A link between the Sun, cosmic rays, aerosols, and liquid-water clouds appears to exist on a global scale…

Svensmark has a new paper and it is a doozy:  Cosmic ray decreases affect atmospheric aerosols and clouds (full text PDF).

The major conclusion: “A link between the Sun, cosmic rays, aerosols, and liquid-water clouds appears to exist on a global scale…”

This paper confirms 13 years of discoveries that suggest a key role for cosmic rays in climate change. It links observable variations in the world’s cloudiness to laboratory experiments in Copenhagen showing how cosmic rays help generate atmospheric aerosols.

This is important, because it confirms the existence of a sun-earth atmospheric modulation mechanism for clouds and aerosols. It is seen in an event called a Forbush Decrease, which A Forbush decrease is a rapid decrease in the observed galactic cosmic raycoronal mass ejection (CME). It occurs due to the magnetic field of the plasma solar wind sweeping some of the galactic cosmic rays away from Earth. Here is what the Oulu Neutron Monitor plot looked like during such and event on May15th, 2005:

Cosmic ray flux monitored by the Oulu Neutron Monitor

When the CME hit Earth, the magnetic field of the CME deflects the Galactic Cosmic Rays and the secondary particle flux (Neutrons) decreases. In this graph there is also another Forbush decrease visible, which was caused by another, not that powerful flare, which CME passed Earth a few days before this event.

See more from CosmicRays.org Now at last, a linkage has been established on earth showing such events affect cloud cover and aerosols. Luboš Motl gives a good summary ina post from a  few days ago, shown below.


Forbush decreases confirm cosmoclimatology

By Luboš Motl

Recall that cosmoclimatology of Henrik Svensmark and others postulates that the galactic cosmic rays are able to create “seeds” of low-lying clouds that may cool the Earth’s surface. A higher number of cosmic rays can therefore decrease the temperature. The creation of the cloud nuclei is caused by ionization and resembles the processes in a cloud chamber.

The fluctuations of the cosmic ray flux may occur due to the variable galactic environment as well as the solar activity: a more active Sun protects us from a part of the cosmic rays. It means that a more active Sun decreases the amounts of low-lying clouds, which means that it warms the Earth.

Because the low-lying clouds remove 30 Watts per squared meter in average (over time and the Earth) or so, one has to be very careful not only about the very existence of the clouds but also about the variations of cloudiness by 5% or so which translates to a degree of temperature change.

A systematic effect on the clouds – e.g. one of the cosmic origin – is a nightmare for the champions of the silly CO2 toy model of climatology because the cloud variations easily beat any effect of CO2. Two alarmists, Sloan and Wolfendale, wanted to rule out Svensmark’s theory by looking at the Forbush decreases, specific events of a solar origin named after Scott Forbush who studied them 6 decades ago, involving the plasma. However, their paper was incorrect.

In April 2008, this blog (The Reference Frame) published the following relevant article:

Sun-climate link: a reply to Sloan and Wolfendale.

Sloan and Wolfendale complained that no cosmoclimatological signal could have been seen during the Forbush decreases, i.e. short episodes when the activity of our beloved star decreases the amount of cosmic rays reaching Earth. However, Nir Shaviv explained that it should be expected that such a signal is not seen in the averaged monthly data they had used.

In order to see the “tiger in the jungle”, using Svensmark’s words from a press release

Cosmic meddling with the clouds by seven-day magic

that will be published tomorrow (I am allowed to read it now because my uncle lives in Melbourne which already has August), and in order to separate these clean effects from the huge meteorological noise, one needs to increase the temporal resolution to several days and also cover the whole globe to dilute the effects of local weather.

Newest paper

Tomorrow, on August 1st, 2009, Geophysical Research Letters will publish a new paper by Henrik Svensmark, Torsten Bondo, and Jacob Svensmark:

The People’s Voice (summary of the paper)
Cosmic ray decreases affect atmospheric aerosols and clouds (full text).

When you click the second link above and obtain an error message, press alt/d and enter to reload the URL: without a direct external link, the PDF file will be displayed correctly. Or open the Google cache as PDF-like HTML.

Svensmark and his collaborators have looked at 26 Forbush events since 1987 (those that were strong according to their impact on the spectrum seen in the low troposphere where it matters): most of them occur close to the solar maxima (in the middle of the 11-year cycles). The observations with a much better temporal resolution imply that the mass of water stored in clouds decreases by 4-7%, with the minimum reached after a nearly 1-week delay needed for the cloud nuclei to get mature. Roughly three billions of tons of water droplets suddenly disappear from the atmosphere (they remain there as vapor, which is more likely to warm the air than to cool it down).

An independent set of measurements has also shown that the amount of aerosols, i.e. potential nuclei of the new clouds, also decreases. All these “strength vs decrease” graphs display a lot of noise but the negative slopes are almost always significant at the 95% level (with one dataset being an exception, at 92%, which is still higher than the official IPCC confidence level that climate change is mostly man-made).

Each Forbush decrease can therefore warm up the Earth by the same temperature change as the effect of all carbon dioxide emitted by the mankind since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. While you might think that such an effect is temporary and lasts a few weeks only, it is important to notice that similar variations in the solar activity, the solar magnetic field, and the galactic cosmic rays take place at many different conceivable frequencies, so there are almost certainly many effects whose impact on the temperature – through the clouds – is at least equal to the whole effect of man-made carbon dioxide.

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163 thoughts on “A link between the Sun, cosmic rays, aerosols, and liquid-water clouds appears to exist on a global scale…

  1. …after a nearly 1-week delay needed for the cloud nuclei to get mature. Roughly three billions of tons of water droplets suddenly disappear from the atmosphere…

    Take that and put it in your Funkin-Wagnall!

    I guess using averaged monthly data wasn’t such a good idea, huh.

  2. Reads like Svensmark’s Cosmic Rays theory has traction.

    Maybe, just maybe, science is beginning to re-discover the more important changes in this planet’s climate are all due to natural processes.

    Not before time!

  3. RC knee jerk (and unlike the CO2 cult / climate link, which is of course settled science)

    (…) There are still a lot of hurdles that remain before one can call it a proof.

    One requirement for successful scientific progress in general, is that new explanations or proposed mechanisms must fit within the big picture(….) It’s typical of non-experts not to place their ideas in the context of the bigger picture.

    Well, the RC knee jerk tells me that the paper has some considerable value. Just my “non-expert” view of course.

    FOR SALE : second hand CO2 sensor and an assortment of thermometers. Best offer secures.

  4. RC accuse Svensmark of cherry-picking, but fail to support it. Not that RC would stoop to cherry-picking themselves. That’s beyond them. Rather they stick to revisionism, adjustment and suppression. But that isn’t working either, as every climate indicator is now trending contrary to what their models predict.
    1. global atmospheric temps are declining,
    2. ocean temps are declining,
    3. record lows are being set globally,
    4. ice caps are expanding, .
    5. dissent in the scientific community is soaring, etc.
    Now, even German scientists are abandoning the AGW fantasy in droves:

    http://www.climatedepot.com/

  5. Isn’t this affect to frequently and is too short lived to account for long term climate change? It’s an interesting hypothesis but I don’t see how it can account for long term climate change and in fact the article doesn’t even pretend to do this.

    Interesting idea none the less, not really convinced about it myself, I’d imagine there are plenty of nucleation sites already in the atmosphere and this is unlikely to be the limiting step for cloud formation.

  6. Gene Nemetz (23:59:24) :

    RC

    RealWho?
    Righteous Carbonists?

    Nice one Svensmarks et al. You can’t keep a good theory down.

  7. I’ve contacted Nir Shaviv about the paper that RC introduce at the end of the post:

    Here is what he said:

    —–Message d’origine—–
    De : Nir Shaviv
    Envoyé : 4 août 2009 01:52
    À : Sylvain
    Objet : Re: New paper promoted by realclimate

    Hi Sylvain,
    Here is what I think of melott et al.: (I will add it to sciencebits at some point…)
    Cheers,
    – Nir

    1 – Melott assumes only one pattern speed for the spiral structure, and therefore do not consider the dynamics which shows that it is a pattern composed of 2 spiral arms with one pattern speed + 4 arms with another. It so happens that they coincide at this point in time. e.g., look at this paper: http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/%7Eshaviv/articles/NaozShaviv.pdf (full ref: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007NewA…12..410N ) It also happens that the 2-armed structure is almost co-rotating with the solar system.
    In fact, assuming that the milky way has a very complicated pattern (different number of arms, very antisymmetric, etc., and assuming that it can rotate like a rigid pattern with one pattern speed, for many 10^8 years, is unrealistic.
    2 – The Melott analysis is not consistent with the Spitzer reconstruction, nor it is consistent with the CRF variations observed in Iron meteorites. (Spitzer: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009PASP..121..213C Iron meteorites: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003NewA….8…39S )
    3 – The Melott analysis is based on the spiral arm reconstruction of Englmaier et al. However, there are a few critical problems with the way they do it. In particular, they assume there is an arm in a region in which they see no arm in the density plot, and they ignore an arm passage through a region where the gas map shows a clear elongated concentration. This can be seen in the attached figure (it is composed of the original density plot + arms denoted by Englmaier et al., plus the solar system trajectory according to Melott et al.. Note the location of the solar system is not exactly the same!!! The yellow dots denote passages according to Melott et al., including a passage through something which was dented as an arm but without the density concentration to support it. The red dot denotes a passage through an arm like condensation but not denoted by Melott.
    4 – Melott et al. don’t inlcude additional effects on the trajectory, that the potential is not cylindrically symmetric (the arms introduce something of order a 10% correction. They also don’t include the effect of orbital parameter diffusion.

  8. The main RC criticism of the paper is that no “robust” (?) mechanism is proposed for why there is a time lag between the decrease in cosmic ray flux and the decrease in water cloudiness. Seems like sour grapes as the RC team clearly don’t like the implications of what is essentially an observation, not a model. That aside the very interesting thing is that next time there is a sierious Forbush Decrease the cloud scanners will be alerted and the Svensmark hypothesis suggests that 5-9 days later there will a decrease in cloudiness. An actual testable hypothesis! Hooray!

  9. I’m sure Leif is trying to think this one through! Who knows he may agree at last that there may be some link. I tend to agree with his point of view though. Any messiness with the sun would really exterminate us quite quickly it needs to be extremely stable to support life on earth? (philosophy again.. sorry)

  10. Pretty exciting stuff. Hopefully this will convince hardcore AGW’ers of the need to let go of the old paradigm and get on with science rather than using fear to wrench funding out of the government.

