Ecocentric

Sorry, a TIME Magazine Cover Did Not Predict a Coming Ice Age

A doctored TIME magazine cover warns of a coming ice age. But the reality remains that the world is warming, thanks chiefly to human action

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Andrew Bret Wallis / Getty Images

The newsmagazine business isn’t what it used to be. (Though, hey, it could be worse.) But the space between the red borders of TIME magazine remains some of the most valuable real estate in the news industry. You can tell by how often doctored TIME covers show up in protest crowds, movies, TV shows and on the Web. Former TIME International editor Jim Frederick even had a copy of this fake TIME from the video game Call of Duty 3 hanging up in his office — a fact that drove me insane with jealousy.

Ads, jokes and protests are one thing, though — hoax covers are something else entirely. And that’s the problem with a faked TIME cover about global warming that’s been floating around the Internet for some time. (Hat tip to the science blogger David Kirtley, who posted on this a couple of days ago.) You can see it here:

The cover on the right is real. (I should know — I wrote the story about China and India that’s mentioned in the subhead.) The one on the left is very much not. It’s a doctored version of this cover, from 2007:

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Apparently the hoax cover has been floating around the Internet for at least a few years. I’m not sure who created it, and it doesn’t seem to have gotten a whole lot of traction, even among climate-science deniers. Though kudos to whoever initially put the fake cover together. That’s some pretty good photoshopping.

But the hoax does touch on an important part of climate science — and one that’s often misunderstood by skeptics. Call it the Ice Age Fallacy. Skeptics argue that back in the 1970s both popular media and some scientists were far more worried about global cooling than they were about global warming. For some reason a Newsweek article on the next ice age, published back in 1975, gets a lot of the attention, though TIME did a version of the story, as did a number of other media outlets. The rationale goes this way: the fact that scientists were once supposedly so concerned about global cooling, which didn’t come true, just shows that we shouldn’t worry about the new fears of climate change.

But as John Cook points out over at Skeptical Science, global cooling was much more an invention of the media than it was a real scientific concern. A survey of peer-reviewed scientific papers published between 1965 and 1979 shows that the large majority of research at the time predicted that the earth would warm as carbon-dioxide levels rose — as indeed it has. And some of those global-cooling projections were based on the idea that aerosol levels in the atmosphere — which are a product of air pollution from sources like coal burning and which contribute to cooling by deflecting sunlight in the atmosphere — would keep rising. But thanks to environmental legislation like the Clean Air Acts, global air-pollution levels — not including greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide — peaked in the 1970s and began declining.

The reality is that scientists in the 1970s were just beginning to understand how climate change and aerosol pollution might impact global temperatures. Add in the media-hype cycle — which was true then as it is now — and you have some coverage that turned out to be wrong. But thanks to the Internet, those stories stay undead, recycled by notorious climate skeptics like George Will. Pay no attention to the Photoshop. It’s the science we should heed — and the science says man-made climate change is real and very, very worrying.

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25 comments
PatchesJones
PatchesJones

The world HAS ALWAYS gone through Extreme Weather Change! HELLLLLOOOO MORONS! Remember the Actual Ice Age?! Now How many of you babbling half-wits would like to try to blame that on Man? Anybody? Of course it's kind of hard to do since MAN DIDN'T EXIST THEN! lol

And after the EXTREME Cold Climate didn't the World have to start slowly but surely Warm up to the point where the Ice Melted?! Oh now THAT HAD TO BE............................................Oh wait! Man STILL didn't exist! 

Oh I know! I'm not understanding the fundamental basics of blah, blah, blah, blah...........................RME lol

That's the same old Garbage Fools have been spewing for years now. Instead of offering up any proof to counter these arguments PROVING CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HUGE MASSIVE FRAUD! The Fools simply Mock, and attack! 

None of which, disproves my statements.

PatchesJones
PatchesJones

Uh no! The photo on the right is NOT real! It has been photoshopped! Duh! Polar Bears can swim up to 60 miles in the Arctic Water! That photo is so fake! And those HALF-WITS who stupidly believe in climate Change being Man-Made are a bunch of sick pukes! Trying to help the Govt Take over our lives with Extreme Regulations guaranteed to send us back into the Dark Ages! 

