Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory: two steps forward, one step back

Cosmic rays in the atmosphere Image:NASA

From CERN: CERN’s CLOUD experiment shines new light on climate change

Geneva, 6 October 2013. In a paper published today in the journal Nature, the CLOUD experiment at CERN1 reports a major advance towards solving a long-standing enigma in climate science: how do aerosols – tiny solid or liquid particles suspended in the air – form in the atmosphere, and which gases are responsible? This is a key question in understanding the climate, since aerosols cause a cooling effect by reflecting sunlight and by seeding cloud droplets.

The CLOUD researchers made two key discoveries. Firstly, they found that minute concentrations of amine vapours combine with sulphuric acid to form aerosol particles at rates similar to those observed in the atmosphere. Then, using a pion beam from the CERN Proton Synchrotron, they found that ionising radiation such as the cosmic radiation that bombards the atmosphere from space has negligible influence on the formation rates of these particular aerosols.

“Thanks to CERN’s expertise in materials, gas systems and ultra-high vacuum technologies,” said CLOUD spokesperson Jasper Kirkby, “we were able to build a chamber with unprecedented cleanliness, allowing us to simulate the atmosphere and introduce minute amounts of various atmospheric vapours under carefully controlled conditions – in this case amines and sulphuric acid.”

Amines are atmospheric vapours closely related to ammonia, and are emitted both from human activities such as animal husbandry, and from natural sources. Amines are responsible for odours emanating from the decomposition of organic matter that contains proteins. For example, the smell of rotten fish is due to trimethylamine. The CLOUD experiment’s unique ultra-clean chamber allowed the collaboration to demonstrate that the extremely low concentrations of amines typically found in the atmosphere – a few parts per trillion by volume – are sufficient to combine with sulphuric acid to form highly stable aerosol particles at high rates.

The measured sensitivity of aerosol formation to amines came as a surprise, and points to a potentially significant climate cooling mechanism. Moreover, since amine scrubbing is likely to become an important technology for capturing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuelled [sic] power plants, this effect is likely to rise in future.

The CLOUD result adds another significant measurement in understanding the climate. But it does not rule out a role for cosmic radiation, nor does it offer a quick fix for global warming.

“This is the first time that atmospheric particle formation has been reproduced with complete knowledge of the participating molecules”, said Kirkby. “However our measurements leave open the possibility that the formation of aerosols in the atmosphere may also proceed with other vapours, for which the effect of cosmic rays may be different. This is an important step forward, but we still have a long way to go before we fully understand the processes of aerosol formation and their effects on clouds and climate.”

cloud_background_notes.pdf

About these ads
This entry was posted in Cosmic rays, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory: two steps forward, one step back

  1. Yes, this is going to prove to be one of the secondary effects associated with prolonged minimum solar conditions.

  2. Theo Goodwin says:

    “Two steps forward, one step back.” That is genuine science. Svensmark and Kirkby just made contact with reality through a nice little falsification. Falsification is a normal part of scientific progress. Those who argue that falsification is not part of scientific methodology should recognize that they also argue that reality is not part of it.

  3. Bill Marsh says:

    I don’t know that Svensmark’s theory has been falsified. The researchers explicitly state “However our measurements leave open the possibility that the formation of aerosols in the atmosphere may also proceed with other vapours, for which the effect of cosmic rays may be different.” As I recall from Svenmark’s book, amines were not the particles he proposed too be involved with cosmic ray interaction.

  4. That amines, which are basic, would feel attracted to sulfuric acid seems hardly surprising, and that they don’t need any help from ionizing radiation for hitching up would be expected as well. This doesn’t strike me as a major discovery.

  5. george e. smith says:

    I read through the story quite rapidly. Somehow, I missed the part where they said that their experiment showed that GCRs impacting the atmosphere don’t form water droplets.

    Well at least we can be happy that sulfuric acid amine downpours, won’t be getting any worse than they are now.

  6. Janice Moore says:

    The measured sensitivity of aerosol formation to amines … points to a potentially significant climate cooling mechanism. Moreover, since amine scrubbing is likely to become an important technology for capturing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuelled [sic] power plants, this effect is likely to rise in future.

    This non-scientist does not understand that statement. Would someone please help me understand how eliminating amines by scrubbing makes their hypothesized cooling effect “likely to rise.” Thanks!

    ***************
    Note: the phrase “… a quick fix for global warming” in the above article implies that the conclusions of these folks are to be regarded with caution, for their thinking is clearly hampered by the unsupported conjecture that humans can do ANYTHING to change the climate of the earth. LAUGH — OUT — LOUD. As if.

  7. milodonharlani says:

    Janice Moore says:
    October 7, 2013 at 10:56 am

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/325/5948/1652.short

    The process could increase the incidence of amines in the air, making CO2 scrubbing by this method a cooling double whammy.

  8. CRS, DrPH says:

    “…we still have a long way to go before we fully understand the processes of aerosol formation and their effects on clouds and climate.”

    Yeah, I’ll say! Atmospheric chemistry is remarkably complex, and I think they are taking a far too simplistic view of the dynamics of the process. The number and variety of manmade chemicals that persist in the atmosphere is staggering. Also, many energy inputs including UV are proven to alter these compounds in subtle, but powerful, ways.

    Unfortunately, when you do a web search for “atmospheric pollutants,” you’ll get a ton of hits for carbon dioxide, GHG etc. Rubbish. Our ignorance on how the atmosphere actually works is staggering.

    http://www.mdpi.com/journal/atmosphere/special_issues/POPs

  9. Steven Mosher says:

    “The CLOUD experiment’s unique ultra-clean chamber allowed the collaboration to demonstrate that the extremely low concentrations of amines typically found in the atmosphere – a few parts per trillion by volume – are sufficient to combine with sulphuric acid to form highly stable aerosol particles at high rates.”

    so let me get this straight. C02 cannot have an effect because it is a tiny portion of the atmosphere. But amines from rottiing fish no less, that occur at even lower rates than C02, are the real driver.

  10. Fernando (in Brazil) says:

    Cadaverine is a foul-smelling diamine compound produced by protein hydrolysis during putrefaction of animal tissue

    Putrescine, or tetramethylenediamine, is a foul-smelling, NH2(CH2)4NH2 (1,4-diaminobutane or butanediamine) that is related to cadaverine.

    maybe, just maybe.
    Derived from the decomposition of numerical models

  11. Steven Mosher says:

    one thing we do know is that even if cosmic rays could increase cloudiness in a lab chamber that in the wild they do not. That is, take the counts of cosmic rays in the wild. look for increases in cloudiness. You wont find it.

    There are 110 pristine, WUWT approved, climate stations called CRN.
    go look at the data on clouds from those stations.
    compare that to cosmic ray counts.

    Nothing.

    So, even if you prove that clouds form one way in a chamber, that is not the claim that needs to be tested. the claim to test is simple: do clouds increase in the real atmosphere when you increase cosmic rays. Look at the data, that theory is busted.

    REPLY: Mr. Mosher, the CRN stations don’t measure cloud cover, they have no instrument installed for this.