    Also, it seems RC is getting a bit nervous. :)

    from RC …

    The paper is based on a small selection of events and specific choice of events and bandwidths. The paper doesn’t provide any proof that GCR affect the low clouds– at best -, but can at most only give support to this hypothesis. There are still a lot of hurdles that remain before one can call it a proof.

    That had me rolling. Funny that RC should even mention proof of any variety as they don’t require it of themselves.

    Thanks to Anthony and all who are fighting the good fight to bring sanity to climate science.

  11. But caveat: Small changes in sun activity (ALL, TSI, magnetic etc..) may after all slightly change climate on this planet ie ice ages warming periods etc…

  12. Solar wind is a measurement. GCR’s are a measurement. Sunspot area is a measurement.
    Climate models are not measurements, they are computer code invented by programmers to serve a purpose. They can only process the data from measurements in the way in which the programmer specifically designs the model to do.
    When you compare measurements to measurements, you get results.

    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/DeepSolarMin6.htm

    Even whole spot to US temp 1880-1999 is a fair fit, rough as it is.

  13. On the Junk Science Forum, I have posted a compendium of charts of current Cosmic Ray activity from Neutron Monitoring Stations that provide real-time or near real-time graphics. Some of the stations suggest that we may have reached cosmic ray maximum in May 2009 but the signal is not that strong or not at all convincing just yet; also, several of the stations which showed slight dips in the last few months may be headed upward again as the Sun goes back to sleep. The Oulu and Moscow stations are now reporting cosmic ray activity at historic highs for the respective stations.

    http://forum.junkscience.com/index.php?topic=397.0

    The graphics will link to the original websites and Oulu and Moscow displays can be adjusted by the viewer. As I find new stations with useful displays, I will update the JSF post. The graphics will update as the sponsoring website updates their data, so you can check back periodically to follow current Cosmic Ray activity.

    Michael Ronayne
    Nutley, NJ

  14. Pierre Gosselin (02:38:04) :

    BTW, RSS is out for July.
    +0.39, 3rd warmest in 31 years…

    Must be that darned Siberia flaring up again.
    Or is it that there’s an ‘historic’ vote on climate legislation pending?

    RSS wouldn’t fudge the numbers for a cheap headline (well cheap is the wrong word if cap and trade gets passed) , would they?

  15. “One requirement for successful scientific progress in general, is that new explanations or proposed mechanisms must fit within the big picture(….) It’s typical of non-experts not to place their ideas in the context of the bigger picture.”

    Errr …. no! The requirement for successful scientific progress is that the big picture MUST include all the mechanisms – proposed, proven OR unknown – to reflect reality. Scientific progress is only achieved when the “big picture” is altered to fit the discovery of new mechanisms (e.g. the discovery that the earth revolves around the sun not vice versa – which totally altered the “big picture” of the universe).

    Scientific progress is actually denied when the “big picture” takes precedence over newly discovered mechanisms. That statement from RC is the alarmist equivalent of the Catholic Church’s denial of Copernicanism.

  16. RC = Roman Carbonist, possibly.

    RC ==> Gavin Schmidt. Is this the same Gavin Schmidt who work is so ‘robustly flawed’: See Scaffeta’s debunking of Schmidt on WUWT.

    “Isn’t this affect to frequently and is too short lived to account for long term climate change?”

    A Forbush event is just a tool to confirm the hypothesis. It is not being offered as an engine for global temperature changes. Svensmark has hypothesised that during grand solar minimums, the increase in GCR influx will lead to a few percentage points increase of low level clouds. The time span of such minima as Dalton certainly are certainly long enough to effect climate on a multi decadal time scale. The flip side to the reasoning is that high solar activity has the opposite effect and could account for a significant part of the post 1980 global warming.

    “Interesting idea none the less, not really convinced about it myself, I’d imagine there are plenty of nucleation sites already in the atmosphere and this is unlikely to be the limiting step for cloud formation.”

    This was RC’s original complaint a few years ago. However, they have offered no evidence for this assertion. How do you measure saturation of cloud condensation nucleii? What level equates to saturated? I don’t think there is any data on this. Yet, as Svensmark is putting forward GCR’s as a model then it is encumbent upon him to deal with these questions. Just like the AGW crowd do – not.

  17. My simple physical model indicated historical temperature data could be “explained” by sunspot data from the 1700s to now (with a delay and smoothing caused by the physics of the situation). I found that the sun could account for all but about 0.2C of the temperature change since circa 1850.

    Problem was, I had/have no mechanism for the change in energy received by the earth. I figured it would be something other than the raw solar energy changes which seem to small.

    Hence, I am very interested in potentially credible studies that propose other mechanisms and provide supporting observational and experimental data.

  18. The speed of RC’s dismissal of Svensmark’s paper suggests panic to me.

    Indeed, all of the criticisms RC levelled at Svensmark’s paper can also be levelled at any number of AGW papers, including those written by GS himself. It seems to me that there is no validity in his criticisms either, because Svensmark is not demonstrating a full, complete model but simply adding incrementally to our understanding some facts that are consistent with his general hypothesis. This is in contrast to the Warmists, who rather too frequently dismiss facts that don’t fit their hypothesis. If the question is, “why does it take 5 – 9 days for the clouds to appear”, then the answer is further investigation, not outright dismissal.

    RC’s response demonstrates just how anti-science these commentators have become.

  19. I can’t comment on the theory because I don’t have the scientific nous. However, I can appreaciate the fall-out at RC. I really love to see them twitch…

  20. Pierre Gosselin (01:42:28) :

    Thankyou for drawing attention to the German item of news.

    The letter to Angela Merkel is powerful stuff, signed by 67 leading scientists and 189 concerned active citizens – many of these latter also indicate scientific training and affiliations.

    It’s a good read.

  21. I’m glad to see this getting some attention. This has been an interesting hypothesis for me since Svensmark had a documentary on Discovery channel circa ~2000.

    Speaking of solar influences on climate and cloud formation, does anyone know what happened to the SOHO page? It hasn’t updated since 7/28. I was unable to find any notes under the Operations page about what might be going on.

  22. It’s been very rainy and cloudy from last winter here in Southern Europe where we usually have clear skies almost all the time.

  23. “Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized: In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident.” – Arthur Schopenhauer (German Philosopher, 1788-1860)

    Third stage coming soon.

  24. James (01:48:50) wrote: quote Interesting idea none the less, not really convinced about it myself, I’d imagine there are plenty of nucleation sites already in the atmosphere and this is unlikely to be the limiting step for cloud formation. unquote

    Google NASA ship tracks and see. The limit on oceanic stratocu seems to be CCN numbers which means that various influences can modulate the cloud cover — remember that less than 5% reduction in this cover equals or exceeds CO2 forcing including the proposed water vapour amplification.

    I will spare you the swivelly-eyed oil/surfactant pollution theory of global warming, but just wait, its time is coming….

    JF

  25. Urederra (04:35:09) : From The treehugger The best way you can go green is to have fewer children.

    Simplistic thinking applied to complex systems, methinks. Just saw an article in the papers about how China is now facing a demographics bomb as all the single children grow old before China has been able to develop enough to support them. They’ve acquired a First world problem without the First world wealth to deal with it.

    I’m starting to believe that nature itself controls the reproductive urge and tunes it to suit the material conditions it is living in. Trying to deliberately control and engineering this with laws may seem like the obvious right thing to do if you’re a greenie, but we’re about to see how that’s worked out for China.

    Greenies really don’t as a whole understand complexity.

  26. It is interesting that RC apply this criterion to other explanations but not to AGW supporting papers. tic

    “One requirement for successful scientific progress in general, is that new explanations or proposed mechanisms must fit within the big picture, as well as being consistent with other observations. They must also be able to explain other relevant aspects.”

    My comment (below) is waiting on moderation but I’m not holding my breath for it any time before Hansen’s 250ft sea level rise happens. ( the last comment before I posted was #95)

    Is this why the AGW alarmist bandwagon in Australia led by Minister Penny W(r)ong keep changing their story???? Because the furphy that they sold us to accept the CPRS isn’t consistent with the observations.

  27. Pierre Gosselin (02:38:04) :

    BTW, RSS is out for July.
    +0.39, 3rd warmest in 31 years…

    Tell that to the stunted crops out in the field. This has been the coldest summer around here in a long long time. I think we maybe hit 31C once this summer. We routinely hit 38-40C at least for a few days each summer here. Not this year.

    The downside to cold weather is that commodity prices are going to go up (laws of supply and demand) which is not good when the US is going through a recession.

    We need the sun to wake up, and blow some of the clouds away to help warm things up. Svensmark’s theories are showing how true that metaphor really is.

    This paper from Svensmark is another brick in their hypothesis – an observation of cause and effect. RC attacks it for not providing enough of a mechanism of action. Isn’t that the way real scientists do things? First they observe, then they hypothesize, then they test that hypothesis with experiment and more observation. Svensmark made brilliant observations – that galactic cosmic rays affect cloud formation. Critics of the observation said there wasn’t a strong enough signal in the observed data. Now he’s answered the critics with these new observations using strong events that show clear atmospheric responses to variations in the GCR flux. This isn’t cherry picking – this is pulling a strong signal out of the noise to prove there is correlation. Now it’s up to Svensmark, or someone else more expert in the field to show why there is a 5-7 day lag in the response – the actual mechanism of action – to put another brick in the wall.

    Exciting times – we’re living in them.

  28. Clouds rule and Svensmark and Eschenbach have the most natural theories. I hope they’re both proven right and a bigger picture emerges and exposes the true aerosols in all this.

  29. We are at the start of a process that will eventually establish a Natural Theory of Climate Change, one that will overwhelm the AGW hypothesis and see it eventually dumped in the scientific trash.

  30. dorlomin (04:32:46): “And why were the 50s not the warmest decade of the 20th centuary… Oh wait sorry my bad. We only ask question about the CO2. Everything else is real science. ;)

    Svensmark isn’t claiming a complete theory with settled scientific consensus that explains everything. He reports what he has observed.

    He’s doing science the way it is supposed to be done. Observations. Theories. Discussion. More observations. More theories. Repeat as necessary.

  31. James (01:48:50) :

    Svensmark gave an excellent talk at my university recently. They showed a long term study, comprising at least the two last glaciations. There was an excellent correlation between GCR and global temperature on those time scales. it should be published, may be a google scholar search will show it.

