Cosmic Rays and Climate – to be or not to be?

English: Atmospheric Collision

English: Atmospheric Collision (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the “science is still settling” department, the question still seems up in the air to me.

On one hand we have Dr. Jasper Kirkby, Head of the CLOUD Experiment, CERN Geneva giving a thorough review showing strong correlations between cosmic rays, solar cycles and earth’s climate. He projects a possible mini ice age by 2015 similar to the Dalton or Maunder minimum.

On the other hand, we have RealClimate fanboy Rasmus Benestad with a new paper that says “no, absolutely not, except maybe Northern Europe, but I don’t know why, more study is needed”.

First Jasper Kirkby:

Then we have Rasmus:

An analysis of more than 50 years’ worth of climate data has found scant evidence for a controversial theory that attempts to link cosmic rays and global warming. The theory suggests that solar variations can affect the number of cosmic rays reaching the Earth, which in turn influences climate by impacting on cloud formation. The latest study was done by Rasmus Benestad of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and he concludes that changes to the Sun cannot explain global warming.

Benestad compared variations in the 1951–2006 annual mean galactic cosmic-ray-flux data with annual variations in temperature, mean sea-level barometric pressure and precipitation. The cosmic-ray data were obtained using a high-altitude neutron monitor located in Climax, Colorado.

He looked for meteorological responses to cosmic rays over timescales of more than a year, and for “fingerprint” patterns in both time and space. He also checked for responses to greenhouse-gas concentrations and the El Niño Southern Oscillation.

Little evidence

“The significance of the findings was that the results were negative – I found little evidence of the cosmic rays having a discernible affect on a range of common meteorological elements: temperature, the barometric pressure or precipitation,” says Benestad. “Not for the global mean at least. One possible exception may have been for parts of Europe, however.”

The galactic cosmic-ray flux was associated with lower temperatures in parts of Eastern Europe. Benestad is intrigued whether these results were a coincidence or do indeed show a connection between cosmic rays and both temperature and sea-level pressure. He plans to investigate further. “Why would a solar effect be seen only in a limited region?” he wonders. “This region is affected by the North Atlantic Oscillation, and this phenomenon is a bit special – a variation in the sea-level pressure over timescales of up to several years. The persistence in these variations may match the variations in the Sun by accident, but it could also be sensitive to variations in the Sun.” If there is a real connection between changes to the Sun and the North Atlantic Oscillation, Benestad believes that this knowledge could benefit decadal predictions.

On a larger scale, the analysis indicated that the weak global mean-temperature response associated with cosmic-ray flux could easily be down to chance. What is more, there has been no long-term trend in cosmic-ray flux. “Hence, there is little empirical evidence that links galactic cosmic-ray flux to recent global warming,” wrote Benestad in Environmental Research Letters.

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2013/nov/05/comprehensive-study-shows-cosmic-rays-are-not-causing-global-warming

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

It is unfortunate that this was published by Rasmus Benestad, I’d give more credence to sombody not joined at the hip with James Hansen, Mick Mann, and Gavin Schmidt.

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78 thoughts on “Cosmic Rays and Climate – to be or not to be?

  1. The thermal lag of the climate is somewhere on the order of 5 to 10 years, with some changes taking decades to make themselves fully felt.

  2. Right there is Benestad’s problem – the high altitude neutron monitor. It is my understanding that the high energy cosmic rays that penetrate to low altitudes are the ones of interest as it is the low altitude clouds that cause cooling. IIRC Mike Lockwood made the same “mistake”. You can get any result you want if you carefully choose the experiment, especially if you choose the wrong one.

  3. In discussing the cosmic ray – temperature connection in a recent guest post 10/29 on WUWT
    and originally at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
    I said
    “Furthermore Fig 8 shows that the cosmic ray intensity time series derived from the 10Be data is the most useful proxy relating solar activity to temperature and climate. – see Fig 3 CD from Steinhilber

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/03/30/1118965109.full.pdf

    NOTE !! the connection between solar “activity” and climate is poorly understood and highly controversial. Solar ” activity” encompasses changes in solar magnetic field strength, IMF, CRF, TSI ,EUV,solar wind density and velocity, CMEs, proton events etc. The idea of using the neutron count as a useful proxy for changing solar activity and temperature forecasting is agnostic as to the physical mechanisms involved.”
    I think the connection is very clear in the Steinhilber paper.
    A quick look at Benestad suggests that he took no account of the possible lag 12 year lag between the Cosmic ray count and the temperatures, Thus the cosmic ray minimum at about 1991 (Solar Max}{[ equates quite nicely with the recent temperature trend peak at about 2003.
    Kirkby’s analysis would fit in well with my approach and cooling forecast.
    4/02/13 ( Global)
    1 Significant temperature drop at about 2016-17
    2 Possible unusual cold snap 2021-22
    3 Built in cooling trend until at least 2024
    4 Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2035 – 0.15
    5 Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2100 – 0.5
    6 General Conclusion – by 2100 all the 20th century temperature rise will have been reversed,
    7 By 2650 earth could possibly be back to the depths of the little ice age.
    8 The effect of increasing CO2 emissions will be minor but beneficial – they may slightly ameliorate the forecast cooling and help maintain crop yields .
    9 Warning !! There are some signs in the Livingston and Penn Solar data that a sudden drop to the Maunder Minimum Little Ice Age temperatures could be imminent – with a much more rapid and economically disruptive cooling than that forecast above which may turn out to be a best case scenario.

  4. An effect in Europe only would fit the evidence as well as a global effect.
    Herschel linked sunspots to trends in the wheat price. But the market wasn’t so globalised in those days.
    More work is clearly needed but it shouldn’t be discarded on the author’s playmates.

  5. Headline:

    Lack of Certainty in CO2 “unsettling” say Enironmentalists

    Recent reports that appear to show doubt in the certainty expressed in the recently published 5th report of the IPCC have Dr. James Hansen and others worried. “Previously,” he said in an interview with Bill McKibben, “we were very certain that the world was going to burn up before 2100. Now that certainty looks less definite than we thought. This “unsettled” science is unsettling. Now we know we know almost nothing about almost everything. How can we fix something if we don’t even know if it is broken? Yes,” he said, “disturbing, very disturbing.”