    They measure:

    Primarily Air temperature and rainfall – the two most important climate metrics. Some are equipped with soil temperature, some are equipped with solar radiation sensors. NONE are equipped with a ceilometer or full sky optics system for measuring cloud cover. Even the ones with solar radiation sensors can’t give you any useful info about cloud cover, since they can’t differentiate between smoke, haze, pollution etc and clouds.

    Reference: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/instrdoc.html#SENSORS

    You really don’t have a clue as to what you are rambling on about related to CRN instrumentation.

    Anthony

  12. tadchem says:

    Granted my subatomic particle physics is a little weak, but pions are not high energy baryons, and should not reasonably be used as a proxy for such.
    Much of the incoming ionizing radiation is high-energy protons and electrons from the solar wind.
    Pions are a part of ‘cosmic’ radiation – from other more distant stars, and are also produced by the impacts of high-energy cosmic radiation with atomic nuclei in the atmosphere, along with MANY other secondary particles which also have charges – and are therefore also capable of ionizing atoms.
    The whole exercise strikes me as a bit like using burning acorns as a stand-in for a forest fire.

  13. milodonharlani says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I don’t think anyone claims that amines are the main driver of climatic fluctuations, as the IPCC so absurdly asserts for CO2. Few argue that CO2 cannot have an effect. It does, but most of its effect occurs in the first 100 or 200 ppm, with increasingly less effect at higher concentrations. IMO it might again become important at very high levels, on the order of 10%, but I don’t think that this has been conclusively demonstrated, merely hypothesized to explain for instance the melting of Snowball Earth.

    The increase in CO2 from c. 300 to an alleged 400 ppm has been highly beneficial to humanity. Further gains up to several hundred ppm would likely be more so.

  14. DirkH says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 7, 2013 at 11:07 am
    “so let me get this straight. C02 cannot have an effect because it is a tiny portion of the atmosphere. But amines from rottiing fish no less, that occur at even lower rates than C02, are the real driver.”

    So let me get this straight. Do you want to imply that “C02 cannot have an effect because it is a tiny portion of the atmosphere.” has ever been the argument of more than a tiny irrelevant fringe portion of skeptics?

    If that is so, I wish you a happy relationship with your strawman.

  15. Fernando (in Brazil) says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 7, 2013 at 11:07 am
    so let me get this straight. C02 cannot have an effect because it is a tiny portion of the atmosphere. But amines from rottiing fish no less, that occur at even lower rates than C02, are the real driver.

    exactly

    Some diamines react with CO2 to form carbamates.

    CO2 reacts with ammonia to form the ammonium carbonate.

    CO2 reacts with water to form carbonic acid.

    As it turns. CO2 is not a NOBLE GAS

  16. magicjava says:

    Steve Mosher said:

    So, even if you prove that clouds form one way in a chamber, that is not the claim that needs to be tested. the claim to test is simple: do clouds increase in the real atmosphere when you increase cosmic rays. Look at the data, that theory is busted.
    ———————————————————–

    Steve, the ISCCP cloud data and cosmic ray measurements from numerous sites around the world match well. Both are publicly available and I checked them myself. In fact, I believe it was this data that Svensmark used originally.

    The ISCCP site is down right now due to the government shutdown. When it comes back up you can check it. Or, I think I may have the data squirreled away somewhere and could post it if you just dying to see it now rather than later.

  17. milodonharlani says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 7, 2013 at 11:13 am

    The short-term effect or lack thereof of cosmic rays on cloud cover in nature as opposed to the lab has been discussed on this blog at some extent. IMO the jury is still out, with some researchers detecting an effect & others not.

    However the evidence of longer term effects is IMO more compelling, although again different studies reach different conclusions. For instance, the effect was not found in a study looking at a phase of the last glaciation. However it did show up during interglacials:

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/02/hints-of-cosmic-ray-climate-link-in-sediment-core-from-japan/

    This should not IMO be a surprise, given the differing atmospheric conditions in mid-latitudes during glaciations & interglacials.

  18. Steven, so you discount Shaviv’s findings that spiral arm passages in the past have led to ice ages? Just want to be clear about this.

  19. magicjava says:

    P.S.
    The trick is to look at mid-level clouds only, and to take the global average of clouds and compare it to cosmic rays hitting the Earth.

    Svensmark’s theory *doesn’t* seem to work (at least that I can tell) when you compare global cosmic rays to regional mid-level cloud formations.

  20. Doug says:

    Steven Mosher says:

    October 7, 2013 at 11:13 am

    one thing we do know is that even if cosmic rays could increase cloudiness in a lab chamber that in the wild they do not. That is, take the counts of cosmic rays in the wild. look for increases in cloudiness. You wont find it.
    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    I saw a nice write up on Lubos’ page of a simple study—It compared the daily high and low temperatures to cosmic rays, and found a greater range during periods of low cosmic rays. Clear skies mean higher highs, and lower lows. The range was greater after significant solar storms swept away the cosmic rays.

  21. Lance Wallace says:

    Having just returned from the AAAR annual conference in Portland OR, where the aerosol physicists and chemists are still working out the theory of nucleation bursts (presently the main theory is a ternary reaction involving sulfuric acid, ammonia, and water vapor), I can say that this CLOUD result, had it been released earlier, would have been topic #1 for many attendees. There is now a new reaction to consider, involving amines at incredibly low concentrations (80 ppq, or parts per quadrillion). Yet there are thousands of organic and inorganic constituents yet to be considered. As the authors point out, this just increases the uncertainty of the aerosol contribution to climate change:

    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considers
    that the increased amount of aerosol in the atmosphere from human
    activities constitutes the largest present uncertainty in climate radiative
    forcing2 and projected climate change this century29. The results
    reported here show that the uncertainty is even greater than previously
    thought, because extremely low amine emissions—which have substantial
    anthropogenic sources and have not hitherto been considered
    by the IPCC—have a large influence on the nucleation of sulphuric
    acid particles.”

  22. magicjava says:

    Harold Ambler says:

    Steven, so you discount Shaviv’s findings that spiral arm passages in the past have led to ice ages? Just want to be clear about this.
    ——————————————————————-

    I know this wasn’t directed to me, but I wanted to jump in with my 2 cents.

    After Shaviv originally presented his theory NASA found another spiral arm in the Milky Way. Shaviv went back and reexamined his data and said it matched this new discovery.

    Sounds a bit fishy to me, but regardless, Shaviv’s theory rests on the interpretation of only a few meteorite fragments, and Shaviv himself has now interpreted those fragments in at least two different ways.

  23. Anthony Watts says:

    Note to Mosher, see my added comment above. You are 110% wrong about CRN stations.

  24. Barry Cullen says:

    THe amines emitted by decomposing proteins are of relatively low molecular weight, stinky gases. They react w/ SOx and CO2 vapor to form less acid or neutral, hygroscopic? salts.

    The amines that are used to scrub CO2 from combustion gases are higher molecular weight liquids w/ low vapor pressure, and almost no smell. So the predicted OMG! problem with these compounds is unlikely.