  32. Soon the AGW theory will reside next to the ice is coming of the 70s.

    It’s like the AGwers never heard of Occam’s Razor, but then they can’t tax the universe, can they?.

  33. Stan (03:48:27) :
    Scientific progress is actually denied when the “big picture” takes precedence over newly discovered mechanisms. That statement from RC is the alarmist equivalent of the Catholic Church’s denial of Copernicanism.

    It is exactly like that. Climate Alarmism have managed to recreate an anthropocentric climate system, where climate responds to the virtues and sins of man, and earth will be punished for his sins.

    More sober and skeptical scientist are trying to return climate to its heliocentric orbit, which is where it belongs.

    Here is an excellent and much wider analysis of the first position by J. Brignell

  34. For those unfamiliar with UK jargon, as put forth by UK skeptic, the word ‘nous’ possibly should have an ‘e’ on the end and is pronounced to rhyme with ‘house’. It means ‘smarts’.

  35. From the article:

    “t is seen in an event called a Forbush Decrease, which A Forbush decrease is a rapid decrease in the observed galactic cosmic raycoronal mass ejection (CME).”

    Could you rewrite that sentence please, it makes no sense to me.

  36. Certainly intiguing. With all due respect, though, Luboš Motl isn’t quite right when he suggests that this “…resembles the processes in a cloud chamber.” In fact, this is probably how the folks at RC are thinking, and why they immediately pointed to the five day delay as significant.

    In a cloud chamber the condensible gases are saturated or even supersaturated. The ionization tracks from cosmic rays and other particles act as condensation nuclei themselves and the result is an almost instantaneous condensation into a visible track. The five or more days delay in the effect here becomes suspicious immediately if one thinks of the cloud chamber analog. In fact, here the mechanism is more complex. The aerosols in mind are sulfur compounds also possibly sea salts neither of which are near saturation.

  37. **************************
    Vincent (03:57:57) :
    RC = Roman Carbonist, possibly.
    RC ==> Gavin Schmidt. Is this the same Gavin Schmidt who work is so ‘robustly flawed’: See Scaffeta’s debunking of Schmidt on WUWT.
    “Interesting idea none the less, not really convinced about it myself, I’d imagine there are plenty of nucleation sites already in the atmosphere and this is unlikely to be the limiting step for cloud formation.”

    How do you measure saturation of cloud condensation nucleii? What level equates to saturated? I don’t think there is any data on this. ********************************
    I know instruments exist to measure microscopic particle size and can estimate concentration. Shouldn’t aerosols show up in the scattered spectrum of sunlight? Could there be way to measure them from space??

  38. ***************
    Charlie (05:49:59) :
    Svensmark isn’t claiming a complete theory with settled scientific consensus that explains everything. He reports what he has observed.

    He’s doing science the way it is supposed to be done. Observations. Theories. Discussion. More observations. More theories. Repeat as necessary.
    ***********************
    I agree with you 100% on that. The Real Climate article on this was so lame it was comical. They demanded that it have a 100% complete physical theory and also that the paper explained to the T how it fit into the “big picture.” They need to look at their own papers IMO. What a bunch of clowns.

  39. Quoted: layne Blanchard (05:52:41) :

    A search on changes in ultraviolet and solar minima turned this up: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/090504-sun-global-cooling_2.html

    But NG still holds tight to the AGW theory, as stated on page 1 of that article:

    Even if the current solar lull is the beginning of a prolonged quiet, the scientists say, the star’s effects on climate will pale in contrast with the influence of human-made greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2).

    I used to think that NG followed the scientific theory.

  40. From latest NSIDC News Release 8/4/09

    “Clear skies favor melt in the Beaufort Sea

    In 2007, unusually sunny skies throughout the summer melt season were one of the factors that helped lead to the record low ice extent. The clear skies allowed more of the sun’s energy to reach the surface, melting the ice and warming the ocean. This year, cloud fields provided by Jennifer Kay at the National Center for Atmospheric Research show fewer clouds over the Beaufort Sea than in 2007, leading to strong melt in that region. However, over the Chukchi and East Siberian Seas, the Arctic sky has been cloudier than 2007.”

    So clouds are important to heating of the water and ice, who’d a thunk it. But cloud cover reduces this effect. I thought that clouds only provide a positive feedback!
    IPCC refers to clouds routinely but cannot model them correctly so they don’t. Yet the NSIDC says there is a direct relationship between clouds and ice melt.

    I’m so confused!

  41. So why is there a several day delay between the Forbush event and the decrease in clouds when clouds only live for a few hours?

  42. This point by Richard Jones (02:08:20) : is absolutely key

    [T]he very interesting thing is that next time there is a sierious Forbush Decrease the cloud scanners will be alerted and the Svensmark hypothesis suggests that 5-9 days later there will a decrease in cloudiness. An actual testable hypothesis! Hooray!

    This is great because it makes a prediction that can be observed (or not) in nature. If, when we get some Forbrush Decreases in the future, we do see corresponding decreases in cloudiness with a weeks lag then it implies that most of the rest of this theory is accurate. (And if we don’t then the reverse).

    So far it seems to me that very few CO2 based GW papers have come up with a decent testable theory apart from the TTT hotspot one and we know that’s not panned out in the observations of the real world.

  43. As a layman there has always for me been something aesthetically pleasing about the cosmic ray cloud hypothesis. The image of the Earth bathed in stuff of cosmic origin and proportions, stuff which can vary with the sun’s activity and with our passage through the galaxy, operating at every instant and over cosmic timescales—-one set of mechanisms which nonetheless have action on our climate at all time scales.

    I find it much more elegant than the notion of a tiny trace gas accumulating in a significant way only since the industrial revolution, ignoring lags in ice cores which appear to reverse the causality, and whose action is at once catastrophic but nevertheless can remain masked by aerosols (but only some of the time), and whose heat energy can remain hidden deep in the ocean pipeline, ready to jump us one dark night in the far future, a future we can only discern using ever more complex computer models which never seem to improve in accuracy despite numerous iterations and increasing resources, a theory who’s predictions are barely at the edge of detectability, never quite appearing in this time scale but always in some future longer “climate” scale, which is itself subject to revised definition (10, 20, 30, 50 years…)

    In short, AGW is just a messy theory.

  44. dorlomin (04:32:46) “And why were the 50s not the warmest decade of the 20th centuary”

    Why is mid afternoon hottest when the sun is strongest at noon? Why are July and August so hot when the peak of solar energy arrives in June (Northern Hemishere)? There is always a lag because the energy is cummulative, not instantaneous. But there is much more…

    There are internal climate oscillations that have a greater (decadal) impact on global temperatures than fuctuations in solar activity. If the GCR theory is correct, it would indicate that we had less low cloudiness in the 50s, resulting in more sunlight reaching the surface. Sunlight does not heat the atmosphere directly, but is absorped by the surface, most of which is ocean. The Pacific Ocean went into its cool phase (PDO) in the 40s and remained there until the mid 1970s. The net result was a slight atmospheric cooling, overriding the solar influence (as well as the CO2 influence). The GCR theory, coupled with an understanding of internal climate variations (ocean cycles) fits the observations. The PDO may have cooled the world more in the 50s and 60s if not for the solar influence. When the PDO shifted to its warm phase in 77/78, it was likely warmer than it would have been if the sun was not so active in the preceding decades.

    While the sun was beyond its peak, it remained very active through the 20th century, so when the PDO turned positive, the warming was significant. Of course, you might blame CO2 for that, as both theories supported the observed warming. Now, however, we may have the opportunity to see which effect is stronger. The sun is getting quite, while CO2 is still increasing.

    We appear to be going into the cool phase of the PDO again, which means that global cooling is on the way, regardless of the other factors, just like the 50s and 60s. This time, however, CO2 will not have the help of the sun to counter the cooling of the PDO (and its propensity to produce La Ninas). If the cooling is similar to the 50s and 60s, then the GCR theory is weak. If the cooling is greater, than it supports the GCR theory, provided the sun stays quiet.

    It should be noted that no matter what, CO2 is not as significant to climate change as the IPCC insists, because they ignore the ocean cycles in their calculations, which are clearly dominant in the temperature record of the 20th Century. The warming of the 80s and 90s was primarily natural and associated with ocean cycles, as was the warming of the early 20th century, before CO2 became significant. It is illogical to proclaim that there is no way to explain the late 20th century warming without CO2 as the main cause, when we had a similar warming early in the century without significant CO2 increases. (The illogic of the IPCC and all who adhere to it astounds me on this point.)

    Finally, while the ocean cycles produce warming and cooling trends on multi-decadal time scales, they can not explain net changes over the course of several hundred years. The GCR theory explains the general warming of the last 200 years far better than CO2, since CO2 has only been increasing significantly since WWII.

  45. Greg (07:29:59) : I used to think that NG followed the scientific theory.
    I gave up on it 15+ years ago when they started editorializing science. They still have nice photography.

  46. This paper has many limits. The biggest being few data points and all within the same geographic area (South Pole). The second major limit is that cosmic rays find a very difficult path to low level clouds of the kind that can cool the Earth around its belt and up to the 45th parallels. In terms of the equatorial belt centered area of Earth, I still stand by the Coriolis affect, trade winds, ENSO, and jet stream behavior being the major source of storm tracts and low level clouds cooling the Earth. The paper just doesn’t convince me to change my mind. That is not to say it is not interesting in understanding some of the weather over Antarctica.

  47. In order to refute Svensmark, you simply need to say your AGW incantations….

    The science is settled, So says the models,
    The science is settled, So says the Gore,
    The science is settled, All others are deniers,
    Hail the mighty models,
    Hail the mighty Gore,
    Amen.

  48. Kevin Kilty (07:10:57)

    Good point. You’re correct in your description of how a cloud chamber (or bubble chamber) is operated. The gases are (super)saturated so that you can see the tracks immediately. Now take a look at the second graph above of the Forbush events. Notice that on March 7-8 there is a smaller decrease and it persists for 7 days. There would be a continuous creation of extra nucleation particles during this time that would lead to increased cloud formation. The longer time makes up for the lack of saturation.

    It would be good if we could see the lower plot extended to the end of May to see if the decrease in the flux persists there as well. That would tell us a lot. Anthony?

    Leif: Are Forbush events spikes or step functions that slowly tail off?

