February 12, 2007

Wow - Cosmic, Dude!

Hatched by Dafydd

A fascinating new theory for global climate change -- that temperature rises and falls are driven less by human production of "greenhouse gases" but primarily by how much or how little the sun's magnetic field protects the Earth from cosmic rays -- has just gained a lot more credibilty due to a recent experiment conducted by Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark at the Danish National Space Center.

In a book, [the Chilling Stars,] to be published this week, [Dr. Henrik Svensmark of Denmark and science writer Nigel Calder] claim that fluctuations in the number of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere directly alter the amount of cloud covering the planet.

High levels of cloud cover blankets the Earth and reflects radiated heat from the Sun back out into space, causing the planet to cool.

Henrik Svensmark, a weather scientist at the Danish National Space Centre who led the team behind the research, believes that the planet is experiencing a natural period of low cloud cover due to fewer cosmic rays entering the atmosphere.

This, he says, is responsible for much of the global warming we are experiencing.

This theory holds that the more cosmic rays that strike the upper atmosphere, the greater the cloud cover on Earth. And the amount of cosmic rays we receive is due to the intensity of the sun's magnetic field, which varies: A stronger solar magnetic field means fewer cosmic ray particles, fewer clouds, and more global warming; a weaker field means more cosmic rays, more clouds, and global cooling.

Graphic: how cosmic rays cause global cooling

How cosmic rays cause global cooling

Science writer Nigel Calder, who co-authored the book with Svensmark, explains the theory on a nutshell:

He saw from compilations of weather satellite data that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds. The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier.

But this theory is not going down well with those who have staked everything on demonstrating anthropogenic ("human created") global climate change (AGCC). Calder reports that Svensmark had tremendous difficulty getting his research, which contradicts the globaloney orthodoxy (and how's that for an unbiased phrasing?), published at all:

Disdain for the sun goes with a failure by the self-appointed greenhouse experts to keep up with inconvenient discoveries about how the solar variations control the climate....

In a box of air in the basement, [Svensmark and his team] were able to show that electrons set free by cosmic rays coming through the ceiling stitched together droplets of sulphuric acid and water. These are the building blocks for cloud condensation. But journal after journal declined to publish their report; the discovery finally appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society late last year.

The Telegraph story mentions only one skeptic, "Giles Harrison, a cloud specialist at Reading University;" but this is not necessarily representative. I suspect that, even assuming Dr. Svensmark's experiment is replicable, the theory of AGCC will not go down without a fight. Too much political power (including a "world carbon tax" to transfer vast sums of money from the civilized West to the impoverished carbon criminals) rides on AGCC being true. Nobody "in the loop" is going to allow mere reality to decide the issue.

Still, an upcoming experiment could end up throwing a monkey wrench into a cocked hat:

A team of more than 60 scientists from around the world are preparing to conduct a large-scale experiment using a particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland, to replicate the effect of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere.

They hope this will prove whether this deep space radiation is responsible for changing cloud cover. If so, it could force climate scientists to re-evaluate their ideas about how global warming occurs.

Meanwhile, leftist newspaper columnist Ellen Goodman -- whom few realize is a world-renowned atmospheric physicist, an internationally acclaimed climatologist, and founding member of the American Meteorological Society -- has carefully explained that anyone who denies the political consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that Republicans driving SUVs are responsible for all the global warming we have experienced this winter, is roughly equivalent to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.

Think I was kidding about the Republican gibe above? O ye of little faith (in the insanity and hysteria of the BDS-afflicted Goodman):

One reason is that while poles are melting and polar bears are swimming between ice floes, American politics has remained polarized. There are astonishing gaps between Republican science and Democratic science. Try these numbers: Only 23 percent of college-educated Republicans believe the warming is due to humans, while 75 percent of college-educated Democrats believe it. [See if you can guess on which side Goodman finds herself.]

