.  p. 441.


FORECASTING THE FUTURE. We can now try to decide if we are now in an interglacial stage, with other glacials to follow, or if the world has finally emerged from the Cenozoic Ice Age. According to the Milankovitch theory, fluctuations of radiation of the type shown in Fig. 16-18 must continue and therefore future glacial stages will continue. According to the theory just described, as long as the North and South Poles retain their present thermally isolated locations, the polar latitudes will be frigid; and as the Arctic Ocean keeps oscillating between ice-free and ice-covered states, glacial-interglacial climates will continue.

Finally, regardless of which theory one subscribes to, as long as we see no fundamental change in the late Cenozoic climate trend, and the presence of ice on Greenland and Antarctica indicates that no change has occurred, we can expect that the fluctuations of the past million years will continue.

Donn, William L. Meteorology. 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill 1975. pp 463-464

Physical geography…

The atmosphere’s blanketing effect over the earth’s surface has been compared to the functioning of a greenhouse.  Short-wave sunlight passes as easily through the glass of the greenhouse as through the atmosphere.  Because glass is opaque to the long-wave radiation from the warm interior of the greenhouse, it hinders the escape of energy.

As a planet, the earth is not warming or cooling appreciably on the average, because it loses as much radiant energy as it gains.

Kolenkow, Robert J., Reid A. Bryson, Douglas B. Carter, R. Keith Julian, Robert A. Muller, Theodore M. Oberlander, Robert P. Sharp & M. Gordon Wolman. Physical geography today : a portrait of a planet.  Del Mar, Calif. : CRM Books, [1974]. p. 64.

8 Responses to “That 70’s Climate Show”

  1. Marc linquist Says:


    My name is Marc Linquist, I would like to show you a wonderful solution for what is the unknown mechanism for our planet’s variable climate history. This solution will account for all past climate variability, including the warming that has occurred since the end of the Little Ice Age through to the above mentioned mid-20th century cooling and on up to this most recent period of incorrectly assumed anomalous weather, all without having to resort to the tenuous claims of AGW.

    This idea is likely to be completely different than what you have seen before. And because you are intimately familiar with geology you will find this idea especially interesting. My own involvement in this climate dilemma comes by way of my own lifelong interest with geology, science, and electro/mechanical systems.

    The standard models of climate and geology are often shown connected together in various ways, the CO2 cycle as it moves from crustal rocks to the ocean and then to the atmosphere is a typical example. But the standard model of geology is rather deficient in explaining the surface observations of the planet. Yes, the tectonic plates do move, but the exact mechanism and its explanation of “how it does it” is not explained in any great detail. Amazingly, it makes no direct predictions of observations.

    This is then about building a better model that explains how the planet actually operates, which then should show us where the different pieces, or as we should call them – the observations – fit into place in regards to each other, e.g., the climate controversy, and the whole planetary model in general. I know, that sounds like a tall order. But, the scientific process only requires that an acceptable model make superior predictions of observations over its competitors.

    This idea in a nutshell, based on the observation of the palio-magnetic record, is that the Sun’s magnetic field generator changes in intensity over million year time scales, and that the solar magnetic field generator imposes these changes into the Earth’s own magnetic field generator. This commonly understood process as you know is mutual inductive coupling. What is interesting is this increase and decrease in magnetic flux is proportional to the creation of current and field within the Earth’s field generator, which I will show imposes molecular level thermal expansive and contractive forces on the core/outer core materials, and in turn will of course impose this displacement energy into the surrounding mantle.

    So, over a period of millions of years, the Earth’s magnetic field generator and the mantle will slowly move incrementally out and then back, in sync with the solar magnetic generator’s output. And of course, we would expect to see tension relieving mechanisms in the Earth’s crust that resemble the current divergent plate boundaries.

    The resulting mantle displacement is central to this model and explains how this mechanism is responsible for climate change and plate tectonic movement. The mantle makes up 84% of the Earth’s volume and 67% of its mass. But the mass differential between the mantle and the ocean is the most reveling difference between the two that in turn explains how the Earth’s short and long term climate history can be driven by and timed with both plate movement and the solar magnetic history.

    With the mantle’s mass at 67% of the Earth’s total, the ocean in contrast is a mere 0.022 percent of the total mass while the atmosphere weighs a little over a millionth or 1/1,200,000 of one Earth mass. When the mantle is displaced outward, its thickness of 2,900 kilometers, causes it to be subjected to immense strain energy forces, that result not so much in an outward movement at the crust/mantle boundary, but as a forced lateral expansion of the mantle’s surface area, think inverse square law, causing tearing and decompression melting of the surrounding boundary area materials.

    This reflex energy release will be shown to have occurred during periods of climate warming that correspond with crustal extension episodes like the Basin and Range Province and other similar and concurrent extension events from around the world, while the periodic cooling will be shown to have occurred when the mantle was subsiding and the divergent boundary infill was compressing the crust as the strain energy at the crust/mantle boundary was in decline.

    The simultaneous mountain building of the Plio-Pleistocene, where the vertical rise of the Himalayas, Andes and even the vertical displacement of Mid-Atlantic ridge were largely completed in the last several million years as the planet cooled, will be shown to coincide with our most recent Ice Age period. These predictions will be supported by multiple sources that range from solar magnetic 14C proxies, Japanese earthquake records, ice core proxies, to the most recent research papers that show this model predicted some of these observations in advance of their discovery.

    I have shared this model with many people and have received a wide range of responses; many geologists do not want to contend with a paradigm change of this magnitude. Fortunately however, a new friend who is a Geologist told me it was the best model he has seen and has been actively promoting it on ResearchGate;

    Unfortunately many of these members are already rather politically in line with AGW. I would like very much to hear your opinion on this idea.