  49. In case you missed it in another thread, there is a “fall” major storm tract and track (NOAA’s word, not mine) heading to the Northwest states that will likely bring lotsa clouds, heavy rain, and record low daytime temps. It’s source is of course the ocean. Currently, we are in El Nino neutral territory for the month. Which to me means cold and wet, not warm and wet (El Nino condition), and not cold and dry (La Nina condition).

  50. Bret (07:42:23) :

    So why is there a several day delay between the Forbush event and the decrease in clouds when clouds only live for a few hours?

    That is a very intriguing part of this story. I’ve read nothing yet from anyone. However, the ionization left by the passage cosmic rays must somehow leave condensation nuclei in a state where they can coalecse to a larger size and eventually become cloud condensation nuclei. Here is a thought…perhaps the aerosol particles are charged to begin with and this gives them a propensity to avoid one another. The ionization trails left behind by cosmic rays discharge the aerosol and allow the particles to interact mechanically. I worked in electronic materials industry for a long time and this is exactly how we controlled stray static charges in factories. What this mean is as follows:

    1) The aerosol tend to carry one sign of charge (negative probably).
    2) Cosmic rays produce ion trails with both charge signs.
    3) One charge sign from the ion trails, postive probably, discharges the aerosol.
    4) This leaves behind the other sign preferentially which has to be conducted to earth. A negative charge flow into the earth–i.e. a positive current upward.

    The process has a characteristic time of several days, presumably–seems reasonable from the size scale. It would be instructive to observe the current density flow to earth associated with this process.

    Note, however, that the process is near the noise level as the minima are just out of the one-sigma band, maybe a little beyond the two sigma band in a couple of cases. Something else instructive would be to see individual time series in addition to those in the paper that result from averaging a dozen or more.

  51. Pamela Gray (08:06:02)

    The tremendous heating of the tropics by the sun — the blackbody temperature at high noon is about 100C — causes the formation of clouds and afternoon thunderstorms. This overwhelms any signal from cosmic ray induced cloud formation. The strongest signal is going to be far from the tropics where this mechanism is not active.

    I have an old paper by Lindzen that points out that one of the mysteries of global warming or cooling is why the tropics have such constant temperatures and most of the signal is seen at high latitudes.

  52. “Any messiness with the sun would really exterminate us quite quickly it needs to be extremely stable to support life on earth?” -VG

    Or, possibly, the Earth has a complex set of feedback mechanisms within the climate system which smooth out variations. Just saying.

  53. Patagon (06:10:02) :
    Svensmark gave an excellent talk at my university recently. They showed a long term study, comprising at least the two last glaciations. There was an excellent correlation between GCR and global temperature on those time scales.
    Which would seem to undermine the whole thing. It is pretty well established that glaciations are mainly caused by orbital/precessional changes and not solar activity. GCR proxies are sensitive to temperature changes so perhaps the correlation is just climate vs. climate.

    —-

    My main criticism of of the paper is the cherry picking of Forbush Decreases, namely selecting only those that had a large effect. What I would have done would be to split the data into three groups [no more, because then the number in each group would be too small], with small, medium, and large ionization and then show that the weather [not climate as these things take place in the matter of days] effects would also have been small, medium, and large, neatly following the FD effect. That would have been convincing; as it stands now, this paper is yet another contradicting paper on FDs. That they didn’t do the separation into three groups may be telling… Perhaps it didn’t pan out. Scientists rarely publish negative tests of their own theories.

    Paul Linsay (08:14:31) :
    Are Forbush events spikes or step functions that slowly tail off?
    The latter.

  54. Concerning RSS for July.
    +0.39, 3rd warmest in 31 years,
    I’d say due to the current yet moderate El Nino, which does seem to be waning now.
    I wonder if they’ll attribute this to “natural variability”.

  55. Paul, I agree about the Sun’s heat causing a fairly consistent pattern of afternoon thunderstorms. Note that I think both of us do not consider the Sun to be causing variations in this pattern. The presence of warm or cool oceans at the belt brings variation to this pattern, as do the strength of the trade winds. You are also correct that beyond the equatorial belt it gets a bit more complicated (okay, a lot more complicated). I monitor the infrared satellite animations to watch how the equatorial clouds roil from East to West (and the temperature of the ocean there makes a big difference) and then split when they hit the Eastern shores of the Pacific to continue North and South in a broad oval pattern in the Pacific back towards the Northern and Southern Western shores of the Americas. You can then follow these infrared cloud patterns as they continue on shore and into the interiors. S’plains a lot! But also reminds me of its simplistic nature as described in any 5th grade science textbook.

  56. To check Svensmark theory we can do it by analyzing what happened before the 97-98 big El Nino, back in 1988-1992 period, when there was a deep low in GCR, the same epoch as said by Nicola Scafetta when something hapenned with TSI which obliged some to “adjust” that “jump” in TSI (of 0.86 watts, according to Scafetta).

  57. “The blackbody temperature at noon …causes the formation of clouds and afternoon thunderstorms. This overwhelms any signal from cosmic ray induced cloud formation.” – Paul Linsay

    Not to mention, that any CO2 warming will increase the convection, short cutting the “blanket” effect by carrying the latent heat directly to the top of the troposphere to be radiated away.

    I know that studies have been done of old landscape paintings for climate clues. One clue might be how much convection is seen in the clouds.

  58. It would be great if professor Svensmark is invited to address the UN Copenhaguen Meeting on “climate change”.
    Will the first world stubbornly insist in destroying their economies by the application of anti CO2 measures?
    What is it behind if this is done anyway so? Can anyone reasonably explain it?

  59. Anthony;

    FYI if you go noaa and look up july temp. graph from 1931 to 2009 you will see that the temp. of the U.S. shows not temp gain for the last 78 years!

    You have to enter 1931 and 2009 in both data parameters

  60. 3. record lows are being set globally,

    Record highs AND lows are being set. They always will be. As you add more data points to the mess, you’re going to get more outliers.

  61. Adding to my comment at (09:16:37) . At 1988-1992 both things happened together: An increase in TSI and a low cloud cover caused by the deep in GCR, resulting in the heating of the sea, which after a time lag of about 6 years produced the big el nino.

  62. Bret (07:42:23) :

    So why is there a several day delay between the Forbush event and the decrease in clouds when clouds only live for a few hours?

    The FD doesn’t affect currently existing clouds at the time of the event, it affects the propensity for clouds to form ~7 days later. Isn’t this obvious?

  63. It does not matter how many clouds could cover the world …it keeps on fire !(according to Noaa):

  64. So perhaps we should also ask and observe:
    What happens when we experience a sudden burst of Cosmic Rays?

    Louisville Kentucky Record Flooding 8-4-2009

    It would be interesting to hear any comments from Louisville….
    Perhaps this is for the Weather Is Not Climate department…
    Or perhaps not…
    Very interesting times…

  65. Svennsmark is one interesting fellow. I posted this five-part video series about this research on my blog months ago, and it is just fascinating.

    Here’s a great quote from Svennsmark:

    “Instead of thinking of clouds as a result of the climate, it’s actually showing that the climate is a result of the clouds, because the clouds take their orders from the stars.”

    http://algorelied.com/?p=2423

    I’d invite Anthony and the moderators to post this series on WUWT

  66. “The FD doesn’t affect currently existing clouds at the time of the event, it affects the propensity for clouds to form ~7 days later. Isn’t this obvious?”

    Not really. We know tropical cu-nims form every day sweeping vast volumes of air clear of CCNs by putting them through a cu-nim.
    I’d look closely at how early cu-nims start immediately after an event.
    Incidentally convection does not stop at the troposphere despite the inversion, the sheer momentum carries cu-nims well into the troposphere around the tropics. Which is probably why the modellers will never see their ‘hot-spot’.

  67. Sandy (10:11:31) :

    Not really. We know tropical cu-nims form every day sweeping vast volumes of air clear of CCNs by putting them through a cu-nim.

    The air swept clear of CCNs is not the air in that same place 7 days later.

  68. …but but but, the ‘science’…i thought it was settled???…wasn’t the ‘debate’ supposed to be over???

  69. Ed Scott (07:52:00) :

    NASA showing the way to a cooler Earth.
    ———————————————————–
    The plan put forward by Dr Laughlin, and his colleagues Don Korycansky and Fred Adams, involves carefully directing a comet or asteroid so that it sweeps close past our planet and transfers some of its gravitational energy to Earth

    Do you conceive something more stupid?
    Are these the “new age” most respectful “scientists”?

  70. Well halelujah. I have been convinced, since I read ‘Willie’ Wei-Hock Soon’s book, that the sun is linked to earth climate in more ways than simply the TSI (solar constant). No I can’t claim that I understood all the details. And I didn’t need much prompting from Hendrik Svensmark and his team to embrace the thesis he puts forward; since the cloud nucleation concept had seemed apparent to me (without proof) many years ago when I actually studied cosmic rays in school; (with absolutely no inkling of the important climate role.)

    The Wentz et al paper from Science July -7 2007 convinced me of the cloud feedback control of earth’s temperature; although they didn’t specifically address that; but I concluded that you can’t get a 7% increase in total global precipitation (for a one deg C mean temperature rise) without a similar increase in ‘precipitable’ cloud cover; providing the control mechanism I was sure existed.

    I haven’t read this new Svensmark paper yet; but I suspect that his idea is getting harder to ignore all the time; and this new work couldn’t come at a better time; given that the current US administration and Congress seem determined to drive a final nail in the coffin of the once great United States of America; and all over a totally phony and thoroughly discredited concept; namely the Arrhenius theory of a CO2 “climate sensitivity”.

    I suspect that as time progresses; that Svensmark’s team is going to build this CR connection puzzle to the point where it can no longer be ignored by the ‘deniers’ of the MMGWCC religion.

    I hope there is a Physics Nobel Prize in Hendrik Svensmark’s future; methinks that is one that would be well earned. Humanity will owe him and his team a great debt, if they can rid us of the CO2 genii; and its borderline criminal curb on energy resource availability.

    George

  71. Maybe the delay can be attributed to the Hadley cell? If the GCRs induce CN just above the sea surface, then the flow of the Hadley cell would feed those into the tropics.

  72. The second major limit is that cosmic rays find a very difficult path to low level clouds of the kind that can cool the Earth

    Pamela, I’m not sure I understand your point but if I have understood it and understand Svensmark’s work, it isn’t the cosmic ray itself that causes the mainstay of ionisation events, it’s the shower of secondary particles from collisions in the atmosphere with the original ray.

