Kukla was a member of the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences, prior to emigrating to the US, and a pioneer in the field of astronomical climate forcing. In 1972 he became a central figure in convincing the United States government to take the dangers of climate change seriously. Kukla and geologist, Robert Matthews of Brown University, convened a historic conference, themed: "The Present Interglacial: How and When will it End?" Kukla and Matthews then highlighted the dangers of global cooling in Science magazine and, to President Richard Nixon.
The Nixon administration reacted swiftly to their letter, which described calamities such as killer frosts, lower food production and floods, to come. By February 1973, the State Department had established a Panel on the Present Interglacial, which advised Drs. Kukla and Matthews that it "was seized of the matter" and numerous other government agencies were soon included.
Kukla was co-author of a chapter in the book "Natural Climate Variability on Decade to Century Time Scales" published by the National Research Council.
Kukla believed all glacial periods in Earth's history began with global warming (understood as an increase of area-weighted average global mean temperature). He believed Earth's recent warming is mostly natural and will ultimately lead to a new ice age. 
- "Forecast: Unsettled weather ahead" Time Magazine, 1977.
- "Scientist refutes notion of recent climate change as "uniquely benign" - sees evidence of approaching ice age despite global warming" Earth Institute News, 2000.
- "An unrepentant prognosticator" Gelf Magazine, 2007.
- Forget warming - beware the new ice age National Post, Canada, June 24, 2007