  6. Are we observing or even coming to realize that there is an analog to “dark matter” , called “dark energy” that hides in the atmosphere and the oceans. clearly it suffers from a Heisenbergian style observation problem such that thermometers cannot see it but just as in climate science its there but we need more money to find it.

  7. The ‘maybe it is correlated by coincidence’ detail needs to be explored more often. In many paleoclimate papers, they see what months or even smaller periods have temperatures that correlate well with tree rings, and declare that this is a reconstruction of those months.

  8. M Courtney The effect of a cooling trend is in general more marked in the NH.
    See http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2013/01/global-cooling-timing-and-amountnh.html
    Here is a quote.
    The key working hypothesis is that the solar cycle from 1000- 2000 may repeat and we may see a pattern of temperatures from 2000 – 3000 which is similar to that from 1000 – 2000. Fig.5 from the Christiansen paper is shown above. The solid lines are the 50 year moving averages and the dashed red lines are the upper and lower quantiles.
    Inspection of Figure 5 – both the moving average and the annual data suggests the following.

    1) The millennial peak is sharp – perhaps 18 years +/-. We have now had 16 years since 1997 with no net warming – and so might expect a sharp drop in a year or two – 2014/16 -with a net cooling by 2035 of about 0.35.Within that time frame however there could well be some exceptional years with NH temperatures +/- 0.25 degrees colder than that.
    2) The cooling gradient might be fairly steep down to the Oort minimum equivalent which would occur about 2100. (about 1100 on Fig 5) with a total cooling in 2100 from the present estimated at about 1.2 +/-
    3) From 2100 on through the Wolf and Sporer minima equivalents with intervening highs to the Maunder Minimum equivalent which could occur from about 2600 – 2700 a further net cooling of about 0.7 degrees could occur for a total drop of 1.9 +/- degrees
    4)The time frame for the significant cooling in 2014 – 16 is strengthened by recent developments already seen in solar activity. With a time lag of about 12 years between the solar driver proxy and climate -see:
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2005ESASP.560…19U we should see the effects of the sharp drop in the Ap Index which took place in 2004/5 in 2016-17. This estimate is quite independent from the estimate made from Fig5.”
    Compare these forecasts with the global forecasts at 1:56 pm above.

  9. The error made by Benestad is all included in this sentence of his paper

    “A multiple general linear regression was used to detect links between GCR and meteorological parameters, and it was assumed that a potential response to GCR could be approximated as linear”.

    He fits the period 1951–2000.

    The fact is that in a 50 year period non-linear effects associated to solar-climate interactions are dominant.

    This thing is clearly explained in at least two of my papers

    1) Scafetta N., 2009. Empirical analysis of the solar contribution to global mean air surface temperature change. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71, 1916-1923.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682609002089

    2) Scafetta N., 2013. Discussion on common errors in analyzing sea level accelerations, solar trends and global warming. Pattern Recognition in Physics, 1, 37–57. (open access)

    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/1/37/2013/prp-1-37-2013.html

    In Ref. 1, it is shown what happens when non linear effects are taken into account.

    In Ref. 2 (which is open access), I discuss in detail the severe errors emerging from linear regression analysis as used by Benestad who simply tries to interpret the temperature as a linear combination of “forcings”.

    To correct the error and avoid multi-collinearity among the regression constructors one needs to use a far longer time sequence (e.g 1000 years) for properly estimate the secular trending and simultaneously focus on the 10-12 year scale of the 11-year solar cycle to test the right amplification mechanisms.

    See Ref. 1 and 2 for details

  10. Doug Proctor says:
    November 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm
    “Headline:
    Lack of Certainty in CO2 “unsettling” say Enironmentalists
    Recent reports that appear to show doubt in the certainty expressed in the recently published 5th report of the IPCC have Dr. James Hansen and others worried. “Previously,” he said in an interview with Bill McKibben, “we were very certain that the world was going to burn up before 2100. Now that certainty looks less definite than we thought.”

    Very interesting. McKibben and Hansen are as bought and paid for as they come. Meaning, CFR, UN, and CoR are slowly shifting gears.
    They wouldn’t let their puppets talk like that otherwise.

  11. I have had a long term concern about trying to generalize from the recent satellite era to phenomena which may take decades to manifest.

    If we have been in any sort of anomalous period with the Sun during the last few decades (which there is some evidence is the case) then drawing conclusions from it might be the correct approach.

  12. Little addition

    Benestad also makes the mistake of using a regression model where the ENSO signal is considered an independent physical constructor from solar forcing. It is evident that part of the solar signal could also be hidden in the ENSO signal as properly taken into account in

    1) Scafetta N., 2009. Empirical analysis of the solar contribution to global mean air surface temperature change. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71, 1916-1923.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682609002089

    In fact, note that in his figure 2 the 11-year solar cycle signature is estimated to be just 0.02 C (from max to min) . This is smaller by 40% than what the climate models predict using only the solar irradiance record. While empirical analysis of the 11-year solar signature give values 3-4 time greater than the climate models. See section 3 in

    2) Scafetta N., 2013. Discussion on common errors in analyzing sea level accelerations, solar trends and global warming. Pattern Recognition in Physics, 1, 37–57. (open access)

    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/1/37/2013/prp-1-37-2013.html

  13. “From the “science is still settling” department,’

    Settling to form a rather iciky layer of sludge on the bottom?

    “by impacting on cloud formation. ”

    With a barely audible thud.

  14. On a larger scale, the analysis indicated that the weak global mean-temperature response associated with cosmic-ray flux could easily be down to chance.

    Very interesting. What if you read the following?:

    On a larger scale, the analysis indicated the non-existence of a global mean-temperature response associated with an increase in Co2 over the last 16 years.

    Why can’t he also say this? Is this last statement not true also? What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and all that.

  15. Cosmic Rays intensity sourced from our Galaxy and outside our Galaxy is completely unpredictable. When does our sun cross the Galactic plane ?