  73. As an appendix to the above; the July 24-2009 issue of Science has a paper on page 460 by Amy C Clement, Robert Burgman, and Joel R. Norris claiming observational evidence of a Positive Low Level Cloud Feedback. They start by stating that low level clouds provide a net cooling effect (who would have guessed that); and then they proceed to twist that into positive feedback.

    Well actually they cheat, and combine low level clouds with mid level clouds; on the theory that ; well who can tell the difference between low and mid level clouds anyway; but they of course ascribe their results to low level clouds, although they don’t say just how come they know they are low level clouds, and not mid level clouds.

    Well it is all done witrh statistics from COADS and ISCCP, and SST, and SLP, not to mention PATMOS-X; and since I don’t have a cell phone, I don’t do ‘texting’ whatwever that is, so you can descramble those yuppie terms for yourselves.

    I found the paper confusing on a brief scan; but I agree with the claim that clouds cause cooling (any clouds), since by definition they must block (some) solar energy from reaching the surface; ergo cooling QED.

    In view of Wentz et al, since warming causes more clouds (maybe 7% per deg C), and clouds cause cooling; that sounds like negative feedback to me; yet somehow Clement et al come out with positive feedback. The paper includes an e-mail to the principal researcher at the Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami; Division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography. I think I will ask her to send me a picture of their owl box heat island to compare with the University of Arizona one.

    But I truly am going to try and figure out how they get from cloud cooling to positive feedback; that’s got to be a humdinger.

    George

  74. Leif Svalgaard writes…”My main criticism of of the paper is the cherry picking of Forbush Decreases, namely selecting only those that had a large effect. What I would have done would be to split the data into three groups …
    That would have been convincing; as it stands now, this paper is yet another contradicting paper on FDs. That they didn’t do the separation into three groups may be telling… Perhaps it didn’t pan out. Scientists rarely publish negative tests of their own theories.”

    As an amateur astronomer I’m intrigued by Svensmark’s idea, but I’m quite skeptical. Leif’s criticisms concern me. As an engineer and technologist, not a scientist, I’m unclear on the boundary where the proponent of a scientific hypothethis needs to give up on the hypothethis. It bothers my idealistic view of how science should be done when Leif says that folks rarely publish negative data. That’s cherry picking.

  75. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/090504-sun-global-cooling_2.html

    A passage from the, above, link:

    “The visible light doesn’t vary that much, but UV varies 20 percent, [and] x-rays can vary by a factor of ten,” Hall said. “What we don’t understand so well is the impact of that differing spectral irradiance.”

    “Solar UV light, for example, affects mostly the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, where the effects are not as noticeable to humans. But some researchers suspect those effects could trickle down into the lower layers, where weather happens.”

    “In general, recent research has been building a case that the sun has a slightly bigger influence on Earth’s climate than most theories have predicted.”

  76. Pamela Gray (08:30:00) :

    In case you missed it in another thread, there is a “fall” major storm tract and track (NOAA’s word, not mine) heading to the Northwest states that will likely bring lotsa clouds, heavy rain, and record low daytime temps. It’s source is of course the ocean. Currently, we are in El Nino neutral territory for the month. Which to me means cold and wet, not warm and wet (El Nino condition), and not cold and dry (La Nina condition).

    Heard on the NOAA Wx radio this morning too.Loved the -”This is NOT
    associated with EL Nino OR “Climate Change” and then” The extended forcast is for a retun to cooler and wetter than normal conditions for the rest of:
    (what is laugingly referred to as ‘summer’-my addition)) I think you have it nailed….

  77. Well, with all the discussion of RC, I succumbed to curiousity and went over there. I cannot believe the contortions of hand-waving, obfuscation, and deliberate misinterpretation in that post! The Svensmark paper may indeed be worthy of criticism as Lief says. Most studies have holes that need to be filled, and the suggested improvements will be directly proportional to the number of colleagues commenting. But, I was frankly embarrassed by the childishness displayed.
    I’m off to wash my eyeballs, now. Thanks for the interesting post!

  78. Real Climate: The paper doesn’t provide any proof that GCR affect the low clouds

    I’d like RC to provide proof that man is increasing global temperatures through CO2 emissions.

  79. George E. Smith (10:59:18)
    I hope there is a Physics Nobel Prize in Hendrik Svensmark’s future
    Don’t wish him bad. That prize is only for levogyres’ scientists and fake ones.

  80. George E. Smith (11:18:34) :But I truly am going to try and figure out how they get from cloud cooling to positive feedback
    That’s easy: It’s Fred’s blanket!

  81. “My main criticism of of the paper is the cherry picking of Forbush Decreases, namely selecting only those that had a large effect.”

    Svensmark explained that small FD’s don’t have an effect. I thought this was perfectly understood. Why include something that is not germain to your hypothesis?

  82. John K. Sutherland @06:52:38

    For those unfamiliar with UK jargon, as put forth by UK skeptic, the word ‘nous’ possibly should have an ‘e’ on the end and is pronounced to rhyme with ‘house’. It means ’smarts’.

    I thought it was pronounce “NO-US” from the Greek for intellect.

  83. mr. svalgaard,
    i have come to respect your understanding of solar physics…however, i have yet to divorce myself of a sunspot/temperature correlation…do you think svensmark’s large forbush ionizations can account for the energy necessarry to drive climate? secondly, when you say smaller decreases should show up in weather, are you talking about fingerprinting say a hurricane, heatwave, tornado outbreak ect., to an ionization event?…i guess i am having trouble understanding what correlation to weather you are wanting to make? thanks in advance

  84. After almost years of hearing about “end of the world” theories, of hundred of times reading those who postulate that the sun has nothing to do with earth’s climate, after too much time of unrepeatable nonsense. Any one of you please tell me, all this have been concocted just for selling windmill generators and solar panels?
    Which altruistic purpose, if any, is behind all this craziness?
    Does somebody know it?.
    Do you remember when our friend Anthony felt so bored and exhausted that expressed the idea of abandon this gigantic effort of trying to dissentangle this confused gordian knot?

  85. George E Smith ,
    Methinks that they’re grasping at any old positive feedback straw . They have to find one somewhere .

  86. Vincent (12:06:25) :
    “My main criticism of of the paper is the cherry picking of Forbush Decreases, namely selecting only those that had a large effect.”
    Svensmark explained that small FD’s don’t have an effect. I thought this was perfectly understood. Why include something that is not germain to your hypothesis?

    The medium FDs are then the important ones. They should have a ‘medium’ effect. If they have no effect, then the question of what exactly the criterion was for selecting a large one, and how that selection criterion was selected. The selection should be done without regard to the effect.

    sammy k (12:12:18) :
    i guess i am having trouble understanding what correlation to weather you are wanting to make?
    I don’t want to make any. Svensmark claims that there is an effect within 7 days. A change in a week is weather, not climate.

  87. Well we sure have had the clouds this year in Canada and we do have a solar minimum. It was 1.9deg C in the Battlefords, Saskatchewan and 2.9deg in Saskatoon – should be about 10-11C for the average low. Broke century long records by about 2-3deg.

  88. Nogw (12:14:44) : Altruism is in the eye of the promoter, and often stems from self-delusion or as a psychological justification for actions that, in the end, primarily benefit only the person who congratulates themselves on their goodness. It makes them feel good about themselves, regardless of the consequences on others. There are exceptions of course – the soldier who throws himself on a grenade to save his comrades for example – but I don’t see any “warmists” doing the equivalent of that. On the contrary, I see a lot of greed associated with the promotion of the AGW conjecture.

  89. mr. svalgaard,
    thanks for the response…understand your position on weather…if i may rephrase my first question, do you think there is enough change in energy from fd’s to drive climate on timescales of decades and longer?

  90. sammy k (13:14:12) :
    do you think there is enough change in energy from fd’s to drive climate on timescales of decades and longer?
    FDs are rare events, so, no. And the change in energy [not quite sure what you have in mind] is minuscule compared to the changes we see every day in the weather events.

  91. Here I found the Svensmark paper in Doc file format:

    [snip]

    Reply: That looks like a potential copyright violation. ~ charles the moderator

  92. I understand the concern that many of you express on this thread about “cherry picking” data. However, one could, and people have, made the same charge about Millikan and his results for electron charge, yet Millikan’s value was pretty close to that currently accepted. In another example, the case of Toxic Oil Syndrome in Spain in (1980?) a single observation of an infant suffering the syndrome is what lead epidemiologists to tainted cooking oil. A single case out of 12,000 sounds a lot like “cherry picking” does it not? aperhaps there are other ineteractions of which we are unaware.

    No one has proposed a causative mechanism yet, so perhaps a charge of “cherry picking” is premature. Frankly I am more concerned with this effect being so near the noise level, lack of proposed mechanism, and so forth. It’s intriguing, though.

  93. Nogw (12:14:44) :

    of hundred of times reading those who postulate that the sun has nothing to do with earth’s climate,

    How remarakable. I have never read one of those. The average temperature of the earth is 287K. Human sourced gasses are hypothisised to have caused 0.7K of warming , so are thought to be less than 0.25% of the total warming of the earth.

    Where do these insane fools you have heard suggest the other 99.75% of the heating comes from?

    • dorlomin:

      When people say the Sun has nothing to do with Earth’s climate, they mean THE LEVEL of VARIATIONS in solar output we measure have nothing to do with the changes in the climate we measure. This imprecise language drives me batty and creates endless arguments about nothing.

  94. JIm Clarke (08:01:40) :

    dorlomin (04:32:46) “And why were the 50s not the warmest decade of the 20th centuary”

    Why is mid afternoon hottest when the sun is strongest at noon? Why are July and August so hot when the peak of solar energy arrives in June (Northern Hemishere)? There is always a lag because the energy is cummulative, not instantaneous. But there is much more…
    ————————————-
    So why then did the 60s not show the fastest acceleration in heating.

    Given the heuristic of the sun being 1% weaker every 100 million years in the past you are looking at something like 3K less heat every 100 million years. Ill be generous and give you 2K. How then do you account for the temperatures in the Paleozoic? Just less cloud cover enough to make up all that heating?

    And as for ‘slushball’ earth the Neoproterozoic, how does that get broken back into a blue liquid watery planet. Or does that theory have to get binned?

  95. mr svalgaard,
    my bad, i appreciate your patience…i am a joe q public your conversing with…do you think there is enough “change in energy” from cosmic rays reaching the earth’s atmosphere to effect increased cloud formation (climate) during solar minimums (dalton, maunder), a hypothetical result from decreased solar wind and magnetic field deflection of the rays…if so, any guess on percentage of difference in cosmic ray energy reaching earths atmosphere during minimums as to what we know historically, about the periods between the minimums…

  96. I don’t think we can expect that we will ever be able to say that cosmic rays control earth’s climate; I don’t think that is in the cards, and I don’t think Svensmark suggests that.