  25. Ian W says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 7, 2013 at 11:13 am

    one thing we do know is that even if cosmic rays could increase cloudiness in a lab chamber that in the wild they do not. That is, take the counts of cosmic rays in the wild. look for increases in cloudiness. You wont find it.

    To paraphrase….
    One thing we do know is that even if CO2 could increase the temperature in a lab chamber that in the wild it does not. That is take the concentration of CO2 in the wild, look for increases in temperature. You won’t find it.

  26. Janice Moore says:

    Thank you, Milodon Harlani, for letting me know (at 11:04am) that it is not amines which are scrubbed, but which do the scrubbing.

    @ Fernando (re: 11:12am) — Decomposing climate models — LOL.

    ****************
    Mr. Mosher, you, perhaps unintentionally, mischaracterize the position of (as Dirk put it) “fringe skeptics” such as I. It is the tiny proportion of human CO2 to which we point as evidence. First of all, as you said, total CO2 is a small ppm, BUT, the key is: human CO2 is FAR outweighed and can easily be completely overwhelmed by natural CO2.

  27. jeremyp99 says:

    Layman’s question

    “we were able to build a chamber with unprecedented cleanliness, allowing us to simulate the atmosphere”

    Is the atmosphere really that clean?

  28. lsvalgaard says:

    Harold Ambler says:
    October 7, 2013 at 11:43 am
    so you discount Shaviv’s findings that spiral arm passages in the past have led to ice ages? Just want to be clear about this.
    Clear or not, Shaviv’s ‘finding’ is likely not correct:

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/1303-7314-Cosmic-Rays-Climate-billion-yrs.pdf :
    “The Galactic cosmic ray (GCR) intensity has been postulated by others to vary cyclically with a peak to valley ratio of ∼3:1, as the Solar System moves from the Spiral Arm to the Inter-Arm regions of the Galaxy. These intensities have been correlated with global temperatures and used to support the hypothesis of GCR induced climate change. In this paper we show that the model used to deduce such a large ratio of Arm to Interarm GCR intensity requires unlikely values of some of the GCR parameters, particularly the diffusion length in the interstellar medium, if as seems likely to be the case, the diffusion is homogeneous. Comparison is made with the existing gamma ray astronomy data and this also indicates that the ratio is not large. The variation in the intensity is probably of order 10 – 20% and should be no more than 30% as the Solar System moves between these two regions, unless the conventional parameters of the GCR are incorrect. In addition we show that the variation of the GCR intensity, as the trajectory of the Solar System oscillates about the Galactic Plane, is too small to account for the extinctions of species as has been postulated unless, again, conventional assumptions about the GCR parameters are not correct.”

  29. Janice Moore says:

    Re: “…nor does it offer a quick fix for global warming.” (again)

    Why even TRY to fix it?

    WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH GLOBAL WARMING?!!

    — as has been said over and over and over by many on WUWT — and the only answer given by the believers is

  30. Jeff L says:

    Lance Wallace says:
    October 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

    “the aerosol physicists and chemists are still working out the theory of nucleation bursts (presently the main theory is a ternary reaction involving sulfuric acid, ammonia, and water vapor), I can say that this CLOUD result, had it been released earlier, would have been topic #1 for many attendees. There is now a new reaction to consider, involving amines at incredibly low concentrations (80 ppq, or parts per quadrillion). Yet there are thousands of organic and inorganic constituents yet to be considered.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Can you comment for the audience less well versed in this subject matter why the CERN experiment chose to focus on amine vapors vs the ” thousands of organic and inorganic constituents yet to be considered”? It seems there must have been some logic to choosing this set of reactions first.

    Thanks !

  31. Richard Lawson says:

    Fantastic!
    Seems like Mosher whilst trying his very best to commit yet another mob style ‘drive by’ managed to shoot his own foot whilst leaning out of the window. More Bugsy Malone than Al Capone. Loving it. Well done Anthony.

  32. Magicjava says:

    jeremyp99 says:
    October 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm
    Layman’s question

    “we were able to build a chamber with unprecedented cleanliness, allowing us to simulate the atmosphere”

    Is the atmosphere really that clean?
    ———————————————————————-

    You want the chamber to be clean so you can ensure the results you get come from the experiment rather than from some residue in the chamber walls.

  33. Claude Harvey says:

    But wait! Are we talking the fluffy clouds here? Or the stringy ones? I think maybe the fluffies cool things down and the stringies heat things up (or maybe the reverse). How tall is that cloud chamber anyway?

  34. dcfl51 says:

    I thought Svensmark’s hypothesis related not to cosmic rays in general but specifically to muons, as these are the only cosmic particles which can penetrate through the atmosphere down to the cloud forming altitudes. My particle physics knowledge isn’t very good – does a pion beam tick the right box ?

  35. Bob says:

    Mosher, “so let me get this straight. C02 cannot have an effect because it is a tiny portion of the atmosphere. But amines from rottiing fish no less, that occur at even lower rates than C02, are the real driver.”

    You seem to be seriously confused. Trimethyamine is just one of many secondary amines and we are discussing participation in particle construction, not IR radiance.

  36. Anthony Watts says:

    Further to my comments about Mr. Mosher’s assertions that the CRN data disproves Svensmark, here is what I just sent him via email on the CRN instrumentation:

    They have an IR temperature probe, looking at the ground for skin temperature. Precision Infrared Thermocouple Transducer Model IRTS-P and a pyranometer, a Kipp & Zonen Silicon Pyranometer SP Lite for measuring incoming solar radiation. This is for evapotranspiration and is a point sensor, not a sky grid sensor as would be needed for percentage of cloud cover.

    Both of these give an indirect measurement of cloud cover. Insolation is affected by aerosols as you know, haze, smoke, fog, smog, etc all have varying effects on insolation. You can’t say at any given station what portion of insolation is affected by aerosol depth unless you also have an instrument for that measurement also.

    Cloud cover is a percentage of sky and elevation. You need a specific instrument for this to separate it from other effects. Even just pointing a point source type pyranometer at the sky won’t give you what is needed.

    You can’t interpolate accurate cloud cover from other insolation measurements, and determine if its low level, mid-level, or high level cloudiness from insolation. You need a ceilometer for that. Svensmark postulates changes at specific levels – low level cloudiness is what he says.

    You can’t get there to prove or falsify Svensmark from the instruments of CRN because they don’t measure either percentage of sky or height of clouds.

    Better to simply admit you goofed.

  37. mkelly says:

    Janice Moore says:

    October 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    “fringe skeptics” such as I.

    Don’t feel alone Janice there are at least two of us fringe skeptics.