This great divide comes from the science-be-damned-and-debunked attitude of the Bush administration and its favorite media outlets. The day of the report, Big Oil Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma actually described it as "a shining example of the corruption of science for political gain." Speaking of corruption of science, the American Enterprise Institute, which has gotten $1.6 million over the years from Exxon Mobil, offered $10,000 last summer to scientists who would counter the IPCC report.

That last accusation sounds familiar; now where did we recently read about that...?

Goodman goes on to psychoanalyze the dissenters -- liberalism's very favorite trick when they cannot reply with reason (which is most of the time) -- then turns to an old Jesuit argument of percentages:

In addition, maybe we can turn denial into planning. "If the weatherman says there's a 75 percent chance of rain, you take your umbrella," Shellenberger tells groups. Even people who clutched denial as their last, best hope can prepare, he says, for the next Katrina. Global warming preparation is both his antidote for helplessness and goad to collective action.

Of course, if the weatherman says it's going to be a cold winter, you don't immediately chop all your furniture and your house into firewood to keep warm.

Lost on secret scientists like Ms. Goodman is the simple fact that all decisions have consequences... not just those decisions you disagree with. Deciding to take "action" to prevent global warming -- by which promoters always mean to reduce energy use by reducing industrialization, to smash the looms -- would have a catastrophic effect on the world's economy, producing a crash that would end up killing far more people that are projected to die in the putative world heat wave of the 21st century.

As a wise man once said -- oh, wait, I think it was I -- "there are no solutions, only trade-offs." A "good solution" is a trade-off where what you lose is worth less to you than what you gain... for example, when buying an Enya CD or when throwing away a burger from Jack In the Box after only a single bite.

A "bad solution" is when you lose more than you gain: the most perfect example is the present case, crippling the world's economy to reduce warming by about a tenth of a degree per century. In a shockingly unexpected turn of events, loony lefties like Ellen Goodman, despite her unrivaled scientific credentials, consistently advocate "bad solutions."

I think I should have thrown her away after only a single bite.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 12, 2007, at the time of 5:12 PM

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» Global Warming/Cooling … Whatever from Pseudo-Polymath
Cosmic radiation as the cause? (HT:: Dafydd at Big Lizards) (PS: in Welsh the double-d is a th sound, I think) ... [Read More]

Tracked on February 13, 2007 4:37 PM

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A fight to the finish is brewing over Global Warming. About a week ago the political arm of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published their conclusions well before the actual research and scientific material are to be published, [Read More]

Tracked on February 14, 2007 10:57 AM


The following hissed in response by: hunter

People that really do have science and truth behind them don't behave the way AGW believers behave.
The algore led global climate panic is not a rational movement.
But algore should be happy if this interesting experiment holds true. It implies stronglythat he will be able to continue, along with his friends, flying around in their private jets, and driving around in the stretch hummer limos, for the rest of hteir lives.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 12, 2007 8:16 PM

The following hissed in response by: jgr

Goodie, or Ellen Goodman, has always been my favorite Wiccan. Now I don't actually know that she's a practicing witch. Her rantings do smell of that. And her science could be.

--"who clutched denial as their last, best hope can prepare, he says, for the next Katrina"

It seems to me that doomsday, or the theory of so-said Global Warming by humans, is NO hope at all. None. As for the marvelous response by so many individual Americans to the devastation of Katrina, America is indeed prepared. The toll was grievous. Yet facts will show the federal government, before the media hysteric storm, did quite creditably in the face of a storm of new ferocity. And the churches, the caring love of hundreds of thousands of brave Americans did better.

After Katrina, the Left, particularly the Democrats, cruelly used the suffering of those in dire need from Katrina to promote their own agenda.
Theirs was a manmade disaster of racism, politics,and selfishness which descended after the fact upon victims. Politicized disasters are simply evil.

Should there be dark forces in this world--and who can doubt-- Ellen Good(not) will be involved, riding the whirlwind, and spreading confusion, malevolence, and hate.