    I do believe that water controls the climate, and that the comfortable earth temperature range is a direct consequence of the physical properties of water.

    I also believe what I think Leif alluded to that major orbital shifts are resonsible for major climate shifts as in ice ages, althought I have never tried to figure out any of the details; I’m sure others have.

    But I think Svensmark’s work is indicating that CRs can affect cloud formation (but aren’t the be all and end all of cloud formation), and that that can make a solar connection that is beyond just the 0.1% TSI variation.

    And I don’t see any role for CO2 or any other GHG besides water vapor. Since they are only present in our environment in a single (vapor) phase; they can’t produce the compensating thermal effects that water does via cloud formation.

    And I don’t care what anybody says, anything that blocks solar radiation in any spectral range from reaching the earth’s surface, is going to result in a cooling of the earth’s surface.

    The process of capturing solar radiation energy in the upper atmosphere by any mechanism; thermalizing it by converting it to mechanical (heat) energy, and then re-radiating it in any spectral range (and in an essentially isotropic radiation pattern) can never compete in heating efficiency with having that original solar energy penetrate to ground level.

    In the case of the CO2 absorption of long wave IR, since the CO2 band is on the long wave tail of the existing thermal radiation spectrum, the upward path of that radiation to outer space is more efficient than the downward path to the surface, because of how the temperature gradients go with altitude, and the resultant Wien displacement of the spectral peak.

    As for the positive feedback effects of clouds; I believe that that will go away once these folks get it through their heads, that the temperatures cause the clouds, and not the other way round.

    It is not hot and balmy at night because there are clouds in the sky; the clouds are there at night because it is hot and balmy; and the hotter it is, the higher the water vapor has to go before it reaches the dew point and can form clouds; with or without Cosmic Ray assisitance.

    George

  97. Charles the moderator: Sorry, but anyway it is openly available at google. (link above)

    Reply: That doesn’t mean we encourage it or add to it. ~ ctm

  98. Leif Svalgaard (09:00:06) :
    Patagon (06:10:02) :
    Svensmark gave an excellent talk at my university recently. They showed a long term study, comprising at least the two last glaciations. There was an excellent correlation between GCR and global temperature on those time scales.
    Which would seem to undermine the whole thing. It is pretty well established that glaciations are mainly caused by orbital/precessional changes and not solar activity. GCR proxies are sensitive to temperature changes so perhaps the correlation is just climate vs. climate.

    Good Point.

    I actually asked about Milankovitch, but honestly, I couldn’t tell you what was the clear answer, thought I had to dig in his papers…

    Would you mind to give some directions about those GCR proxies dependent on temperature?
    Thanks

  99. jeez (14:25:47) :

    dorlomin:

    When people say the Sun has nothing to do with Earth’s climate, they mean THE LEVEL of VARIATIONS in solar output we measure have nothing to do with the changes in the climate we measure. This imprecise language drives me batty and creates endless arguments about nothing.

    They should say what they mean, then, instead of distorting it into something totally different, thereby creating a strawman argument. The only people who say “the sun has nothing to do with the Earth’s climate” are those who are wrongly restating someone else’s position. I’d say it’s probably on purpose to make those other people look silly.

    • Jeff Alberts:

      Yup, this is why I said:

      This imprecise language drives me batty and creates endless arguments about nothing.

  100. sammy k (13:14:12) :

    It is not being hypothesized that the FD are *themselves* responsible for climate change. Instead, the FD provides an impulse to the system – a step change in GCRs – from which one can observe the aftereffects.

    And Lief’s suggestion that the FDs are selected based on magnitude of effect is I think incorrect. The FDs are rated based on the magnitude of the change in GCRs, giving 26 events during the satellite record.

    All 26 events are considered in Svensmarks Figure 2. It’s just that consideration of some events means exclusion because the event did not occur during the available satellite record for that objective (SSM/I, MODIS, ISCPP, or AERONET).

    His Figure 1 says, OK, let’s look at the top 5 – ranked not in terms of effect but in terms of strength (i.e., degree of reduction in GCRs) and for which all 5 are present in all 4 objectives.

    So it’s misleading to suggest that he cherry picked in terms of effect on the four objectives. He picked based on the FD strength which he defines in terms of GCR reduction.

  101. jeez (14:25:47) :

    dorlomin:

    When people say the Sun has nothing to do with Earth’s climate, they mean THE LEVEL of VARIATIONS in solar output we measure have nothing to do with the changes in the climate we measure.
    ———————————–
    Then should such a person appear before you I suggest you banish them with a nifty waving of the IPCC which attributes about 0.3Wm^2 forcing.
    You can also rather handily dispatch such phantoms by poinitng out the changes in insolation estimated from peak to trough of a solar cycle actualy exceed the forcing attributed to CO2.

  102. jeez (15:44:06) :

    Jeff Alberts:

    Yup, this is why I said:

    This imprecise language drives me batty and creates endless arguments about nothing.

    I gotcha. “Imprecise” just didn’t seem strong enough. ;)

  103. philw1776 (11:24:57) :
    …. As an engineer and technologist, not a scientist, I’m unclear on the boundary where the proponent of a scientific hypothethis needs to give up on the hypothethis.

    Quite often there is no recognition by the proponent of the failure of an hypothesis. Many, many would-be scientists have a great deal of difficulty with the creative thought processes that lead to any kind of hypothesis. When they do achieve an idea, they treat it like it was a precious gem. If they are influential in any way – say they’re pals with a committee that issues grants, they may be able to control research spending in a field directly or indirectly for a generation. Cliques within communities come to control important modes of funding and communication such as specific publications. They can prevent or impede dissent from being effectively expressed and create the image of a “consensus” that acknowledges the primacy of their ideas.

    … It bothers my idealistic view of how science should be done when Leif says that folks rarely publish negative data. That’s cherry picking.

    “Cherry picking” isn’t a bad thing necessarily. It can denote the relative “youth” of an idea, e.g. 1) maybe cosmic flux can through some mechanism influence cloud formation and planetary climate; 2) if true, there should be a signal of some sort – cherry pick potential data sets at this point for ANY evidence at all that clouds and solar CMEs correlate; 3) if there are apparent correlations, then expand the study.

    At this point in hypothesis formation, there is still no full blown scientific hypothesis. Essentially Svensmark has made a logical conjecture based on an analogical argument nuclear decay event -> cloud chamber cloud formation ==> cosimic ray -> atmospheric cloud event. Now he has additional though limited data that further warrants his initial argument. It is far from a proof of a causal linkage though.

    AGW stalled very early in the hypothesis development process, when it became popular among the “mea maxima culpa” set, where the mind-set seems to be seeking the extinction of the human race. There seems to be a propensity in the west to assume everything is either the fault of the human race, or can be fixed by human intervention. Since it became an ideological darling, the proponents have resorted to torturing data to conform to predictions rather than evolving a truly predictive model, or moving along when it has become plain the original hypothesis was broken.

  104. scikid:
    “So Basically, what you are saying is that if there were more low-lying clouds, then there would be a cooler earth? Or would the earth be warmer?”

    One has to be careful with all the types of clouds that exist but pretty much the average or typical cloud cover during the daytime is going to cool. Because the surface is above 0 Kelvins, it’s going to radiate, in the far infrared because of its temperature. This occurs 24hrs a day while incoming solar power occurs only on the daylight side. Clouds (& other atmospheric stuff) are responsible for most of the reflecting of about 1/3 of the solar incoming power (albedo).

    When averaged, the planet receives about 341 W/m^2 of power per unit area from the Sun and reflects away about 105 W/m^2 and absorbs around 235 W/m^2. The surface is radiating around 390 W/m^2 with an averaged T of around 288 Kelvins. Of this, a certain amount is absorbed by the greenhouse gases, primarily water and in second place, co2. This absorption is hand in hand with emissions by these gases both downward and upward that depends on the local temperature and concentrations. Since the T is lower higher up, the emission rates are lower higher up.

    Clouds tend to provide excellent blocking of the IR, capturing the heat and transferring it through the cloud to the top, where it can again radiate but at a lower rate due to the temperature being quite cold up there. However, one now has a new situation as there is liquid or solid h2o particles up there that are not limited to the gas spectral emission/absorption constraints.

    One then has pretty much a situation where no cloud cover or clear sky conditions permit maximum outgoing IR but also allow for maximum incoming solar power. If the planet were clear sky only then the T would have to be somewhat higher since the solar power would be much closer to 341 W/m^2 than the present 235 W/m^2. Actually, it would tend to be more around 312 W/m^2 instead of 235 W/m^2 using these crude numbers so the surface would have to heat some to output that much more (plus enough to overcome the fraction being absorbed by the ghgs).

    If one tended to total cloud cover, the cloud tops – assuming similar to today’s – would be radiating only around 210 – 220 W/m^2 or so due to the much lower cloud top temperature. However, the total cloud cover – versus something like 62% for our current cover – will result in somewhat less incoming solar power since the albedo will increase and reflect away more of that – reducing the needed 235 W/m^2 for balance to a value somewhat less than that. Such a value might be closer to 30 or 40 W/m^2 than to the current 230 W/m^2 or so. The result would be a necessary decline in surface temperatures so that balance would be met.

    What we can wind up with graphically is a linear graph of cloud cover (assuming a typical mix) fraction versus power. The output line and the input line – power/area as a function of cloud cover have different slopes and they intersect at present at around 62% cloud cover. Move to lower cloud cover fraction and incoming power exceeds outgoing power. Move to raise cloud cover fraction and the outgoing power exceeds the incoming.

    Being that cloud cover fraction varies over time (along with albedo), one is faced with the concept that while it appears that something drives it towards a particular point, it doesn’t necessarily stay there. This suggests a setpoint (negative feedback concept) is at work which regulates Earth’s temperature using cloud cover albedo as the regulating mechanism. It’s understandable in the system as more clouds reduce incoming solar power which reduces surface warming which then reduces the amount of evaporation of h2o vapor which reduces (or helps reduce) the raw material needed for cloud cover thus reducing cloud cover. It also permits other mechanisms that can affect cloud cover to have a major effect on Earth’s temperature mechanism and it permits the presence of long term ice ages where surface ice “short circuits” this mechanism so that cloud cover no longer has control over the albedo and temperature variations as it becomes stuck reflecting large amounts of incoming solar – until the ice albedo drops and/or other transient mechanisms come into effect.