  38. Leon Elam says:

    Recently I read that the Mean global temp had dropped 1 degree centigrade since the year 2000. I also have an article from 2009 in which it said “A NASA probe found that cosmic ray intensities in 2009 had increased by almost 20 percent beyond anything seen in the past 50 years.” I also have an article in which it says:
    “New Discovery: NASA Study Proves Carbon Dioxide Cools Atmosphere”
    “A recent NASA report throws the space agency into conflict with its climatologists after new NASA measurements prove that carbon dioxide acts as a coolant in Earth’s atmosphere.”
    My evaluation is that the Svensmark cosmic ray theory is the truth.
    Each additional cosmic ray that gets through spawns billions of muons, the charged particle that is like an electron but a hundred times heavier, that catalyzes the gathering of water vapor into droplets.
    One muon can even start the process in multiple spots, shooting on through to start it and then again, and the droplet gathering just continues in those locations.
    When the heliosphere weakens due to reduced solar output, that increase of muons spawning from cosmic rays leverages the solar radiation drop even farther, even less solar radiation getting all the way to the surface of Earth, due to increased solar reflectivity, with whiter denser clouds at the 2000 to 3000 foot level. Cold climate coming at the times of solar quiet and CO2 levels increasing 800 YEARS AFTER entirely natural solar activity stimulated global warming are not just repeated coincidences. Henrik Svensmark is a modern day Copernicus and the man made global warming bunch are the Inquisition.

  39. I have observed that zonal jet streams produce less clouds globally and meridional jets produce more clouds globally.

    During the late 20th century warming period the jets were more zonal and cloudiness was less.

    Now the jets are more meridional, cloudiness has increased and global warming has stopped and may soon decline.

    I would appreciate an explanation as to how the Svensmark hypothesis switches the jets between zonality and meridionality.

    Any takers?

  40. M Courtney says:

    DirkH says (October 7, 2013 at 11:20 am) that the following is a strawman argument as virtually no-one believes it: “CO2 cannot have an effect because it is a tiny portion of the atmosphere.”

    To me that is unclear. The following would receive my approval: “CO2 is not proven to have a dominant effect and is unlikely to have such an effect because it is a tiny portion of the atmosphere.”

    And, colloquially, there is not much difference.

  41. Bill Marsh says:

    dcfl51 says:
    October 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I thought Svensmark’s hypothesis related not to cosmic rays in general but specifically to muons, as these are the only cosmic particles which can penetrate through the atmosphere down to the cloud forming altitudes. My particle physics knowledge isn’t very good – does a pion beam tick the right box ?

    =================

    DC, Muons are not ‘cosmic particles. They are the result of collisions of high energy cosmic rays with molecules in the upper atmosphere. One of the most pleasing parts of Svensmark’s theory to me is the fact that, technically, Muons don’t last long enough to travel from the upper atmosphere where they are created to the lower atmosphere where they interact, but, because of their near light speeds, relativism takes over and they do indeed last long enough to make the travel.

  42. Magicjava says:

    dcfl51 says:
    October 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm
    I thought Svensmark’s hypothesis related not to cosmic rays in general but specifically to muons, as these are the only cosmic particles which can penetrate through the atmosphere down to the cloud forming altitudes. My particle physics knowledge isn’t very good – does a pion beam tick the right box ?
    ——————————————

    When The cosmic rays hit the atmosphere they produce a cascade of particles, including Pions.
    https://www.windows2universe.org/physical_science/physics/atom_particle/cosmic_rays.html&edu=high

  43. Jeff Mitchell says:

    Mkelly and Janice More said:

    mkelly says:
    October 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm
    Janice Moore says:

    October 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    “fringe skeptics” such as I.

    Don’t feel alone Janice there are at least two of us fringe skeptics.
    ———————————————-
    Please don’t self identify as “fringe” skeptics. We’re not fringe, we’re mainstream science people who understand that the alarmists aren’t actually practicing science. It is the alarmists who are out on the fringe screaming warnings issued by a few cult prophets who are making it up as they go. History will tell their tale in similar fashion as we now tell about the flat earth or earth centric universe people who at one time constituted the “consensus”. If you self identify as “fringe” you are playing in their sandbox under their rules. There is no point in putting yourself at a disadvantage to the ignorant.

  44. Lance Wallace says:

    Jeff L says:
    October 7, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    “Can you comment for the audience less well versed in this subject matter why the CERN experiment chose to focus on amine vapors vs the ” thousands of organic and inorganic constituents yet to be considered”? It seems there must have been some logic to choosing this set of reactions first.”

    Very astute question. I probably should not have used the phrase “new reaction”, since this group, led by Markku Kulmala of Univ. Finland has been studying this reaction among others for some years. What is new is that the CLOUD results gave the first true experimental verification of the prediction, and showed the range of concentrations where the reaction works; it has not been previously possible to get such a clean chamber nearly free of atmospheric contaminants to test the calculations.

  45. Magicjava says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm
    I have observed that zonal jet streams produce less clouds globally and meridional jets produce more clouds globally.

    During the late 20th century warming period the jets were more zonal and cloudiness was less.

    Now the jets are more meridional, cloudiness has increased and global warming has stopped and may soon decline.

    I would appreciate an explanation as to how the Svensmark hypothesis switches the jets between zonality and meridionality.

    Any takers?
    ————————————————————-

    I think that Svensmark’s theory gives an answer to the global amount of mid-level clouds. At regional levels the theory is less accurate, from what I can tell.

    To me this means there are factors in addition to cosmic rays driving cloud formation. These factors seem to have a measurable influence locally, but globally they cancel each other out.

    It seems there is more to discover about cloud formation even if Svensmark’s theory is correct. Perhaps the jets you mention are one of these factors?

  46. george e. smith says:

    “””””……a says:

    October 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    jeremyp99 says:
    October 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm
    Layman’s question

    “we were able to build a chamber with unprecedented cleanliness, allowing us to simulate the atmosphere”

    Is the atmosphere really that clean?
    ———————————————————————-

    You want the chamber to be clean so you can ensure the results you get come from the experiment rather than from some residue in the chamber walls…….”””””””

    That’s very nice; now how do they keep the clean internal atmosphere away from the walls, since the walls aren’t present, in the real atmosphere; and water vapor freely condenses on any surface, where it wouldn’t condense just from the atmosphere. The lab scale experiment shows you what happens in a lab scale experiment with solid walls to nucleate “aerosols”..

  47. Mike Jonas says:

    Leon Elam says “Henrik Svensmark is a modern day Copernicus and the man made global warming bunch are the Inquisition.“. Note: The Inquisition won, or at least, they were winning for about 100 years. But back then there was no internet. The most important factor in dlimate science (NB. climate science, not climate) is the internet, as driven by people like Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts.

  48. TomRude says:

    Obviously the type of cloud cover is linked to atmospheric circulation and its intensity, hardly a point of expertise of Mr. Mosher.

  49. Joe says:

    The beauty of WUWT?

    Had this been a paper casting doubt on an alarmist assumption or hypothesis, all the alarmist blogs and their commenters would have been united in condemning it, and its authors, with extreme prejudice (and deletions). That’s assuming, of course, that it was even mentioned at all!

    Here, the site owner actively brings it to peoples’ attention and the vast majority of posters (with the exception of one or two who appear to be acting more and more like trolls) actually think about it and openly discuss how it may, or may not, affect the hypothesis.