But of course the Puke Politicians WON'T give up a darn thing! Oh No! They're too "Special" to give up their Private Jets, Or frequent Trips in FIRST CLASS to "study" problems, Or their big houses, Or their SUVs, Ooooooh Noooooo! that's just for the "Little People" to give up! 

You psycho-pukes on the Far-Left won't be happy until everyone is wearing the same BLAND BUTT-UGLY outfits, eating the same BLAND TASTELESS Food, Driving the same BUTT-UGLY Cars and only for an allotted number of miles. 

Yeah? Well you pukes can go ahead and PRETEND to laugh at me and mock me and call me names. I know you pukes are an Ammoral lot! truth or lies, right or wrong, DOESN'T MATTER AS Opposed to whatever promotes your sick worthless little Power-Hungry Agenda's. All in the name of "Saving the Earth"! After All, Who but "Evil" People could possibly object to that? RME (shaking head)

StevenDufau
StevenDufau

Problem is I am old enough to remember reading the article!! Now I've seen everything TIME denying their own story.

43stinky51
43stinky51

From Time Magazine's OWN website:

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html


Another Ice Age?
Monday, June 24, 1974

In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada's wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest. Rainy Britain, on the other hand, has suffered from uncharacteristic dry spells the past few springs. A series of unusually cold winters has gripped the American Far West, while New England and northern Europe have... 

Here's more of the article (from a different website):

http://newsbusters.org/node/6546


"As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age. 

Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round."

cjmartin21597
cjmartin21597

I think that the above statement is a lie.  I am 48 years old and I do remember the coming ice age prediction.  Frankly I remember it because as a young boy the thought really scared me at the time and I can never forget the fear I felt at the time.

dr.george46
dr.george46

Funny, not only do I have a copy of the version on the right, I wrote an essay about the article in high school?  so weird...

GregoryPurcell
GregoryPurcell

It's way past time to get skeptical about the so called  "skeptics",  fortunately their lies are so brazenly stupid,  like Photoshopping a Time Magazine cover and hoping no on  notices,  that it's not hard to point out the delusion, 

DavidKirtley
DavidKirtley

Does anyone actually read anymore? 

MikeMurphy complains: "It's as though the alarmist author is saying there is no media hype."  Except in the very next sentence, after the one that Mike quotes, the author says: "Add in the media-hype cycle — which was true then as it is now — and you have some coverage that turned out to be wrong." 

But thanks Mike, and  John.Eggert, for pointing us to the TIME 1974 article "Another Ice Age."  Just like Walsh did in his piece and just like I did in mine.

15 years of no warming.  Check the oceans, check the Arctic sea ice.  There's more to the climate than the atmosphere, people.




MikeMurphy
MikeMurphy

If anyone is interested in Time Magazines media hype about global cooling in 1974 you can read the full article here. http://seeker401.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/time-magazine-june-1974-another-ice-age/

 It states: " Scientists figure that only a 1% decrease in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth’s surface could tip the climatic balance, and cool the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to another ice age within only a few hundred years."

Does the alarmism by Walsh about CAGW sound familiar  today.  Gosh they even used the radiation from the sun as an influence on climate.

MikeMurphy
MikeMurphy

"The reality is that scientists in the 1970s were just beginning to understand how climate change and aerosol pollution might impact global temperatures.


This is really funny. It's as though the alarmist author is saying there is no media hype and the "Science is Settled" or there is a "consensus.


We have the CAGW models and then we have the real world where temperatures have been stable for over 15 years.

jhngalt9
jhngalt9

The earth isn't warming as the climate models predicted. The science is settled.

gharlane
gharlane

@43stinky51  Reading comprehension problem?  Do you have a problem with the mouse button -- you know, the thingy you use to click links with?  Do you even understand what a link is?  


The current story links to the 1974 story where Walsh writes: "For some reason a Newsweek article on the next ice age, published back in 1975, gets a lot of the attention, though TIME did a version of the story, as did a number of other media outlets."  


You guys are hilarious, trying to "prove" that Time is now trying to "hide" the 1974 story, when it's linked right here.  Idiots.


