Flashback 1971: Scientists Predict Burning Coal Will Cause The Next Ice Age
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Earth’s “average temperature could drop by six degrees.” Rasool added that “such a temperature increase could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!”
Basically, pollutants from burning coal and other fuels tend to reflect solar energy back into space. Scientists were worried that such man-made aerosols would block out so much sunlight that global temperatures would drop — just like how volcanoes can cause some atmospheric cooling.
Worry among the scientific community was apparently so strong that Gordon MacDonald, President Nixon’s science advisor, said that fossil fuel-driven cooling was “one of the serious problems” facing the world.