    I’ve commented before that I’m idealogically opposed to the political leanings of most of my fellow posters here but, when it comes to putting intellectual curiosity ahead of dogma, I’ve gotta say that you guys rock! :D

  50. Berényi Péter says:

    Well, if the cloud chamber is any guide, one does not even need aerosols to have droplets in supersaturated vapor, ions generated by cosmic radiation are quite sufficient to serve as condensation nuclei.

  51. MiCro says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 7, 2013 at 11:13 am

    So, even if you prove that clouds form one way in a chamber, that is not the claim that needs to be tested. the claim to test is simple: do clouds increase in the real atmosphere when you increase cosmic rays. Look at the data, that theory is busted.

    Steven, From what I’ve read, they use neutron as a proxy for cosmic rays, now I don’t know if that’s why the data doesn’t match well or not, but I do know they use to truck cloud chamber up to the top of Pikes Peak to examine the tracks of water droplets that would form from cosmic rays, and I know that my digital camera at 1,000′ altitude recorded particle hits about every 100 seconds, and for it to detect them they have to create electron-hole pairs across the pixel’s diode junction.

  52. Fernando (in Brazil) says:

    Jeff Mitchell says:
    October 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm
    More Mkelly and Janice said:

    mkelly says:
    October 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm
    Janice Moore says:

    October 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    “Fringe skeptics” such as I.

    Janice Do not feel alone there are at least two of us fringe skeptics.

    If my model was not wrong.

    With a significance of 95% and R = 0.99999 ….

    Now …. 4

  53. Neill says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm
    …………
    I would appreciate an explanation as to how the Svensmark hypothesis switches the jets between zonality and meridionality.

    Stephen, what’s your theory regarding the switch?

  54. sophocles says:

    Steve Mosher says:
    ….
    one thing we do know is that even if cosmic rays could increase cloudiness in a lab chamber that in the wild they do not. That is, take the counts of cosmic rays in the wild. look for increases in cloudiness. You wont find it.
    ===========================================================================
    Cosmic ray measurements are made by detecting free neutrons. These are
    formed as the result of secondary and tertiary (and many more knock ons)
    collisions between nuclear fragments created by cosmic rays of energies of around
    10GeV hitting the planet’s atmosphere. These are regarded as low energy CRs.

    The cosmic rays which are thought to be involved in cloud formation are much
    more energetic, about 3 or more times so. They hit the top of the atmosphere
    and their collisions create high speed (nearly light speed) muons. These cannot
    be measured by sensing free neutrons. About the only way they seem able to be
    measured is by cloud cover variations but that is still very hard.

    That’s why free neutron measurements as a measure of CRs and clouds don’t
    coincide. The wrong variety of CR is being measured.

  55. Gunga Din says:

    Amines are responsible for odours emanating from the decomposition of organic matter that contains proteins. For example, the smell of rotten fish is due to trimethylamine. The CLOUD experiment’s unique ultra-clean chamber allowed the collaboration to demonstrate that the extremely low concentrations of amines typically found in the atmosphere – a few parts per trillion by volume – are sufficient to combine with sulphuric acid to form highly stable aerosol particles at high rates.

    ========================================================================
    While this may add to an understanding of how these chemicals interact in an ultra-clean chamber, when have natural processes ever provided an ultra-clean chamber?
    A piece of the puzzle? Maybe. The solution to the puzzle? No. What is the solution to chaos? Tax it anyway? Just in case?

  56. ROM says:

    Two points from all the above comments;
    Regardless of whether Svensmark is right or wrong, his theory had sufficient credibility to trigger an actual physical experiment at CERN, not just yet another model, to ascertain the credibility of his hypothesis.
    And that CERN experiment has thrown up yet another formerly unknown atmospheric chemical reaction that potentially has had a quite large influence on both the past global climate and possibly will on it’s future path.
    And has opened yet another can of worms that atmospheric and climate science are faced with sorting out if we are to ever have any idea on what are the real drivers of the global climate.

    Secondly, the very astute denizens of this blog have asked a surprising number of well based questions above, most of which are not well answered by known atmospheric physics or for which the answers are unknown as yet.
    All of which has gone to show yet again just how little is actually known about the global climate drivers. And once again, all over again, gives the lie to the claims of the IPCC and it’s adherents and the so called alarmist climate scientists that they understand the atmospheric physical processes well enough to be able to accurately predict the future of the climate for decades ahead.

    And further, the lack of comprehensive answers and understandings to a lot of those questions above destroys the constantly promoted myth that the climate modelers are so astute and so well versed in atmospheric physics and the influences of what we are now seeing as an increasing multitude of still barely known or unknown climate affecting factors that they can program their models to be able to give an accurate prediction for the future of the climate for decades ahead.

  57. SEVENSMARK’S THEORY IS ALIVE AND WELL

  58. noaaprogrammer says:

    Controlling for the effects of the solar winds, is the extent of flux for the type of cosmic rays in Svensmark’s Theory uniform with respect to the global atmosphere?

  59. Jquip says:

    “In this paper we show that the model used to deduce such a large ratio of Arm to Interarm GCR intensity requires unlikely values of some of the GCR parameters, ” — paper quoted by Svalgaard.

    It was once determined that Earth did not orbit the sun because the lack of measured parallax made the *distance* to the stars unlikely large. This doubles down on a ‘likelihood’ model containing one unmeasured measurable by denoting ‘likelihood’ on a pair of unmeasured measurables.

    Measure your basic reasoning skills:
    1) How many unmeasurables do you need before a theory is unlikely?
    2) How few unmeasurables do you need before you state a theory is certain?

  60. Jquip says:

    Ah nuts.

    In my 4:11 post: “This doubles down …” should be “This quote doubles down …” Apologies for the lack of peer review before posting :P

  61. dcfl51 says:

    To Bill Marsh and Magicjava, thank you for the explanation.

  62. Janice Moore says:

    @ M. Kelly (12:57pm today) — thanks for your kind support.
    ****************

    Mr. Mitchell (1:32pm) (ahem), thanks for your encouragement, but, for the record, I did not (nor did M. Kelly by joining me) self-identify as a “fringe” skeptic. That description originated with Dirk above. And, I may have misused Dirk’s pejorative term: he MAY have meant that only those who say TOTAL (not just human) CO2 has zero impact (for certain) are “fringe.” Anyway, thanks for trying to help me and M. Kelly to not be pitifully self-effacing. I’d guess that MOST of the skeptics would agree that human CO2 is almost certainly dwarfed to the point of insignificance by natural CO2.
    **************

    Hurrah, Fernando! 4 of us! (I think, if my comment had not been misunderstood, there would have been more WUWT bloggers speaking up to say the same thing).

    The (I’m quite certain) NON-fringe skeptic opinion is: Human CO2 is such a piddling small part of the atmosphere it isn’t even worth discussing. But, we have to.

    Thanks, so much, Fantasy Science Club, you guys are really neat — NOT.

  63. Ian W says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I have observed that zonal jet streams produce less clouds globally and meridional jets produce more clouds globally.

    During the late 20th century warming period the jets were more zonal and cloudiness was less.

