Some 1855 to 1980 New York Times reports of changing climate

Some perspective on media reporting of complaints that the climate is not perfect, assembled by John Shotsky.

January 5, 1855, Wednesday

As the climate of every country has an inseparable relation with the physical character of its inhabitants, the attention of the Government was directed, some few years since, to the collection of correct meteorological statistics throughout the whole of the United States.

June 23, 1890, Wednesday

Is our climate changing? The succession of temperate Summers and open Winters through several years, culminating last Winter in the almost total failure of the ice crop throughout the valley of the Hudson, makes the question pertinent. The older inhabitants tell us that the Winters are not as cold now as when they were young, and we have all observed a marked diminution of the average cold even in this last decade.
Warming Arctic Climate Melting Glaciers Faster, Raising Ocean Level, Scientist Says

May 30, 1947, Friday


LOS ANGELES, May 29 — A mysterious warming of the climate is slowly manifesting itself in the Arctic, engendering a “serious international problem,” Dr. Hans Ahlmann, noted Swedish geophysicist, said today.
A WARMER EARTH EVIDENT AT POLES; Arctic Findings in Particular Support Theory of Rising Global Temperatures

February 15, 1959, Sunday

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 — The theory that the world is growing slightly warmer is receiving added confirmation from temperature data.
A WARMER EARTH EVIDENT AT POLES; Arctic Findings in Particular Support Theory of Rising Global Temperatures

February 15, 1959, Sunday

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 — The theory that the world is growing slightly warmer is receiving added confirmation from temperature data
EARTH’S WEATHER GROWING COLDER; U.S. Among the Exceptions, Rome Symposium Hears

October 8, 1961, Sunday

ROME, Oct. 7 — The earth, with few regional exceptions, is undergoing “a persistent cold wave” that began in the Nineteen Forties, a United States weather man told a symposium on climate this week.
Weathermen Try to Explain the Why of Spring That Never Was in 1967

May 31, 1967, Wednesday


In the year 1816 the year without summer, they called it snow fell in New England and parts of New York in June, July and August. Crops failed. People were impoverished and mystified.
Expert Says Arctic Ocean Will Soon Be an Open Sea; Catastrophic Shifts in Climate Feared if Change Occurs Other Specialists See No Thinning of Polar Ice Cap

February 20, 1969, Thursday


Col. Bernt Balchen, polar explorer and flier, is circulating a paper among polar specialists proposing that the Arctic pack ice is thinning and that the ocean at the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two.
U.S. and Soviet Press Studies of a Colder Arctic; U.S. and Soviet Press Arctic Studies

July 18, 1970, Saturday


The United States and the Soviet Union are mounting large-scale investigations to determine why the Arctic climate is becoming more frigid, why parts of the Arctic sea ice have recently become ominously thicker and whether the extent of that ice cover contributes to the onset of ice ages.
Climate Experts Assay Ice Age Clues

January 27, 1972, Thursday

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.
Record of a Little Ice Age Is Discovered

February 5, 1972, Saturday


From a study of ice extracted from deep within the Greenland ice sheet it appears that 89,500 years ago something catastrophic changed the climate from being warmer than today’s to that of a full-fledged ice age.
Scientist Fears Equable Climate Around World Could Be Ending

October 31, 1972, Tuesday


The current 12,000-year-old era of comfortable climates around the world may be coming to an end, closing another chapter in what a University of Miami scientist believes has been a history of frequent and relatively short-lived ice ages and warm ages.
CLIMATE CHANGES CALLED OMINOUS; Scientists Warn Predictions Must Be Made Precise to Avoid Catastrophe

January 19, 1975, Sunday

By HAROLD M. SCHMECK Jr. Special to The New York Times

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 Changes in the earth’s climate are inevitable and mankind must learn to predict these variations to avoid potential catastrophe, a group of prominent scientists has concluded after a two-year study.
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


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

August 14, 1975, Thursday


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.
Experts Fear Great Peril If SST Fumes Cool Earth

December 21, 1975, Sunday


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

February 22, 1976, Sunday

By WALTER SULLIVAN Special to The New York Times

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.
International Team of Specialists Finds No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere

January 5, 1978, Thursday


An international team of specialists has concluded from eight indexes of climate that there is no end in sight to the cooling trend of the last 30 years, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.
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

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.
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

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.
A Vast ‘Interdisciplinary Effort’ To Predict Climate Trend Urged; Neutralization Needed

February 24, 1979, Saturday

By WALTER SULLIVAN Special to The New York Times

GENEVA, Feb. 23–After exchanging views here for two weeks, the people who know more about climate than anyone else in the world have concluded that climate’s future trends can be predicted in a meaningful way only after “an interdisciplinary effort of unprecedented scope.”
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


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.

Sometimes you have to look backwards to see where you are heading….this may be such a time.


John Shotsky

One thought on “Some 1855 to 1980 New York Times reports of changing climate”

  1. In the past, nobody knew, a few pretended to know.

    Nowadays, nobody knows, many pretend to know.

    In the future, when data, understanding and experience are multiplied by a factor of at least a thousand – and when today’s computer models will be period jokes, along with teardrop goatees and tramp stamps – somebody may actually know something about climate trends. Maybe!

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