  16. “… and it was assumed that a potential response to GCR could be approximated as linear”” — Benestad

    Ok, so Benestad refuted the idea of a linear relation. But then almost none of physics has a linear relation, so I’m not terribly sure what he thought he was doing. This paper is useless to me. And I say this from a point of personal intuition that cosmic-ray effects range between bupkiss and nothing in practice.

  17. Political Junkie says:
    November 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Doug Proctor, 2:00 p.m.

    Do you have a citation for the Hansen quote?

    I’m pretty certain it’s a facetious spoof.

  18. Dr Norman Page says:
    November 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    “A quick look at Benestad suggests that he took no account of the possible lag 12 year lag between the Cosmic ray count and the temperatures.”

    Typical. They already know the answer they want, so they assume the minimal level of complexity needed to get that answer. A similar unfounded assumption of instantaneous response was used by Dessler and others to diagnose positive feedback between temperature forcing and water vapor. In fact, there is a clearly discernible lag of several years in the data which flips the sign from positive to negative.

    The slipshod level of analysis being used to sell AGW is a travesty.

  19. “Hence, there is little empirical evidence that links galactic cosmic-ray flux to recent global warming,” wrote Benestad…

    Recent global warming? Is that the global warming of the last 15 years or so?
    Oh wait…

  20. “An analysis of more than 50 years’ worth of climate data has found scant evidence for a controversial theory that attempts to link cosmic rays and global warming.”

    50 years worth of climate data? You looked at 50 whole years worth of climate data? Well that settles it. Why didn’t you say so in the first place? There can’t be any link between cosmic rays and global warming, if it only turns up ‘scant evidence’ in 50 whole years off climate data.

    Same with that “Milankovich theory” BS. Haven’t seen any evidence of that in 50 years of climate data, either. Better toss that right out.

    In the history of the world, the only determinant of climate is CO2, and that will definitely be evident in only 10 … uh, 15 …. uh, 17, … uh … well certainly by 50 years worth of climate data, we’ll have it.

    /sarc

  21. Someone help me out here, please. Why would Benestad be looking at barometric pressure related to cosmic rays?

    Has anyone posited that cosmic rays should effect barometric pressure?

  22. Right now, the land, soil, ice and atmosphere is accumulating 0.048 10^22 joules of energy per year (which originated as solar radiation from the Sun).

    If this continued for 100 years, the Land surface would warm about 0.6C.

    All one needs is more solar energy than “normal” for a sustained period to increase the temperature.

    I calculated that if solar radiation was 2.0 W/m2 less than it currently is, the energy accumulation rates would fall to zero and this would then be a “normal” solar radiation level for the Earth – one where energy in equals energy out on a sustained long-long-term basis.

    If solar radiation fell by 4.0 W/m2 from where it is now (the levels that at one time were thought to be the levels of the Maunder Minimum), the Earth surface would cool about -0.6C in 100 years, -1.4C in 250 years and the ocean would cool -0.22C in 100 years, -0.6C in 250 years.

    So, there you go. The solar radiation needs to be over a sustained period of time in which the Earth will slowly accumulate/drawdown energy levels and we get something like the temperature history of the Maunder Minimum and the slow rise out of the Little Ice Age assuming the Sun was responsible for all of it rather than GHGs. (I’m assuming Benestad did none of these calculations).

  23. Periodically the global warmers publish a poorly done study that claims to “disprove” the growing evidence of dozens of studies of a solar/cosmic ray temperature link whether the time scale is decades or hundreds of millions of years.

  24. Mike Borgelt says:
    November 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    Right there is Benestad’s problem – the high altitude neutron monitor.

    ————————-

    “The cosmic-ray data were obtained using a high-altitude neutron monitor located in Climax, Colorado.”

    ———————-

    FYI, for those not in the know the elevation at Climax is at roughly 11,600 ft ASL

    Google lat-long : 39.370502,-106.171746

  25. To disprove a hypothesis it is necessary to first understand the hypothesis, the mechanisms in the case of this problem by which solar magnetic cycle changes modulate planetary climate.

    The modulation of planetary clouds by cosmic ray flux is inhibited if there are solar wind bursts.
    Solar wind bursts create a space charge differential in the earth’s ionosphere which removes cloud forming ions by a process that is called electroscavening. One of the changes to the sun that caused warming was the occurrence of long lasting large coronal holes in an equatorial position late in the solar cycle that caused an increase in solar winds bursts. The solar wind burst remove ions from both high latitude regions of the earth and equatorial regions. In equatorial regions the reduction ions caused by electroscavenging changes the droplet size in the clouds which reduces or increases the H20 greenhouse effect for the cloud. In the Northern Hemisphere there is an increase in cloud cover.

    “Early in the 20th century it was noticed that many geomagnetic storms occur without any visible solar disturbance. Such storms tend to recur every 27 days – the period of solar rotation, therefore they originate from long-living regions on the Sun which come back into geo-effective position rotation after rotation.”

    http://sait.oat.ts.astro.it/MSAIt760405/PDF/2005MmSAI..76..969G.pdf

    Once again about global warming and solar activity K. Georgieva, C. Bianchi, and B. Kirov
    We show that the index commonly used for quantifying long-term changes in solar activity, the sunspot number, accounts for only one part of solar activity and using this index leads to the underestimation of the role of solar activity in the global warming in the recent decades. A more suitable index is the geomagnetic activity which reflects all solar activity, and it is highly correlated to global temperature variations in the whole period for which we have data.

    In Figure 6 the long-term variations in global temperature are compared to the long-term variations in geomagnetic activity as expressed by the ak-index (Nevanlinna and Kataja 2003). The correlation between the two quantities is 0.85 with p<0.01 for the whole period studied.It could therefore be concluded that both the decreasing correlation between sunspot number and geomagnetic activity, and the deviation of the global temperature long-term trend from solar activity as expressed by sunspot index are due to the increased number of high-speed streams of solar wind on the declining phase and in the minimum of sunspot cycle in the last decades.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009JA014342.shtml

    If the Sun is so quiet, why is the Earth ringing? A comparison of two solar minimum intervals.
    Observations from the recent Whole Heliosphere Interval (WHI) solar minimum campaign are compared to last cycle's Whole Sun Month (WSM) to demonstrate that sunspot numbers, while providing a good measure of solar activity, do not provide sufficient information to gauge solar and heliospheric magnetic complexity and its effect at the Earth. The present solar minimum is exceptionally quiet, with sunspot numbers at their lowest in 75 years and solar wind magnetic field strength lower than ever observed. Despite, or perhaps because of, a global weakness in the heliospheric magnetic field, large near-equatorial coronal holes lingered even as the sunspots disappeared. Consequently, for the months surrounding the WHI campaign, strong, long, and recurring high-speed streams in the solar wind intercepted the Earth in contrast to the weaker and more sporadic streams that occurred around the time of last cycle's WSM campaign.