    Now the jets are more meridional, cloudiness has increased and global warming has stopped and may soon decline.

    I would appreciate an explanation as to how the Svensmark hypothesis switches the jets between zonality and meridionality.

    Any takers?

    Stephen, I agree that the meridonal jets are at least one cause of the extra cloudiness and that the stratospheric changes in your hypothesis could lead to the jets becoming more meridonal. However, there is nothing that requires there only to be one mechanism.

    So here is a potential answer to your ‘challenge’.

    The low clouds formed by the extra GCR increase albedo and reduce the heating of the oceans, This in turn reduces the amount of convection and the strength of the hyrdologic cycle. The strength of the jets is driven by the energy in the convective Hadley cells and Ferrel cells. If the cells reduce because low cloud is limiting ocean heating then the jets reduce in strength and this makes them more likely to be affected by shear leading to Rossby waves forming in the jet streams. These meridonal Rossby waves increase the track of the cloudy frontal Ferrel cell weather systems more cloud leads to further increases in albedo, reduced convection and a slower hydrologic cycle. It would be expected that the reduced hydrologic cycle would lead to a reduction in tropospheric humidity – and this is what is being reported rather than a humid tropical tropospheric hotspot.

    Probably lots of ifs and buts there – but I think it answers your question that a GCR initiated increase in low cloud could reduce convection, the strength of the jets and therefore lead to Rossy waves. Of course if as another aspect of the quiet sun is a drop in EUV leading to temperature/density changes in the Stratosphere that _also_ provide a meridonal impetus to the jet streams then two aspects of the quiet Sun may be working together.

    I doubt that there is only ONE trigger for changes in the chaotic ocean/atmosphere system ot seems that multiple effects could be influencing the transfer of heat through the system.

  64. Theo Goodwin says:

    Bill Marsh says:
    October 7, 2013 at 10:44 am
    “I don’t know that Svensmark’s theory has been falsified.”

    Svenmark’s theory consists of many hypotheses. One of them was falsified. The theory was not falsified. He learned something from the falsification and that will improve the theory as he moves forward. (Also, he knows that he is bumping against the real world.)

  65. Pat Frank says:

    Jeremy the cleanliness is to control the variables in the experiment, so that any results can be assigned to the reactions of interest rather than being some artifact of impurities or wall grit.

    The sine qua non of experimental science is to start simple and work up to the complex. That way, one can understand everything at each step. By the time one gets to the complex system, all, or most, of the subsidiary processes are understood. Of course, once the subsidiary processes interact (see one another) in the complex system their behavior might change. One needs to know that, too. The only way to know they’ve interacted and changed is to know how they behave in isolation. Jumping right in to the most complex system is a recipe for nonsense, confusion, and disaster.

  66. Cynical Scientst says:

    … a tax on rotten fish?

  67. Pamela Gray says:

    That something extrinsic to Earth can vary Earth’s temperature does not make it a necessary driver or even part of the driver mechanism responsible for long term “measurable” trends.

    This issue with cosmic rays producing clouds seems trivial compared to what a warmer, less wind-driven top layer of ocean does to the atmosphere versus a colder, wind driven top layer of ocean. Could this be a measure of an extrinsic “something” that is trivial and is buried in the substantially greater potential of intrinsic drivers? That’s my thinking.

    The experiments are dealing in minutia that have no potential for driving long term weather pattern variation trends. Not enough energy.

  68. Pat Frank says:

    I’d like to address this point: “Moreover, since amine scrubbing is likely to become an important technology for capturing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuelled [sic] power plants, this effect is likely to rise in future.

    For simplicity, lets assume “amine” means ammonia, NH3. If amine scrubbing is meant to be a global solution for CO2 emissions, then they’ll be converting CO2 and ammonia into ammonium carbonate: NH3 + CO2 + H2O -> (NH4)2CO3 (solid).

    Ammonia is a large industrial enterprise because it’s used to make fertilizer. It’s made by fixing nitrogen gas from the air, using the Haber-Bosch Process. About 500 MT are made per year, world-wide (about 1000 MT per year are made by nitrogen-fixing bacteria).

    The reaction is 6H2 + N2 –> 2 NH3

    Human CO2 emissions amount to ~32.5 GT per year. The first reaction above shows that ~0.77 ton of ammonia are required to capture every ton of CO2. Full capture of global CO2 emissions would require ~25 GT of ammonia, about 50x the current global annual production.

    Notice that hydrogen is needed to make ammonia. Guess where that hydrogen comes from. Right: from natural gas, by steam reforming and the water gas shift reaction:

    CH4 + H2O -> CO + 3H2 steam reforming
    CO + H2O -> CO2 + H2 water-gas shift

    Assuming 100% efficiency, every single NH3 molecule produced to capture CO2 requires 1.5 H2 molecules in its manufacture, which means 3/8 of a CO2 from using methane to produce H2. Since reaction 1 shows that two ammonia molecules are necessary to capture one CO2, then every CO2 captured from a power plant will require the amount of ammonia that produced 3/4 CO2 molecule during its manufacture.

    That means capture of CO2 using ammonia will produce a net reduction of only 0.25 in CO2 emissions. That is, total CO2 emission will decrease only by 1/4 if all CO2 is captured using ammonia, and that at the cost of a huge and cost-only industrial infrastructure. Cost-only means no economic surplus is produced by the exercise. If more complex amines are used, such as trimethylamine, the cost in CO2 produced during manufacture will increase.

    And that’s using natural gas to produce the hydrogen — by far the most efficient method, unless there’s a huge investment in nuclear power. But if you build dozens of new nuclear power plants, why would anyone (sane) use them to make hydrogen for CO2 capture?

    One other thing. I’ve used ammonium carbonate, (NH4)2CO3. It’s the salt of a weak acid and a weak base. That means it’s not very stable. Solid ammonium carbonate always smells slightly of ammonia. That means the solid slowly and spontaneously decomposes back to CO2, H2O, and NH3, all of which are gases and all of which diffuse away. So, where and how are they going to store 57 GT of ammonium carbonate per year, every year, where it doesn’t decompose?

    The US alone produces ~5.5 GT of CO2 per year, translating into 4.2 GT of ammonia needed and 12 GT of ammonium carbonate storage. Even 1% CO2 capture requires storing 120 MT of (NH4)2CO3 every year in the US. Where are they going to put it – Yucca Mountain, maybe? Good luck with all that.

    If the ammonium carbonate is injected into wells, it will certainly decompose from geothermal heat. Ammonia gas is less dense than air. Even if the ammonia is captured and recycled (lowering the CO2 produced per ammonia used), some amounts will escape. Some will escape into the air during recapture, producing the ammonium sulfate aerosols noted in the head post. Some will escape from subterranean decomposition and diffuse up through any cracked strata. Some of the ammonia diffusing through stratal cracks will find its way into shallow aquifers and the water supply. It’s not hard to predict the outcry. Power companies will be blamed. Fracking will seem benign in comparison.

  69. Pat Frank says:

    That should have been “So, where and how are they going to store 71 GT of ammonium carbonate per year, every year, where it doesn’t decompose?”