  105. Who’d have thought that clouds only live for a few hours? They must all come to Indiana to die, then (especially from October through May); Indiana is a veritable Old Age Home for Clouds. Honest, I have seen the exact same cloud (shaped like a seahorse) hanging around above the house for the past two days. /humor

    This discussion has been great. Although I am unhappy with Pamela suggesting continued cold, wet weather. We have been robbed of summer and have only a lousy, wet winter in the cards, I am afraid.

  106. Hi cba,
    That seems like an excessive focus on cloud cover percentage (62%). Wouldn’t cloud top heights (on average) have a more important role in climate, higher colder ones being cooling and lower warmer cloud tops being generally warming? And that’s just for outgoing IR, how do high and low cloud tops affect albedo (if at all)? Also I assume the cloud top height effect would be latitude dependent? The ice age discussion reminds me that it albedo depends on what is under the clouds if there are clouds.
    Thanks for any answers,
    Eric

  107. thks molon, i figured out fd’s are singular events after leif pointed that out to me and what svensmark is saying that the big ones have a measurable effect….what i am trying to get an answer or learned opinion based on measurement of the variance in gcr’s during this “quiet” sun… assuming gcr’s were not measured during previous minimum’s, is the current amount of change in the “measured” gcr’s (change in energy from gcr ‘s reaching the earth’s atmosphere) enough to effect clouds that may control temperature/climate? …i understand svensmark hypothesis’s are exactly that, but what do the physics say?…perhaps you have some thoughts about this…

  108. Molon Labe (15:20:10) :
    And Leif’s suggestion that the FDs are selected based on magnitude of effect is I think incorrect.
    I could go back and refresh my memory on this, but IIRC, the selection was based on the size of ionization [that is supposedly directly connected to the clouds], and not on the intensity of the GCRs. You might spare me that extra effort by checking that and perhaps find and post the exact statement describing the section criteria.

    sammy k (19:32:26) :
    Hopefully some of the enthusiasts on this might provide you with the encouraging answers you seek.

  109. “Pamela Gray (08:10:46) :

    I think that NASA report is a hoax.”

    NASA wouldn’t fake anything, would they?

  110. Leif,

    The “size of the ionization” is directly related to the “intensity of the GCRs”. That’s not part of the hypothesis and I would think it’s apparent that GCRs cause ionization. The question – and the hypothesis – is whether this ionization affects observable quantities of clouds.

    Maybe there’s an issue whether GCRs cause ionization below 3km.

    The description of the FD “strength” metric is provided in Section 2 of the paper.

  111. Molon Labe (22:10:59) :
    The “size of the ionization” is directly related to the “intensity of the GCRs”.
    Not entirely, it also depends on the amount of air in the path, i.e. on the pressure.

    The description of the FD “strength” metric is provided in Section 2 of the paper.
    What did they say?

  112. The link discussed in article was minus aerosol what was the major part of the study in 1920′s presented in 1931 together with an awful lot of other factors known from oceanography and geology of the time. I believe they were right in their way of predicting the ungoing climate change back then, I belive the article of Svensmark.

    The link was by the way so well known/assumed to exist that it’s mentioned in Swedish schoolbooks of ‘nature science’ for 4-5 graders back in 1920′s.

  113. The question seems to me to be: Does this article show a mechanism that could explain a solar influence, other than TSI, that could push variation over the 0.1% level.

    The next question would be: How much?

  114. intuitively, it seems to me that change in gcr’s ionization resultant from change in solar wind and magnetic field, in an otherwise remarkably constant solar output (svalgaard), could account (svensmark) for a change in weather/climate…as a professional involved in earth science, i know change in climate is the norm in earth’s geologic history….i guess at the end of the day the proof that gcr ionization is the mechanism for climatic change, we are back to the same age old proverb, that “size” matters…from the above article, that seems to be svensmarks next task…i have enjoyed the thread and thks to all…

  115. Any change due to solar influences indeed has to either demonstrate a measureable additive or overwhelming nature to Earth’s own ability to greatly vary its weather patterns over a century. And I say century because it is a padded bet. Some oceanic oscillations have a periodicity of 60 years and more on occasion.

  116. Molon Labe (02:45:32) :
    “Not entirely, it also depends on the amount of air in the path, i.e. on the pressure.”
    Data from the Oulu Neutron Monitor is pressure corrected.

    (sigh) They don’t use data of GCRs from Oulu, but the ionization below 3 km. The title of section 2 is explicit: “2. Ranking Forbush decreases by their low-altitude effects”

  117. This paper is an attempt to demonstrate cosmic rays making clouds. I recently read his book, “The Chilling Stars”. It shows an overall theory about how cosmic rays drive long term changes in climate. The sun plays a part in blocking them but the amount of cosmic rays vary due to many cycles and cosmic occurences – for instance:

    The death of a close star.
    Our solar system going through a sprial band of the qalaxy.
    Our solar system movement above and below the plane of the qalaxy.
    Many Many Solar Cycles of varying lengths.

    The book showed how things like these explains climate over the short and long run.

  118. Changes in low level clouds effect the Arctic region and the Antarctic region exactly the opposite. More low level clouds warms the Antarctic and cools the Arctic. This cloud (cosmic ray) explanation of climate change also explains why the Arctic and Antarctic climate seem to move in opposite directions.

  119. Jim (09:22:25) :

    “Cosmic rays penetrate the Earth to the point they can be detected in mines.”

    This is true, but the neutrons do not. Despite their neutral charge, neutrons do not travel very far before thermalizing and subsequently interacting with matter in a myriad of reactions (ionization). Water and carbon are excellent moderators of neutron flux as well as absorbers.

    Neutrino(s) on the other hand zip through the earth, virtually untouched, making them difficult to detect.

  120. AztecBill (09:18:37)

    “Changes in low level clouds effect the Arctic region and the Antarctic region exactly the opposite.”

    Interesting. I would appreciate a reference.

  121. “”” G. Karst (09:34:17) :

    Jim (09:22:25) :

    “Cosmic rays penetrate the Earth to the point they can be detected in mines.”

    This is true, but the neutrons do not. Despite their neutral charge, neutrons do not travel very far before thermalizing and subsequently interacting with matter in a myriad of reactions (ionization). Water and carbon are excellent moderators of neutron flux as well as absorbers.

    Neutrino(s) on the other hand zip through the earth, virtually untouched, making them difficult to detect. “””

    Free neutrons are unstable; as in radioactive so they decay with a half life of around 12-14 minutes. In common materials such as organics, high energy Neutrons will often collide with a nucleus, and eject a Proton (so-called “knock-on” proton). These protons are highly ionising, and are the principal damage causing agent in tissue; from fast neutron exposure.

    The decay of thermal Neutrons ralso results in a Proton and electron; probably plus a neutrino. It’s about like swallowing a hand grenade and having it go off inside of you.

    I once built a tissue equivalent Neutron monitor to monitor neutron flux in an accelerator lab (Cockroft Walton). We made 14 MeV Neutrons by colliding Deuterons onto heavy ice targets. The polarisation of the resulting neutron beams was the area of study in that part of the Physics Department at the time.

    George

  122. “”” Eric (skeptic) (19:31:29) :

    Hi cba,
    That seems like an excessive focus on cloud cover percentage (62%). Wouldn’t cloud top heights (on average) have a more important role in climate, higher colder ones being cooling and lower warmer cloud tops being generally warming? And that’s just for outgoing IR, how do high and low cloud tops affect albedo (if at all)? Also I assume the cloud top height effect would be latitude dependent? The ice age discussion reminds me that it albedo depends on what is under the clouds if there are clouds.
    Thanks for any answers,
    Eric “””

    Eric, I don’t understand how a fundamentally simple concept (cloud cover variation) can be so difficult to understand.

    Clouds are optically visible because they interract with the incoming solar spectrum radiation. Water and ice (of which clouds are made) absorb parts of the visible and near IR spectrum as well as the long wave IR, Water drioplets also optically scatter sunlight; as is plainly visible via the rainbow. That scattering results in clouds being highly diffuse reflectors of solar energy; so the tops of clouds reflect solar energy back out into space (albedo). The energy lost to space by the earth’s albedo is basically solar spectrum radiation as a result of elastic scattering processes, and simple optical (Fresnel) reflection. That lost energy is not absorbed by earth’s surface so it results in cooling of the surface.
    The clouds also absorb additional solar energy, and prevent it from reaching the surface, resulting in further surface cooling. The more water in the clouds, the more absorption and the cooler the surface below.

    You don’t need a PhD in Climatology to understand that clouds are a major cooling influence on the earth. Svensmark’s work simply shows that the sun can influence earth temperatures other than through the TSI, and modulating the global cloud cover via a cosmic ray or charged particle effect; which is subject to the solar magnetic environment is such a mechanism.

    I don’t think Svensmark claims that CRs explain the whole of earth climate variability.

    You should read “How Much More Rain Will Global Warming Bring” by Wentz et al in SCIENCE July-7, 2007. They measured the link between global mean surface temperature, and global evaporation, total atmospheric water content, and total global precipitation; and report that a one deg C increase in temperature results in a 7% increase in each of those three measures. The Evap and the precip have to be equal, or else the oceans would end up over our heads.

    Is it self evident to you that a 7% increase in total global precipitation must be accompanied by some sort of increase in (precipitable) cloud cover; try 7% as a starting guess. Ergo, warmer surface temperatures result in more clouds which means lower ground level solar insolation and hence surface cooling; i.e. strong negative feedback control of the surface temperature.

    It isn’t really rocket science; nor is it just statistical prestidigitation; it’s plain common sense; which unfortunately isn’t too common.

    George

  123. Leif Svalgaard (09:00:39) :

    (sigh) They don’t use data of GCRs from Oulu, but the ionization below 3 km.

    “From responses to an FD in about 130 neutron monitors world-wide and the Nagoya muon detector, the changes in the primary cosmic
    ray spectrum at 1 AU are derived.” They don’t say how ionization is measured. I assume it’s taken from neutron monitor data since that is the only measurement described either in Section 2 or the caption to Table 1.

    At any rate, the point is that the FD strength is based on ionization, not in terms of the effect on the 4 observables (AERONET, SSM/I, MODIS, ISCPP) as you have implied.

  124. Just a few quick questions from this: ” It links observable variations in the world’s cloudiness to laboratory experiments in Copenhagen showing how cosmic rays help generate atmospheric aerosols.”