    See section 5a) Modulation of the global electric circuit by solar wind bursts in this review paper which is called electroscavenging where by increases in the global electric circuit remove cloud forming ions. The same review paper summarizes the data that does show correlation between low level clouds and GCR.

    http://www.utdallas.edu/physics/pdf/Atmos_060302.pdf

  26. Political Junkie says:
    November 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm
    Doug Proctor, 2:00 p.m.

    Do you have a citation for the Hansen quote?
    =====================================

    Whoosh!!

  27. “Why would a solar effect be seen only in a limited region?” he wonders.

    Isn’t it obvious? Where there are plenty of CCNs then adding or subtracting a few due to cosmic ray changes will make little difference. Where CCNs are more of a limiting factor to cloud creation then cosmic rays are more likely to have more of an influence.

    So one could more closely at the factors in cloud creation in those regions for a better understanding if its a consistent effect. Give that man a grant. No, I’m serious.

  28. TomR,Worc,MA says:
    November 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Political Junkie says:
    November 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm
    Doug Proctor, 2:00 p.m.

    Do you have a citation for the Hansen quote?
    =====================================

    Whoosh!!

    Totally. Should have been obvious that neither Hansen nor McKibben would ever say anything remotely as sensible as that.

  29. Benestad compared variations in the 1951–2006 annual mean galactic cosmic-ray-flux data with annual variations in temperature, mean sea-level barometric pressure and precipitation

    ———–

    The correlation is between cosmic rays and clouds. Nothing else.

  30. P.S. mid level clouds only.

    I don’t see the point to checking a bunch of claims that were never made.

  31. I’ll have to add this to my long list of supposed scientists who claim that it is the rate of change of a forcing that drives climate, not the level of the forcing:

    there has been no long-term trend in cosmic-ray flux. “Hence, there is little empirical evidence that links galactic cosmic-ray flux to recent global warming,” wrote Benestad…

    Of course Benestad is already on that list. He is first in fact. But I want to be comprehensive, and the abstract of his paper includes a similar beauty:

    there has been no trend in the GCR. Hence, there is little empirical evidence that links GCR to the recent global warming.

    Ignore that late 20th century solar activity was some of the highest on record, Benestad is saying. It was steadily high so that couldn’t have caused warming. I believe this is a self-conscious deception. Nobody could be that stupid.

  32. Bill Illis (November 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm) wrote:
    “(I’m assuming Benestad did none of these calculations)”

    His whole exploration is based on severe misconceptions that are strictly ruled out. Let me explain succinctly where he is with his whole take on the solar-terrestrial-climate file: f**king lost.

  33. P.P.S.

    Just to be clear, the only time I’ve seen claims that cosmic rays match temperatures is at very long time scales. At scales of months, years, and decades, the only claim I’ve seen is cosmic ratch match the global average of mid level cloud cover.

  34. Misinterpreting what the cosmic ray record tells us about terrestrial mass distribution & circulation isn’t helpful.

  35. I see a fault with using global average sea-level barometric pressure as a statistic of weather changes from changes of amount of cosmic rays. That statistic is supposed to only vary with the mass of air and airborne objects.

  36. A correlation is seen in Europe. How interesting that Europe is the part of the world where we have the most accurate records. The only way a correlation can be avoided elsewhere would be if the climate variations measured in Europe were atypical. We’ve seen such attempts to downplay climatic events measured in Europe by asserting that they were purely local before, with the claims that the LIA and MWP were Europe only phenomena. Isn’t this just more of the same.

    There is actually quite a lot of evidence that the climatic events measured in Europe were indeed global in scope. I tend to distrust those who want to argue that this was not the case, especially where, as here, the argument seems to be being made in service of “the cause”. Those who want to claim that the historical measurements made in precisely the part of the world where we have the most accurate measurements are atypical and should be disregarded need to meet a very high burden of proof in my opinion.

    Clearly the motivated followers of the cause find the European temperature record most inconvenient. Outside Europe you get to play “pick the proxy” to make the temperatures whatever you want. But those pesky Europeans used thermometers and wrote things down. How extremely annoying!

  37. Eyeballed the problem. Solar influence. Limited to Eastern Europe. Magnetic influence because of the Mediterranean Sea maybe?

  38. Some thoughts:
    1. A small cause (solar) can be buried by a larger cause (oceans).

    2. A small effect (mathematical) can be buried in a larger effect (noisy observations).

    3. The small effect can be related to, or not, the larger effect.

    In the present discussion, we have a small cause, IE extrinsic solar, versus a larger cause, IE intrinsic oceans. We also have in the present discussion a small cause-known solar effect, IE mathematical changes to temperature that are not actually measurable because the data is so noisy, and we have a large cause-unknown effect, IE measurable changes to temperature that can be seen.

    So the issue here is whether or not a small cause can explain a large effect (which means it has to have the necessary energy and nexus to cause a large effect). To even be having this discussion of a small cause leading to a large effect means that you could be ignoring the larger cause at your peril. Always go with a match. In my opinion, cosmic rays just don’t have the energy and nexus necessary to cause weather/climate sustained variation trends and regime shifts.

  39. Don’t cosmic rays form Carbon 14? Wouldn’t that make a CO2 molecule that has Carbon 14 in it “Super CO2″?
    You’d think the warmist would jump on cosmic rays.

  40. “a possible mini ice age by 2015 similar to the Dalton or Maunder minimum”

    A descent towards a LIA could start around 2015, but there wouldn’t be a LIA yet then, as the transition time would be a number of years as in prior history.