  70. milodonharlani says:

    Pat Frank says:
    October 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Excellent chemistry, but the amine proposed has been monoethanolamine. Haven’t made comparable equations for that substance as yours for ammonia, but probably not much different.

    Of course it’s not proposed to scrub all human-generated CO2 with amines, but just that from coal & gas-fired power plant exhausts. Whether this would be worth the large costs depends upon your opinion of the threat posed by man-made CO2. IMO, so far the increase has been beneficial rather than a danger, so removing it in this way is definitely not worth the great cost.

  71. CRS, DrPH says:

    Personally, I blame all the unwashed masses for global cooling….http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/conference/ei14/session1/fu_pres.pdf

    Human sources were responsible for 2% of the total ammonia emissions, and human perspiration and respiration were reported as the largest portions of human sources.

    …you just can’t make up this stuff….

  72. mike g says:

    Wait a second, Pat Frank. We’ve been told repeatedly on here that subterranean gases can not make it through cracked strata, no matter how cracked, to aquifers. Please explain yourself.

  73. Ric Werme says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    October 7, 2013 at 11:13 am

    one thing we do know is that even if cosmic rays could increase cloudiness in a lab chamber that in the wild they do not. That is, take the counts of cosmic rays in the wild. look for increases in cloudiness. You wont find it.

    There are 110 pristine, WUWT approved, climate stations called CRN.
    go look at the data on clouds from those stations.
    compare that to cosmic ray counts.

    Svensmark’s hypothesis refers to changes in the cover of low level maritime clouds in areas with clean air that doesn’t otherwise have cloud condensation nuclei.

    The CRN stations are over land, the air above them has plenty of condensation nuclei.

    Not much of the Earth’s surface is affected by the clouds Svensmark claims exist, but there isn’t a need to have more than a percent or two account for the claimed thermal effect.

  74. Max Hugoson says:

    Mr. Mosher: Rather than address your somewhat inane comment about ground based observation stations/cloud cover, et. al., I would suggest simply, perhaps you are oblivious to other work by Svensmark, such as:

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/svensmark-forebush.pdf

    Of course, this HAS to be taken in the light of “correllation is not causation”. However, the striking relation between the satellite measured cloud cover, and it’s response to a Forebush decrease, does give one pause on the way to generically dismissing Svensmark’s basic hypothesis.

    In this case, the laboratory is NATURE and the conclusion “God Given”, so to speak. (Or perhaps it’s just a miscelaneous fractal happening? Pure chance, as in your existance or mine?)

    Max H.

  75. Fernando (in Brazil) says:

    N2 …. Nitrogen.

    A residual gas in the atmosphere of the beautiful blue ball.

    780,000 ppm

    CO2

    The dominant gas in the atmosphere of the beautiful blue ball

    400 ppm

    ========================

    relâmpago = lightning
    http://qnint.sbq.org.br/sbq_uploads/layers/imagem2834.png

  76. Fernando (in Brazil) says:

    milodonharlani says:
    October 7, 2013 at 6:51 pm
    Pat Frank says:
    October 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    No so far.

    I know that eventually there may be errors in energy balances.

    Admittedly …. material balances are much easier to be elaborated.

  77. anna v says:

    It is a great example of how true experimental studies should go, following the scientific method.:

    Postulate a hypothesis, rigorously try to test it consequences, and when the data disagree with your hypothesis ( cosmic ray enhancement of aerosols) report the results impartially.

    ************
    This series of photos in another site show how the solar wind impacts the upper atmosphere.

    Bear with me.

    We have had a funny year not as much as weather conditions but as far as plant and insects go. Twenty four pistachio trees gave only 1 ( one) pistachio. The quince , no quinces, the pear tree five pears, both trees had flowered beautifully. The olive trees very few olives. We had a practically insect free summer. No flies, very few ants, The cicadas, which come out of the ground in the summer and molt to their last phase, were OK The weather had been mild all through spring, no great storms or cold fronts or heat fronts.
    Watching the weather reports one sees that the jet stream in the high atmosphere has changed, explaining our mild weather.

    Then the swallows left early. Migrating birds are supposed to have magnetic field orientation detectors.

    All these observations have made me think of how small changes in the magnetic fields could affect insects and therefore pollination, maybe the flowering time of pistachios( pistachios, male and female pollinate by the wind) , etc. What if small changes in magnetic fields could do this?

    And the connecting point to this diversion from the main subject is that maybe it is not cosmic rays that seed the aerosols but tiny changes in the magnetic field due to the changes in the solar wind which enable their faster creation. Maybe the cross section increases strongly if the molecular spins are alined following stronger magnetic fields ,

    Just a thought.

  78. CRS, DrPH says:

    Another thing….clouds & the atmosphere are anything but sterile! Recent studies show that clouds can be rife with bacteria, some of which seem to contribute to nucleation: http://www.livescience.com/26533-loads-of-bacteria-hiding-out-in-storm-clouds.html

  79. Greg says:

    Janice Moore: “Note: the phrase “… a quick fix for global warming” in the above article implies that the conclusions of these folks are to be regarded with caution, for their thinking is clearly hampered by the unsupported conjecture that humans can do ANYTHING to change the climate of the earth. LAUGH — OUT — LOUD. As if.”

    It also shows that they have forgone conclusions about a “global warming” that they think needs “fixing”.

    If should be noted that this text seems to be CERN media relations dept.’s press release not directly from the research team.

    This echoes the CERN director censuring the last report saying that what it reported had to be “politically correct”.

    With that kind of bias at the top it seems unlikely they will be allowed to find any effect that substantiates Svensmark.

  80. R. de Haan says:

    “The measured sensitivity of aerosol formation to amines came as a surprise, and points to a potentially significant climate cooling mechanism. Moreover, since amine scrubbing is likely to become an important technology for capturing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuelled [sic] power plants, this effect is likely to rise in future”.

    “The CLOUD result adds another significant measurement in understanding the climate. But it does not rule out a role for cosmic radiation, nor does it offer a quick fix for global warming.”

    Amine scrubbing, capturing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fueled power plants, not ruling out a role for cosmic radiation nor a quick fix for Global Warming:

    This is typical jargon for a AGW hit piece and has nothing to do with science. Capiche…

  81. R. de Haan says:

    No quick fix for Global Warming…. Bwahahahahahahh

    And you take this report serious? I don’t.

  82. Blade says:

    Steven Mosher [October 7, 2013 at 11:07 am] says:

    “The CLOUD experiment’s unique ultra-clean chamber allowed the collaboration to demonstrate that the extremely low concentrations of amines typically found in the atmosphere – a few parts per trillion by volume – are sufficient to combine with sulphuric acid to form highly stable aerosol particles at high rates.”

    so let me get this straight. C02 cannot have an effect because it is a tiny portion of the atmosphere. But amines from rottiing fish no less, that occur at even lower rates than C02, are the real driver.

    The “real driver” of what? Even Hawaiian Punch could not have developed a better mix of Apples and Oranges than that!