The above hissed in response by: jgr [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2007 7:58 AM

The following hissed in response by: Cain

No no no, this theory will never do. If socialism is to continue to advance globally via the UN and various other leftist organizations, this whole notion of global climate variations actually being beyond the control of human behavior has got to be discredited and ridiculed immediately. Science cannot be allowed to confuse the isse at this late date. Most of the planet has now been properly brainwashed. This kind of stuff will just undo all that hard won propaganda work. Stop it!

The above hissed in response by: Cain [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2007 10:53 AM

The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH

With the possible exception of women wearing pro-abortion tee shirts hectoring American soldiers as "baby killers," my favorite example of the left's immunity to irony is anti-nuclear activists who insist that global warming is the most important issue facing the world today.

By my calculations Jane Fonda and other anti-nuclear activists have caused and additional twenty trillion pounds of CO2 to be released into the atmosphere from US power plants since the release of The China Syndrome.

The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2007 11:06 AM

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

As I read the IPCC "summary" report, there is some very convincing evidence that the earth is getting warmer. I believe most of that. Beyond that, I find several flaws with it.
1. They seem to know that CO2 has increased. But they don't say how much of that is produced by humankind. As I understand it, they don't even have a good estimate of the total CO2 in the atmosphere, let alone the anthropogenic factor. And they do NOT prove causation, just correlation, as near as I can tell.
2. They state that CO2 is the "most important" greenhouse gas, but nowhere do they justify that statement. I think what they mean is that it is the one most affected by the burning of fossil fuels, thus letting us blame humans for GW. It is not the most potent or the most plentiful, as I understand it.
3. They talk about being 90% certain, but don't tell us the size of the 90% confidence interval. In other words, is the sea going to rise 2 feet +/- 6 feet? We don't know.
4. Most critically, in my estimation, is that they admit that, if we stop generating CO2 today, we'll still have global warming for hundreds of years! So, if we can't "fix it" for hundreds of years, how did we manage to /create/ the problem, in just the last 25??? And what is the point of trying to fix something that we can't fix?

As near as I can tell, this is a blatant socialist power grab, and they are deliberately setting the benchmarks so far away and so inaccurately that we will all be in our state-owned graves before we discover the real truth.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2007 12:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

Well done.

I've never understood the concept of "consensus" science. I.e., 9 out of 10 dentists believe Listerine...etc. It is not about how many people believe something is true, but the facts of the argument itself that are relevant to the discussion. This is typical Democratic science. Let's take a poll on the truth!

There has long been a strong correlation in the data between sunspots and climate on Earth, less sunspots = cooler temperatures. This is much more true than the small variations in actual brightness of the sun, which appear to have little correlation, or with carbon dioxide concentrations, which historically have had a weak correlation. For example, the little ice age corresponded quite nicely to a near absence of sunspots, while solar output and carbon dioxide concentrations remained relatively static during the period. I would argue that global warming theories that do not explain the Little Ice Age are by definition crap. Given that sunspots represent solar magnetic activity this theory explains the correlation quite nicely.

I think that there may be much more too this. The atmospheres of the outer planets with strong magnetic fields (Jupiter and Saturn) are much hotter than can be explained purely via the input of solar radiation. I think this may be due to the interaction of their strong magnetic fields with the solar wind/magnetic field. There have been several studies on this:


The effect is NOT noted on Mars and Venus, which have weak magnetic fields. Does it occur on Earth? It would make sense, and explain a lot of the data.

I guess the anthropogenic global warming advocates forgot to censor planetary studies.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2007 1:10 PM

The following hissed in response by: F. N. Owl

The global warming alarmists are already ignoring evidence that disproves it. This is just another heretic to toss on the fire.

For example, the IPCC report describes how the Arctic is warming faster than the global average, in accordance with the theory. Which is correct. However, the Antarctic is not warming at all, it's cooling slightly, in flat contradiction to the theory. "Global warming" isn't even global; it's Northern hemispheric warming.

The above hissed in response by: F. N. Owl [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2007 2:36 PM

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