    Descent into a LIA existing in future decades will occur, though, if a lengthy Grand Minimum of solar activity develops. As Dergachev et al 2004 noted, where the GCR effect is primarily solar-modulated (plus some geomagnetic modulation) on relevant timescales due to varying shielding of the inner solar system:

    Svensmark [1998] proved that a temperature change produced by the GCR effect on the clouds from 1975 to 1989 was 3-5 times greater than the temperature change caused by changes in the total solar irradiation.

    Being of the Russian Academy of Science, they were able to get published without modern Western environmentalist political correctness and bluntly conclude:

    [Other data] “proves that cosmic rays were the main factor affecting the weather and climate during tens of thousand years.

    When cosmic ray flux is compared to the actual history of temperature (relatively more a double-peak in the 20th century than a hockey stick if not using common versions rewritten by CRU of Climategate or activist Hansen’s GISS) as well as to the derivative of sea level rise, humidity, cloud cover, and glacial extent, the relationship is blatant as illustrated in http://img176.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=81829_expanded_overview_122_424lo.jpg

    Recognizing as the top threat, the CAGW movement has paid the effect of the sun/cosmic-rays their highest compliment, for individuals as extremely dishonest as they are, by putting max effort towards fudging relevant data and propaganda spam against it, but, as illustrated, there are other sources.

    ————

    Benestad particularly reveals his bias with the following:

    “Some scholars have implied a false dichotomy between galactic cosmic rays and greenhouse gases, arguing that global warming caused by galactic cosmic-ray flux would be at the expense of an effect from rising concentrations of greenhouse gases,” Benestad explains. “Such propositions have resulted in public controversy.”

    That is BS. In contrast, as Shaviv 2005 notes:

    Increased solar luminosity and reduced CRF [cosmic ray flux] over the previous century should have contributed a warming of 0.47 +/- 0.19K which contrasts to how solar irradiance change alone would have been a factor of just 0.16 +/- 0.04K

    And Dr. Shaviv further notes on his site:

    This [natural] contribution comes out to be 0.5 +/- 0.2K out of the observed 0.6 +/- 0.2K global warming

    Such implies no room left for blaming any large amount of net warming on humans.

    Although I emphasize the image link earlier in this comment because it shows so much concisely, one might as well add paper links too:

    Dergachev et al 2004 is online at http://rjes.wdcb.ru/v06/tje04163/tje04163.htm

    Shaviv 2005 is at http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/~shaviv/articles/sensitivity.pdf

  41. EDIT: In the above post, by “that is BS,” the “that” referred to is the “false dichotomy” labeling. Around 0.5 K warming from solar activity increase over the past century, including the effect on cosmic rays, truly does leave only around 0.1 K or less (very little) for net warming from other sources (including CO2 emissions).

  42. “Only Northern Europe” is a crazy understatement because it’s well-known that the Arctic Circle is the key region that starts and ends the ice ages – it was the case in the Milankovitch cycles. So what the German alarmist says may very well be just a detailed explanation why the mechanism does work.

  43. I think cosmic rays are just a useful proxy for other solar changes that affect global cloudiness and albedo.

    We have observed that when cloudiness decreases the jets become more zonal and when cloudiness increases the jets are more meridional.

    Thus we don’t just need cosmic rays to create more clouds in situ, we need them to shift the entire global air circulation.

    To do that needs effects in the stratosphere where there are no clouds.

    We have observed that the stratosphere cooled when the sun was active and stopped cooling when the sun became less active and may now be warming.

    I do not see how cosmic rays could achieve that.

  44. M Courtney says:
    November 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    An effect in Europe only would fit the evidence as well as a global effect.
    Herschel linked sunspots to trends in the wheat price. But the market wasn’t so globalised in those days.
    More work is clearly needed but it shouldn’t be discarded on the author’s playmates.

    Given the way they play, yes it should. Remember what happened to the Black Sox.

  45. I would like to draw attention to Roy Spencer’s estimate of the relative radiative effects of the GCR flux compared with TSI changes , It turns out that changes caused by changes in CRF are 2.8 times that of TSI changes. See the last Fig in

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/05/indirect-solar-forcing-of-climate-by-galactic-cosmic-rays-an-observational-estimate/

    In my cooling forecast at 6/1:56 pm above I use these relations in conjunction with a 12 year delay in the first three cooling forecasts ie
    1 Significant temperature drop at about 2016-17
    2 Possible unusual cold snap 2021-22
    3 Built in cooling trend until at least 2024
    For the complete post see

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2013/04/global-cooling-methods-and-testable.html

  46. Alec Rawls wrote:

    “Ignore that late 20th century solar activity was some of the highest on record, Benestad is saying. It was steadily high so that couldn’t have caused warming. I believe this is a self-conscious deception. Nobody could be that stupid.”

    Your main point about trends is fine, but Dr. Leif Svalgaard had posted his work here on a few occasions showing that the supposed elevated 20th Century TSI is a measurement artifact. Maybe its not right, but it is solid work. You need to accept it or refute it with an equal amount of countervailing evidence.

  47. Matt Skaggs says:November 7, 2013 at 7:20 am
    Matt, I am familiar with Leif’s position on TSI, but read Dr. Spencer’s post linked by Dr. Norman Page at 6:22 am. He gives a coarse estimate of GCR’s influence as 3.8X that of TSI variation. Interesting.

  48. Benstad’s study seems rather pointless. Any study that looks for correlation based on a single signal is pointless over a 55 year period. It can only be done by taking into account the other factors of natural variability over such a period. It also seems strange that he would not start his study at 1900 since there was a strong climb in solar cycle strength in the first half of the century and it would make it easier to isolate the signal.

  49. Steve What Spencer says precisely is
    “Finally, I fitted the trend lines to get an estimate of the relative magnitudes of these two sources of forcing: the cosmic ray (indirect) forcing is about 2.8 times that of the solar irradiance (direct) forcing. This means the total (direct + indirect) solar forcing on climate associated with the solar cycle could be 3.8 times that most mainstream climate scientists believe.”

  50. Dr Norman Page says:
    November 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Sun Spot GCR incidence with the atmosphere is not unpredictable it varies approximately inversely with the sunspot cycle and the solar magnetic field strength.