    Steve, if you would re-read that quote you first quoted then for that crack you made to make any sense at all then you must acyually believe one of the two following strawmen …

    (1) Skeptics are debating cosmic rays versus CO2 as “the real driver” of initiating cloud formation.

    (2) Skeptics are debating cosmic rays versus CO2 as “the real driver” of heating the atmosphere.

    Two completely different and practically opposite concepts, and your concatenation of them reeks of frustration and desperation. And just to rub it in further let me say that CO2 indeed heats the atmosphere ( or actually retains some heat TEMPORARILY through ping-ponging radiation ) but in the same sense and on the same scale that tossing a pebble in the ocean raises sea-level. This is why everyone is laughing at the alarmism while simultaneously yelling about billions of dollars wasted.

    Richard Lawson [October 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm] says:

    Fantastic! Seems like Mosher whilst trying his very best to commit yet another mob style ‘drive by’ managed to shoot his own foot whilst leaning out of the window. More Bugsy Malone than Al Capone.

    Great visual!

  83. Mike Mellor says:

    James Lovelock did the cloud seeding bit over 20 years ago showing that MSA is the nucleating agent. Historical MSA abundancies as measured in ice cores also matched with global climate.

  84. cedarhillr says:

    Does any know Svenmark well enough to invite him to comment on this site concerning the CERN results?

  85. Ulric Lyons says:

    “Amines are atmospheric vapours closely related to ammonia, and are emitted both from human activities such as animal husbandry, and from natural sources.”

    Now see what you did shooting all those Buffalo…

  86. Michael Cook says:

    Another major way humans have put lots of nitrates up in the air is through warfare. The “fog of war” is a real thing I used to observe in Vietnam after B-52 carpet bombing. German cities in WWII would put up tremendous volumes of flack up to 25,000 ft. In those days clouds really hindered bombing accuracy so the clever Huns being the world’s greatest chemists at the time may have been getting a double benefit.
    Another little issue is the reality that over deep time galactic cosmic rays do not arrive at a steady rate. Every now and then we get a burst that can be many orders of magnitude more intense than the steady background rate. These bursts could be very detrimental to life that doesn’t reside at the bottom of an ocean or deep underground, but the bursts could also be quite unlike any atmospheric input we would think to stimulate. Climate being perhaps a delicate chaotic system such dramatic and very sudden anomalies may trigger sudden-onset ice ages.

  87. DonS says:

    Time to mount an all out observational effort to test the “rotting fish” theory. The US west coast fishermen are all in port due to the government shutdown. Any measurable decrease in aerosols? Any chance of seafood for Thanksgiving or Christmas? These are important questions.

  88. Pat Frank says:

    milodonharlani, thanks for the correction. Manufacture of monoethanolamine goes through ammonia. As it’s a more elaborate molecule, it would produce more CO2 than ammonia alone. So, the equation would be even worse.

    Regardless of the threat of CO2, it appears the cost of amine scrubbing would be hugely prohibitive.

    mike g, you may be thinking of fracking liquids.

  89. milodonharlani says:

    Pat Frank says:
    October 8, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I agree that only if the wildest (or some of the wilder, since it’s hard to top Hansen’s boiling oceans) catastrophe scenarios had any degree of probability would the cost be justified. But WX will not get more extreme, the ice caps won’t melt, billions won’t starve & humanity won’t be reduced to a few breeding pairs on Antarctica subsisting on lichen or go extinct, as forecast by Bob Geldof.

  90. sophocles says:

    Greg says:
    October 7, 2013
    If should be noted that this text seems to be CERN media relations dept.’s press release not directly from the research team.
    This echoes the CERN director censuring the last report saying that what it reported had to be “politically correct”.
    With that kind of bias at the top it seems unlikely they will be allowed to find any effect that substantiates Svensmark.
    ============================================================================
    Quite right. It will take a seismic shift in the European Union’s present pro-CAGW
    stance before the CLOUD experiment will be able to `interpret’ their findings less
    restrictively.

    One does not upset one’s paymasters, or, if one has to, one upsets them VERY
    carefully.

    That’s two big papers from CLOUD. Both contain surprises. Bring on the next one!

  91. sophocles says:

    For those who are interested, Svensmark has a recent paper on his current SKY2
    experiment out. (see hockeyschtick, wed 4th Oct) and there is a …. summary
    here at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130904093523.htm
    Enjoy.

  92. sophocles says:

    oops … brain f**T: hockeyschtick wed 4th SEPT, Sorry!

  93. Jim Kress says:

    Physicist and the former ISRO chairman, U.R. Rao, has calculated that cosmic rays — which, unlike carbon emissions, cannot be controlled by human activity — have a much larger impact on climate change than The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims.

    In fact, the contribution of decreasing cosmic ray activity to climate change is almost 40 per cent, argues Dr. Rao in a paper which has been accepted for publication in Current Science, the preeminent Indian science journal. The IPCC model, on the other hand, says that the contribution of carbon emissions is over 90 per cent.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/21/cosmic-rays-contribute-40-to-global-warming-study/

  94. Max Hugoson says:

    For those wondering what Heinrick is up to:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0375960113006294

    Alas, $35 to find out! But, there probably are other ways! (HINT HINT Anthony, at least a summary? Or review?)

    Max

  95. Tilo Reber says:

    Leif, I’m having trouble understanding the physics of moving through spiral arms. I would expect our sun to be just another star in a spiral arm, moving in the same way as the rest of the stars in the arm. Why would our sun be unique in moving through the arm while the rest of the stars held their relative positions in the arm. And if no stars are holding their relative positions in the arm, I wouldn’t expect there to be arms. What am I missing?

  96. Tilo Reber says:

    Thanks milo. I’m still not sure why the stars move faster than the density waves, but still, it helps.

  97. milodonharlani says:

    Tilo Reber says:
    October 9, 2013 at 10:53 am

    IMO mature stars start to move out, while young ones or giant, fast-burning ones don’t is the most important issue. Maybe Dr. S will be along to enlighten us.

  98. CRS, DrPH says:

    Interesting update on the CERN CLOUD work: http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/10/cern-experiment-finds-key-ingredient-for-cloud-droplets/

    In a new paper in Nature, the CLOUD team explores those puzzles. They intentionally added the simple nitrogen-containing organic compounds (called amines) to the chamber to see what would happen when more than just a few uninvited molecules were present.

    It was thought that amines might have a role in the formation of these particles, but their importance wasn’t well understood. That sulfuric acid in the particles comes from the reaction of sulfur dioxide, hydroxide, and water in the atmosphere. In order for these clumps of sulfuric acid to grow, a helper needs to keep the molecules in the clump from popping back into the gas phase. Ammonia is known to be an important one and had previously been included in the CLOUD experiment. But amines can perform this job as well.

    Adding just a few parts per trillion of an amine (roughly the concentration you can find in the atmosphere) raised the rate of particle formation in the CLOUD chamber to 1,000 times that seen in earlier experiments. That brought the rate up to what we observe in the atmosphere. This implies that amines are much more important than previously recognized.

Comments are closed.