Of course it's obvious why: it's all you've got.  You can't argue with the rest of the story, so you focus on the nonissue of Time "hiding" the 1974 story when in actuality no such thing has occurred.  The actual substance of the argument is of course in the story, but I'll post it again here:


"The rationale goes this way: the fact that scientists were once supposedly so concerned about global cooling, which didn’t come true, just shows that we shouldn’t worry about the new fears of climate change.

"But as John Cook points out over at Skeptical Science, global cooling was much more an invention of the media than it was a real scientific concern. A survey of peer-reviewed scientific papers published between 1965 and 1979 shows that the large majority of research at the time predicted that the earth would warm as carbon-dioxide levels rose — as indeed it has. And some of those global-cooling projections were based on the idea that aerosol levels in the atmosphere — which are a product of air pollution from sources like coal burning and which contribute to cooling by deflecting sunlight in the atmosphere — would keep rising. But thanks to environmental legislation like the Clean Air Acts, global air-pollution levels — not including greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide — peaked in the 1970s and began declining."

Oops.

Of course you didn't read this when it was posted in the story in the first place, so there's no real reason to believe you'll read it now.

JackWolf's comment downthread does a good job of charting the rise in global temp averages over time, together with other supporting data.  But I realize that sort of thing isn't important to you.  Obviously.


jjobie1969
jjobie1969

@jhngalt9That's a good one. "The science is settled." 

Funny stuff, that. 

97 percent of extant peer-reviewed scientific literature - NINETY-SEVEN PERCENT - is in agreement that the earth IS warming, the climate IS changing, and human activities ARE causing it.

http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/06/25/with-climate-change-announcement-pending-conser/194582

 You can either start thinking about the ramifications, or you can go back to getting your info from Fox News, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, or any of the other people out there who simply will not accept that this is a problem until they are waist-deep in sea-water with 3rd degree sunburns on their heads.

 


JackWolf
JackWolf

@jhngalt9 Ocean and land (soil) temperatures are all warming faster than expected.

JackWolf
JackWolf

@JohnSmith57

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for February 2013 tied with 2003 as the ninth warmest on record, at 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F).

·The global land surface temperature was 1.00°C (1.80°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), tying with 2010 as the 11th warmest February on record. For the ocean, the February global sea surface temperature was 0.42°C (0.76°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F), making it the eighth warmest February on record.

·The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the December–February period was 0.51°C (0.92°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F), making it the 12th warmest such period on record.

·The December–February worldwide land surface temperature was 0.71°C (1.28°F) above the 20th century average, tying with 1992 as the 15th warmest such period on record. The global ocean surface temperature for the same period was 0.43°C (0.77°F) above the 20th century average and was the eighth warmest such period on record.

·The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–February period (year-to-date) was 0.56°C (1.01°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F), tying with 2005 as the ninth warmest such period on record.

Furthermore, maximum temperature records out number low records by about 5 to 1.And, this is a trend that has been happening for some time, and the ratio is increasing.If global warming did not exist, the ratio would be closer to 1 to 1.

PetraHuf
PetraHuf

@right.v.easy @cjmartin21597 - I'm 68 and well remember this specific Time issue. I was reminded of it two years ago when my father passed and I had to go thru his garage. He'd saved hundreds of Time, Life, and other magazine issues. For what reason I don't know, but had I known we'd be having this silly discussion today I'd have kept it so I could post a photo of it. Some may be able to photoshop the magazine in an attempt to alter history, by to artificially age a whole magazine, including the inserts and subscription forms, wouldn't be cheap or easy. 

DavidKirtley
DavidKirtley

@JohnSmith57

It seems the only one guessing here is you. We've known (not guessed) that CO2 is a "greenhouse gas" (why the scare quotes?) since the 1800s.  We can measure how much warming x amount of CO2 in the atmosphere should produce.  We can measure how much CO2 is in the atmosphere and how much it has increased (or decreased) over time.  We know the extra CO2 increase is due to our emissions (you know, 'cause we sorta keep track of things like how much oil, gas, & coal is bought and sold).  We can measure less IR escaping to space at just the wavelengths captured by CO2.  We can run climate models without our greenhouse gases and they don't produce the temp curve we are used to seeing: the warming since about the 1970s.  When the models are run with CO2 forcing included they do a good job of matching reality.

 If its not CO2 then what is it?