    Respectfully,
    How can Super Nova and other Galactic sources of GCR’s that may be 1 or 100 years from earths door step be anything but an unknown ?

  51. For climate purposes the GCR flux from the galaxy is constant – The flux at earth is dependent on the changing solar magnetic field strength and strength of the solar wind.

  52. The free neutron counters count relatively low energy CRs which do not
    interact particularly in the way required to seed cloud formation. Hence
    the idea that CR’s don’t affect climate.

    It’s the muons, the very high energy CRs, which are alleged to interfere with
    cloud formation. There must be muon databases around …

  53. “””””……
    Mike Borgelt says:

    November 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Right there is Benestad’s problem – the high altitude neutron monitor. It is my understanding that the high energy cosmic rays that penetrate to low altitudes are the ones of interest as it is the low altitude clouds that cause cooling. IIRC Mike Lockwood made the same “mistake”. You can get any result you want if you carefully choose the experiment, especially if you choose the wrong one…….”””””

    Well right there is another problem;…..the high altitude neutron monitor……

    I infer, from the “the”, that there is only one of these things (in the context of this study), and it is in Colorado. So this is another “yamal Christmas tree”. Does anybody ever pay attention to the Nyquist sampling theorem, when studying climate data ? We have a single point (location) piece of data; for the entire globe.

    Part of the GCR-Solar-climate thesis, is that it is magnetic field variations, near earth, perhaps due to solar changes, that REDISTRIBUTES CRs arriving at earth, because charged particles tend to spiral around field lines, and end up near the magnetic pole regions. To the extent that such field variations can steer charged particles to or from tropical places, with plenty of atmospheric water vapor, from or to polar places, with much less atmospheric water vapor, the formation of clouds in high sun areas will be modulated by such effects. How much? I don’t know; but that is part of the GCR notion (or solar charged particles arriving at earth.

    So a single site neutron monitor, is not going to reveal any global pattern of CR activity.

    It’s like drilling a hole in the La Brea tar pits, in LA, and then using that core to describe the entire geology of North America.

  54. Re the hypothesised connection between GCRs and climate, and Rasmus Benestad’s attempt to find it:
    Forbush Decreases provide an opportunity to do real-world experiments. Attempts to find a connection between Forbush Decreases and temperature failed (like Benestad’s effort here) for a while, but the connection with clouds was established and eventually with temperature via the diurnal range. (sorry no link but I can find it if needed).
    To my mind, if there is an established short term (Forbush) connection between GCRs and clouds &/or temperature then there is very likely to be a longer term connection between GCRs and climate.

    William Astley’s comment here gives more information : http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/06/cosmic-rays-and-climate-to-be-or-not-to-be/#comment-1467794

  55. It seems to me that if you use the historically observed European temp data and then the Mann’s Hockey Stick proxy data, it’s not at all surprising that a Cosmic Ray/Temperature correlation wouldn’t exist in both. The Hockey Stick is, after all, the source of the idea that the MWP was a localized event.

  56. Dr Norman Page says:
    November 7, 2013 at 10:25 am
    For climate purposes the GCR flux from the galaxy is constant – The flux at earth is dependent on the changing solar magnetic field strength and strength of the solar wind.

    ___

    Excuse me, but variation in Earth’s magnetic field strength also plays an important role in the propagation of GCR and ACR into the Earth system. Earths magnetic field over the last 4oo years has declined considerably and radially outward from the SAMA. Also over the period there is a westward drift of SAMA and a northward movement of the magnetic equator. Now throw in the movement of the magnetic poles of which the north recently around 2009 stopped accelerating latitudinally, slowed down and is moving longitudinally. I think Dr. S. has said we have no record of ACR.. All of which would affect the deposition of ..

  57. The GCR flux from the galaxy is constant, excuse me? For climate purposes. Ok that makes me tired of climate stuff again.

  58. Carla Yes you are quite right re earths magnetic field and the CRF in the atmosphere . My earlier comment was in the context of what was reaching the solar system from the galaxy. and the 12 year solar cycle. To see the relationship between the CRF and the earths dipole field over the last 9000 years check Fig 8 A and B at the last post at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

  59. Does the current global warming signal reflect a recurrent natural cycle and that is caused by solar magnetic cycles changes? William: Yes, solar magnetic cycle changes cause the planet to warm and to cool cyclically. There are multiple mechanisms, two of which, cause the planet to warm when cosmic ray flux is high thereby making is it appear that increases in cosmic ray flux do not cause cooling. The planet has started to cool due to the most rapid decline in solar magnetic cycle activity in 8000 years. There are cycles of warming and cooling that correlate with cosmogenic isotope changes (planet warms when the solar magnetic cycle is active and cools when the solar cycle goes into a Maunder minimum) with a periodicity of 1500 years and 500 years.

    Does the Current Global Warming Signal Reflect a Recurrent Natural Cycle?

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/davis-and-taylor-wuwt-submission.pdf

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2003/2003GL017115.shtml

    Timing of abrupt climate change: A precise clock by Stefan Rahmstorf
    Many paleoclimatic data reveal a approx. 1,500 year cyclicity of unknown origin. A crucial question is how stable and regular this cycle is. An analysis of the GISP2 ice core record from Greenland reveals that abrupt climate events appear to be paced by a 1,470-year cycle with a period that is probably stable to within a few percent; with 95% confidence the period is maintained to better than 12% over at least 23 cycles. This highly precise clock points to an origin outside the Earth system (William: Solar magnetic cycle changes cause warming and cooling); oscillatory modes within the Earth system can be expected to be far more irregular in period.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341045/

    9,400 years of cosmic radiation and solar activity from ice cores and tree rings by Friedhelm Steinhilber, Jose A. Abreu, Jürg Beer, Irene Brunner, Marcus Christl, Hubertus Fischer, Ulla Heikkilä, Peter W. Kubik, Mathias Mann, Ken G. McCracken, Heinrich Miller, Hiroko Miyahara, Hans Oerter, and Frank Wilhelms, February 14, 2012
    We combined a new 10Be record from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, comprising more than 1,800 data points with several other already existing radionuclide records (14C from tree rings and 10Be analyzed in polar ice cores of Greenland and Antarctica) covering the Holocene. Using principal component analysis, we separated the common radionuclide production signal due to solar and geomagnetic activity from the system effects signal due to the different transport and deposition processes. The common signal represents a low-noise record of cosmic radiation, particularly for high frequencies, compared to earlier reconstructions, which are only based on single radionuclide records. On the basis of this record, we then derived a reconstruction of total solar irradiance for the Holocene, which overall agrees well with two existing records but shows less high-frequency noise. A comparison of the derived solar activity with a record of Asian climate derived from δ18O in a Chinese stalagmite reveals a significant correlation. The correlation is remarkable because the Earth’s climate has not been driven by the Sun alone.