    You can view the model at;

    Best regards, Marc

    • David Middleton Says:

      It’s an interesting hypothesis. However, this portion is simply not possible…

      The simultaneous mountain building of the Plio-Pleistocene, where the vertical rise of the Himalayas, Andes and even the vertical displacement of Mid-Atlantic ridge were largely completed in the last several million years as the planet cooled, will be shown to coincide with our most recent Ice Age period.

  2. Marc linquist Says:

    Hi Dave,hope you had a great Holiday. Could you please be a little more specific. I want to be sure I understand it correctly. Thank you.

    • David Middleton Says:

      While there was definitely a significant uplift of the Himalayas starting in the Late Pliocene and still ongoing today, the initial orogeny began about 70 Mya. So, the notion that the Himalayas were built in just a few million years is not possible. I read the Ollier paper you cited and it was interesting, but rather bizarre in places. That said, there certainly are some odd Quaternary uplift features that aren’t well-understood from a plate tectonics perspective: Grand Tetons and Sandias come to mind.

      The Pliocene-Quaternary uplift, along with the formation of the Isthmus of Panama are probably the two most significant factors in the sharp cooling of the Quaternary relative to the Tertiary.

      The mechanism that drives plate tectonics is not well-understood; nor are the apparent periodic accelerations and decelerations of tectonic activity. The concept of mantle convection cells works; but I don’t think there is much in the way of direct evidence. Your idea of a periodic electro-magnetic driver involving the Sun and Earth is certainly worth further investigation.

      I have been working on a post on plate tectonics for a while… to point out the areas of certainty and uncertainty. I’ll let you know when I have a rough draft ready. I might also post it on WUWT.

  3. Marc linquist Says:

    Dave, I don’t disagree with you at all about when the Himalayan orogeny began, as I said; “The simultaneous mountain building of the Plio-Pleistocene, where the vertical rise of the Himalayas, Andes and even the vertical displacement of Mid-Atlantic ridge were “largely completed” in the last several million years as the planet cooled, will be shown to coincide with our most recent Ice Age period.”

    No doubt, as the continents approached each other and then collided, there was ongoing deformation, but as Ollier wrote; “As an example, consider the timing of uplift in Tibet and its bordering mountains. Gansser (1991) wrote: «… we must realize that the morphogenic phase is not only restricted to the Himalayas but involves the whole Tibetan block. This surprising fact shows that an area of 2500000 km2 has been uplifted 3000-4000 m during Pleistocene time and that this uplift is still going on.» In places the uplift rate is 4.5 mm/yr (five times the maximum in the European Alps). According to Wu et al. (2001) from the Pliocene to the Early Quaternary (5-1.1 Million years) the Kunlun Pass area of the Tibetan Plateau was no more than 1500 m high and was warm and humid.”

    So no disagreement with your assessment, but I feel that the above evidence overwhelmingly supports the assertion that the range’s rise had been largely completed (way more than ½ of it) since the Pliocene. The Himalayas include over fifty mountains exceeding 7,200 m with the above mentioned Kunlun Pass currently at over 4,700 m.

    I became rather frustrated by the slow progress towards a working plate model, and as I noted in my own hypothesis there is considerable shortcomings in the Standard Models of both plate dynamics and convection; e.g., Attreyee Ghosh et al. “However, the ridge push, or vertically integrated deviatoric stress magnitude, which is 3 1012 N/m (Richardson, 1992; Harper, 1975; Lister; 1975; Parsons and Richter, 1980), is not sufficient to satisfy inferred stress magnitudes of 6–7 1012 N/m that result from GPE differences between the Tibetan Plateau and the surrounding lowlands (Molnar and Lyon-Caen, 1988). An additional force is required to explain the disparity between the excess GPE of Tibet relative to that of the mid-oceanic ridges”.

    The energies needed to produce these structures require tremendous traction forces, yet as Doglioni et al. noted;

    “none of the proposed models of mantle convection can account for the simpler pattern in plate motion we observe at the surface, nor has a unique solution been proposed for how material in the mantle convects. At the moment there is no way to link mantle dynamics and plate kinematics at the surface, considering that the mantle and lithosphere are detached. The Atlantic and Indian ridges are in fact moving apart with respect to Africa, proving not to be fixed both relative to each other and relative to any fixed point in the mantle. This evidence confirms that ocean ridges are decoupled from the underlying mantle.”

    The observations above are at odds with the Standard Model, add to them the observations made by Samer Naif et al. and it strains the model still further;

    “For decades scientists have debated the forces that allow the planet’s tectonic plates to slide across the Earth’s mantle.” . . . “Our data tell us that water can’t accommodate the features we are seeing,” said Naif. “The information from the new images confirms the idea that there needs to be some amount of melt in the upper mantle. That’s what’s creating this ductile behavior for plates to slide”

    The standard models of plate dynamics and convection cannot solve these inconsistencies. These observations above, when examined in regards to each other, are somewhat akin to someone’s claim to having a fully loaded 200 car locomotive that has the needed traction to climb a mountain grade while simultaneously being so decoupled from the track that it could be pushed to the top of the grade with all of its wheel brakes locked.

    The model I have developed and am currently proposing can explain these contradictions and many more. But what is most important about this model is it invalidates the AGW arguments. Its proponent’s often made claim of; “OK if it’s not AGW/Co2 then what is causing it?”, is answered by this model. It can actually make accurate predictions of observations, and account for the warming and cooling seen extending back into the past recorded climate history. What I want to work out next is how this idea can alternately explain the c12/c13 ratios that its proponents consider irreproachable.

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