    Are these fairly complex experiments, or expensive to do? Or can they be done on smaller ‘school room’ science lab type setups in some fashion or another?

    Are these experiments, (or ones like them), able to be filmed or recorded in some way as to make them watchable on youtube for example?

    I think if they can be done small scale and cheaply that it would be a good deal to have done in high school labs or something… and if they can be documented in a visual manner that would be a big bonus.

    Thank you.

  125. Molon Labe (11:49:25) :
    They don’t say how ionization is measured.
    The ionization is not measured, but is calculated by a simulation of the expected response to a normalized GCR intensity, introducing yet another indirect step. My point was that the whole thing is not a straightforward analysis. Anyway, the number of cases is so small, that perhaps all these details are irrelevant.

  126. Yes Leif, we know. Svensmark, Wilson, Scafetta, West, Hoyt, Schatten, Shaviv and the rest of their ilk and garbage….just blithering idiots, and so they are at CERN. Oh but Lean, Frohlich, Lockwood….brilliant scientists who must be correct because you say so. I suspect others have noticed the arrogance and disrespect you display but are too polite to say it.

    It appears evidence is piling up that you’ve been saying for quite some time doesn’t exist.

  127. DR (16:11:59) :
    Svensmark, Wilson, Scafetta, West, Hoyt, Schatten, Shaviv and the rest of their ilk and garbage….just blithering idiots, and so they are at CERN. Oh but Lean, Frohlich, Lockwood….brilliant scientists
    Move Schatten over in the ‘brilliant’ group, please.

  128. “”” Shawn R. (12:41:00) :

    Just a few quick questions from this: ” It links observable variations in the world’s cloudiness to laboratory experiments in Copenhagen showing how cosmic rays help generate atmospheric aerosols.”

    Are these fairly complex experiments, or expensive to do? Or can they be done on smaller ’school room’ science lab type setups in some fashion or another?

    Are these experiments, (or ones like them), able to be filmed or recorded in some way as to make them watchable on youtube for example?

    I think if they can be done small scale and cheaply that it would be a good deal to have done in high school labs or something… and if they can be documented in a visual manner that would be a big bonus.

    Thank you. “””

    The Wilson Cloud Chamber is a very old laboratory demonstration of “cloud” formation; well at least water droplet formation due to charged particles.

    Any 8th grade high school science class ought to be able to kluge one up.

    You need to be able to saturate air with water vapor, and then suddenly drop the pressure, which will tend to cause water droplets to form; and if there are any charged particles going through the chamber at that time; you will get water droplet tracks. Various and sundry magnetic fields can be use to curve the charged pareticle tracks, and that can be sued to estimate energies and the like.

    So it’s not a theory; it’s a fact; but whether it is enough of a phenomenon to cause a climate effect is a big part of the science argument.

  129. I have built ethanol/dry ice cloud chambers. They can be a bit of a pain. I have wondered if a large speaker driven by slow saw tooth wave could be employed to manipulate the pressure?

  130. AztecBill (09:18:37) :

    “Changes in low level clouds effect the Arctic region and the Antarctic region exactly the opposite. More low level clouds warms the Antarctic and cools the Arctic. This cloud (cosmic ray) explanation of climate change also explains why the Arctic and Antarctic climate seem to move in opposite directions.”

    Not so

    Abstract
    In an attempt to test the validity of a relationship between Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and cloud cover, a range of past studies have performed composite analysis based around Forbush decrease (FD) events. These studies have produced a range of con5 flicting results, consequently reducing confidence in the existence of a GCR-cloud link.

    A potential reason why past FD based studies have failed to identify a consistent relationship may be that the FD events themselves are too poorly defined, and require calibration prior to analysis. Drawing from an initial sample of 48 FD events taken from multiple studies this work attempts to isolate a GCR decrease of greater magnitude and coherence than has been demonstrated by past studies. After this calibrationcomposite analysis revealed increases in high level (10–180 mb) cloud cover (of _20%) occurred over the Antarctic plateau in conjunction with decreases in the rate of GCR flux during austral winter (these results are broadly opposite to those of past studies).

    The cloud changes occurred in conjunction with locally significant surface level air temperature increases over the Antarctic plateau (_4 K) and temperature decreases over the Ross Ice Sheet (_8 K). These temperature variations appear to be indirectly linked to cloud via anomalous surface level winds rather than a direct radiative forcing. These results provide good evidence of a relationship between daily timescale GCR variations and Antarctic climate variability.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/10575/2009/

  131. How does the GCR theory deal with the effect of low clouds on nighttime temps? In other words, if there are more low clouds, wouldn’t we see nighttime warming and daytime cooling?

  132. I’m looking forward to seeing how Svensmark’s hypothesis pans out, roll on the next FD event.

    Some other interesting ideas regarding solar climate influences in a paper by Erl Happ and Carl Wolk – “Solar warming – Solar cooling” here:-

    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009ow /04/05/solar-warming-solar-cooling/

    Here’s their conclusion -

    “Solar activity has weakened the [polar] vortex in both hemispheres. Periodic change in 200hPa temperature in response to changing ozone content and changing short wave radiation change ice cloud density and prevalence. This drives the Southern Oscillation. By and large it is the sea that stores energy and transports it to higher latitudes producing warmer winters. Ultimately sea surface temperature depends upon the Quasi Biennial Oscillation in ultraviolet radiation and the solar wind. The change in the solar QBO is responsible for the waxing and waning of the Southern Oscillation as it changes between El Nino and La Nina dominance.”

  133. Quote: Shawn R. (12:41:00) :

    Just a few quick questions from this: ” It links observable variations in the world’s cloudiness to laboratory experiments in Copenhagen showing how cosmic rays help generate atmospheric aerosols.”

    Are these fairly complex experiments, or expensive to do? Or can they be done on smaller ’school room’ science lab type setups in some fashion or another?

    Are these experiments, (or ones like them), able to be filmed or recorded in some way as to make them watchable on youtube for example?

    I think if they can be done small scale and cheaply that it would be a good deal to have done in high school labs or something… and if they can be documented in a visual manner that would be a big bonus. Unquote

    The experiment and the building of the cloud chamber is described in detail in The Chilling Stars – A New Theory of Climage Change by Henrik Svensmark & Nigel Calder from page 118 The box in the basement.

  134. The whole dismal scam is starting to fall to pieces and any scientist who is not in thrall to the socio-political religion known as AGW is well aware of this . But when will the MSM stop pasting and copying reports which have themselves been pasted and copied from some press release from an acolyte of the AGW. Can journalist no longer be bothered to do any checking or is there a more sinister reason for their acquiescence.

  135. Hi all-

    The solar cosmic ray climate connection is largely irrelevant to the debate over climate change.

    This is because solar activity occurs on a regular, eleven year cycle, or 22 years if you count polarity reversals.

    To count on a sun climate connection to save us from AGW, you have to assume low solar activity in the future, as occurred during the Maunder Minimum several hundred years ago.

    If the sun continues on its cycle of solar activity, the main effect from a sun climate connection is that during solar maxima, it would be hotter than predicted, while during solar sunspot minima, like right now, it would be colder.

    So we can expect pauses in AGW, if the solar climate cosmic ray connection is correct.

    But we can also expect accelerated AGW, during periods of high solar activity.

    And the “elephant in the living room” is of course carbon dioxide increase, which is occurring at nearly one percent per year – and increasing methane concentrations as well.

    So, for those that are counting on a solar cosmic ray climate connection to save us from AGW, as it may be doing right now (we are at a solar minimum, and so a cosmic ray maximum, right now), what happens when we reach a solar maximum about 5 or 6 years from now?

  136. Leland, your statement is begging for proof. Go back to other solar maximums and minimums. How does the temperature correlation stand up? There have been equally high concentrations of CO2 in the past, and equally low or high cosmic rays in the past. If what you say is true, show us. Present statistics and graphs.

    As for me I am not depending on solar influences to save me from AGW because I believe the connection is as weak as anthropogenic drivers are.

  137. Thanks George. I really meant to ask how the GCR variations would affect the clouds, particularly cloud top heights and albedo. If the cloud variations due to GCR variations are much less significant than those due to (e.g. one degree) warming that you mention, then you have answered my question already. My own guess is that there are fairly significant effects from GCR to cloud characteristics, but those effects don’t affect global average temperature, but rather average temperatures for various latitudes (least in the tropics).

  138. Leland Palmer,

    There is an 11 year cycle for the sun but there is also many many other solar cycles. The major cycle that is in question right now is the 60 year cycle (30 years of cooling and 30 years of warming). That is why there was cooling from 1944 to 1975. That is why there was warming from 1975 to 1999. That is why we are again cooling. That is why NASA said we may be cooling until 2025. That solar cycle effects ocean cycles. That is why you will find tha the PDO and ADO coincides with the 60 year solar cycle.

    We also are in a longer warming cycle that began in the mid 19th century. We have been warming since then at a semi- steady 0.5 degrees per 100 years. This can be masked by looking closely and seeing the 60 year cycle effects and the shorter effects of the 11 year cycles to which you refer. When that long cycle changes, we may move into another little ice age.

  139. George E. Smith (11:27:56)

    Another aspect to a 6.5% increase in absolute humidity and precipitation is the increase in water draining from the land areas. Hydroelectric generation becomes an increasing available energy source. Of course, it also means that those that recklessly built on flood plains (river and coastal), stand a good chance of losing their investments. Governments once recognized the futility of building infrastructure on flood plains and would not grant building permits easily. For many years, this policy has vanished.

    Flood plains worldwide should be designated as agriculture only, and parkland or recreational areas, or wildlife conservation areas. As usual it is Man’s carelessness that causes suffering and loss. Not simply “climate change”. Greed and corruption has allowed building where there should be minimal. All for short term profit gain. This is prudent policy regardless of climate.

  140. G. Karst:

    “Greed and corruption has allowed building where there should be minimal.”

    Wrong. The law allows building, within limits set by the building code, on one’s own property. What gives you the right to label an honest, law-abiding citizen’s actions with their own property as ‘greedy’ and ‘corrupt’?

    If you want land to be used as parkland or farm land, you are free to buy some land and do whatever you want with it. But telling the owner how you think his land may be used is a little elitist, don’t you think? The source of a lot of our conflict comes from busybodies telling other people what they can or can’t do with their property.

    Buy the land yourself, instead of presuming to tell others what’s OK with you and what isn’t. That’s the right way to do it.

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