    Mechanism where Changes in Solar Activity Affects Planetary Cloud Cover
    1) Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR)
    Increases in the suns large scale magnetic field and increased solar wind reduces the magnitude of GCR that strike the earth’s atmosphere. Satellite data shows that there is 99.5% correlation of GCR level and low level cloud cover 1974 to 1993.
    2) Increase in the Global Electric Circuit
    Starting around 1993, GCR and low level cloud cover no longer correlate. (There is a linear reduction in cloud cover.) The linear reduction in cloud cover does correlate with an increase in high latitude solar coronal holes, particularly at the end of to the solar cycle, which cause high speed solar winds. The high speed solar winds cause a potential difference between earth and the ionosphere. The increase in potential difference removes cloud forming ions from the atmosphere through the process “electro scavenging”.

    http://solar.njit.edu/preprints/palle1266.pdf

    The Earthshine Project: update on photometric and spectroscopic measurements
    “Our simulations suggest a surface average forcing at the top of the atmosphere, coming only from changes in the albedo from 1994/1995 to 1999/2001, of 2.7 +/-1.4 W/m2 (Palle et al., 2003), while observations give 7.5 +/-2.4 W/m2. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1995) argues for a comparably sized 2.4 W/m2 increase in forcing, which is attributed to greenhouse gas forcing since 1850.” …. “As evidence for a cloud—cosmic ray connection has emerged, interest has risen in the various physical mechanisms whereby ionization by cosmic rays could influence cloud formation. In parallel with the analysis of observational data by Svensmark and Friis-Christensen (1997), Marsh and Svensmark (2000) and Palle´ and Butler (2000), others, including Tinsley (1996), Yu (2002) and Bazilevskaya et al. (2000), have developed the physical understanding of how ionization by cosmic rays may influence the formation of clouds. Two processes that have recently received attention by Tinsley and Yu (2003) are the IMN process and the electroscavenging process. (William: There is a third mechanism.)”

  60. @ Dr Norman Page
    it seems the results of my investigations and your investigations gave the same conclusions, especially the estimate of the global cooling,
    but I doubt the influence of cosmic rays.
    Quote
    As the temperature differential between the poles and equator grows larger due to the cooling from the top, very likely something will also change on earth. Predictably, there would be a small (?) shift of cloud formation and precipitation, more towards the equator, on average. At the equator insolation is 684 W/m2 whereas on average it is 342 W/m2. So, if there are more clouds in and around the equator, this will amplify the cooling effect due to less direct natural insolation of earth (clouds deflect a lot of radiation). Furthermore, in a cooling world there is more likely less moisture in the air, but even assuming equal amounts of water vapour available in the air, a lesser amount of clouds and precipitation will be available for spreading to higher latitudes. So, a natural consequence of global cooling is that at the higher latitudes it will become both cooler and drier.

    end quote

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2013/04/29/the-climate-is-changing/

    All very simple, is it not? Don’t need any difficult GCR theories>

  61. HenryP and William Astley My approach is not to work from the physical processes up, but to look for the actual quasi repetitive cycles in the temperature and driver data, Thus as to the timing see Figs 3 and 4 for the 1000 year cycle and 5 for the 60 year cycle whose peaks coincide early in this century .
    ( see the last post at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
    reposted on WUWT 10/29)
    As to the cosmic rays I say
    “Furthermore Fig 8 shows that the cosmic ray intensity time series derived from the 10Be data is the most useful proxy relating solar activity to temperature and climate. – see Fig 3 CD from Steinhilber

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/03/30/1118965109.full.pdf

    NOTE !! the connection between solar “activity” and climate is poorly understood and highly controversial. Solar ” activity” encompasses changes in solar magnetic field strength, IMF, CRF, TSI ,EUV, solar wind density and velocity, CMEs, proton events etc. The idea of using the neutron count as a useful proxy for changing solar activity and temperature forecasting is agnostic as to the physical mechanisms involved.”

  62. henry@dr page
    it seems to me you are missing the most obvious cycle,
    which can be easily picked up by looking at the drop in maximum temperatures
    and which affects the means on centennial basis.
    Hence it will only start warming again in 2038 or 2039 + add about 5 years due to a delay.

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2012/10/02/best-sine-wave-fit-for-the-drop-in-global-maximum-temperatures/

    there is a simple mechanism that causes this cycle. It must be the change in E-UV coming from the sun that affects the production of ozone and peroxides and n-oxides TOA.

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2013/04/29/the-climate-is-changing/

  63. All I can say to Scafetta, Svensmark et al, is keep at it until you are proved either demonstrably wrong, or your models produce better fits than a limp hockey stick in the cleft of Gaia.

    CO2 as an answer to everything isn’t working. Whether or not we need to know what does, is perhaps another issue. In the meantime I find the above gentlemen’s output far far more interesting than the outpourings of a political spin machine.

  64. I have discovered a mechanism — that apparently no one has yet considered — for how the Sun can modulate Earth temperature (evidently there is plenty of evidence of correlation but not a compelling description of a mechanism with sufficient leverage to explain that linkage).

    The mechanism at the point of the Earth is plasma laning disruptions. In the plasma surrounding Earth (especially in the ionosphere, but wherever there are charged particles circulating, either electrons or protons or ions) the negatively charged and positively charged particles “lane” past one another. This phenomena explains why more of them do not collide and accelerate nucleation, heating, et al.

    But it appears there is a certain feature in the solar wind which will disrupt the “lanes”, so will accelerate ionization and nucleation. Like a field-effect transistor, or a vacuum tube, the rate of plasma laning disruptions is a subtle process that is driven by the Sun, but which has disproportionate (amplified) energetic effects with regard to the degree of solar energetic input to Earth’s climate, due to the Sun causing cloud nucleation in this subtle (plasma laning disruption) fashion.

    This particular observation came as but one of several in my researching of the various phenomena and signatures related to a second solar cycle (in addition to the solar sunspot cycle) which was first discovered by Richard Feynman’s sister — Joan Feynman — and reported in 1982. The second cycle has primarily been studied with respect to predicting the strength of future solar sunspot cycles.

    But there has been growing awareness that the second cycle is energetic in its own right far more than space physicists believed.

    For one thing, space physicists admitted fairly recently to their DST Mistake (disturbance storm time index mistake), which led to a focus on phenomena CORRELATED to sunspot cycle — so diminishing investigations of CIR storms and other phenomena preferential to solar minimum.

    The solar feature that can modulate Earth’s climate through plasma laning disruptions is one of these underinvestigated features/phenomena that is preferential to solar minimum, that has not received much study.

    The surprising thing to me was discovering how many different phenomena were all ANTICORRELATED to sunspot cycle. From published empirical observations, that list includes the following common phenomena:

    – sudden cardiac death (heart attacks)
    – heart rate variability
    – traffic accidents (nerve systems, too, which are triggered electromagnetically)
    – earthquakes
    – tsunamis
    – tornadoes
    – hurrricanes
    – lightning
    – tropical clouds
    – cosmic rays
    – dropped cell phone calls
    – geomagnetically induced currents in the electric power grid
    – geomagnetically induced currents in oil & gas pipelines
    – geomagnetically induced currents in wired communications links
    – satellite anomalies
    – railway signaling anomalies
    – low temperatures

    Now one has to ask oneself. “If so many phenomena are ANTICORRELATED to sunspot cycle, shouldn’t there be a physical mechanism there to explain all these phenomena?”

    That was what I asked myself, and my results are in a manuscript currently being circulated for review — please let me know if you have time to review the manuscript ( burkhart@alumni.caltech.edu ). There are several other even more interesting findings reported in the manuscript, but this note is already long for this venue.

    Reed M. Burkhart

  65. The solar magnetic cycle is experiencing the fastest decline in 8000 years. In the end global cooling will resolve the question what portion of the warming in the last 70 years was due to solar magnetic cycle changes as opposed to the increase in atmospheric CO2.

    “It’s known by climatologists as the ‘Little Ice Age’, a period in the 1600s when harsh winters across the UK and Europe were often severe. The severe cold went hand in hand with an exceptionally inactive sun, and was called the Maunder solar minimum.

    Now a leading scientist from Reading University has told me that the current rate of decline in solar activity is such that there’s a real risk of seeing a return of such conditions. I’ve been to see Professor Mike Lockwood to take a look at the work he has been conducting into the possible link between solar activity and climate patterns.

    According to Professor Lockwood the late 20th century was a period when the sun was unusually active and a so called ‘grand maximum’ occurred around 1985. Since then the sun has been getting quieter.

    By looking back at certain isotopes in ice cores, he has been able to determine how active the sun has been over thousands of years. Following analysis of the data, Professor Lockwood believes solar activity is now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years.

    He found 24 different occasions in the last 10,000 years when the sun was in exactly the same state as it is now – and the present decline is faster than any of those 24.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/28/bbc-real-risk-of-a-maunder-minimum-little-ice-age/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/posts/Real-risk-of-a-Maunder-minimum-Little-Ice-Age-says-leading-scientist

    It is interesting to note the planet has started to cool, both poles.

    The warmists are having a problem, what are you going to believe warmists’ models or observations?

  66. Temperature, mass, velocity, & chemistry are coupled.

    Whenever cosmic rays come up for discussion, it becomes clear that almost no one‘s interpreting records sensibly.

    Aggregation 101:
    Climate doesn’t shift simultaneously at all latitudes.

    Visualize the pulse of solar & lunisolar modulated terrestrial zonal total column ozone (a sensitive climate indicator).

    Dickey & Keppenne exposed the DNA graphically (without going into unnecessary words) in 1997.

    A series of public reminders began formally in 2010. For 3 years the reminders have been met by dark ignorance &/or deception.

    Following the 3 years of dark ignorance &/or deception, Judy Curry & A Lacis were challenged to reproduce, extend, and sensibly interpret Dickey & Keppenne’s (1997) Figure 3(a&b) by the end of October 2013. They were then to be challenged to independently go the needed step further to realize the implications by the end of November.

    A link to Dickey & Keppenne (1997) is given here.

    There are still 3 weeks left in November.

  67. William Astley says
    Now a leading scientist from Reading University has told me that the current rate of decline in solar activity is such that there’s a real risk of seeing a return of such conditions.
    It is interesting to note the planet has started to cool, both poles.

    Henry says
    yes, we are agreed on that it has started cooling.
    I disagree with you on the extent of the cooling.
    I think my findings are more or less the same as dr. Page:
    quote
    ….from the look at my tables, it looks earth’s energy stores are depleted now and average temperatures on earth will probably fall by as much as what the maxima are falling now. I estimate this is about -0.3K in the next 8 years and a further -0.2 or -0.3K from 2020 until 2038. By that time we will be back to where we were in 1950, more or less…
    end quote
    There is always a danger of the so-called ice age trap: this is when earth incidentally or accidentally gets covered by too much snow which reflects a lot of irradiation. I am hopeful though that a return to LIA can be prevented.What we have seen in most NH countries is a very active policy to remove snow with heat (rooftops, bicycle roads, etc) and salt. In a similar way, if too much of earth gets covered with snow we could cover the snow with large amounts of carbon (!) dust, which could prevent us falling into the trap as this would keep the solar energy in, instead of being deflected back to space.

    nevertheless, the droughts that will be caused by the coming cold at >[40] latitudes from around 2021 cannot be prevented [I think]

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2013/04/29/the-climate-is-changing/

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