Global warming is killing the stars

People send me things. Today it is a curious graph of the number of supernovae (dying stars) discovered versus the HadCRUT temperature data since 1960. There’s a good correlation. So at first glance you might conclude two things, 1) GCR’s, which are known to be the result of supernovae thanks to data gathered by the Chandra Space Telescope, are indeed influencing Earth’s temperature or 2) Earth’s AGW is killing stars, and aliens are correct to be concerned about Earth and may need to wipe us out to protect the Universe.

Our contributor at an observatory sheds more light on the subject. He writes:

Hi Anthony,

I am a senior research fellow at ICRAR (International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research) in Perth, Australia. I was studying the sample of supernovae (SNe) discovered in the last 50 years (source: Harvard-Smithsonian CfA List of SNe), and I discovered that the number of SNe discovered per year correlates pretty well with the temperature anomaly. I produced a plot, placed at the URL below. Clearly the temperature anomaly has a better correlation with the observed number of dead stars than with dead polar bears, tree rings, CO2 or number of pirates. This is proof that global warming is causing more stars to explode. It’s worse than we thought. We are killing the universe. We need more funding.

Best Regards–Rob

Dr Rob Soria

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

This person is all legit, he’s real and at ICRAR. The data appear so well correlated, it would seem to be a cinch to use this to apply for a research grant, no matter which premise you want to prove. The possibilities are tantalizing. But, let’s analyse the data first.

The first thing I asked for is the data source for Supernovae (I know where to get HadCRUT data), which he provided here:

http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/lists/Supernovae.html

Sure enough, his work was replicable.

I spotted a couple of curious things though. Why the logarithmic graph on the right Y axis, and why only use data back to 1960, that favorite cutoff date for “hide the decline”?

Well there’s data, and then there’s data reporting bias. While it would be easy to conclude on this sample that there’s something worth further (funded) study, especially given the recent first results of the CERN CLOUD experiment, there’s a bit of a rub in the data. That rub has to do with the recent explosion of amateur astronomy and technology.

You see, around 1980 or so, affordable CCD detectors started to become available to the amateur astronomer, and in the decades that followed up to the present sensitivity increased 10x thanks to Peltier cooled CCD chips and other improvements in CCD imaging technology. Costs came down and you can now buy a good CCD detector for under $2000, often less than the cost of a good telescope.

So as a result, the number of detectors trained on the sky blossomed, and the number of supernovae detected by amateur astronomers soared. Hence the need for the logarithmic axis in the graph above. As for the cutoff date of 1960, well, um, the correlation doesn’t hold well before that. Thus, the decision was made to truncate the data prior to 1960. We figure if it was good enough for the hockey stick (which has been recently vindicated again) then it is good enough to do here to write a grant proposal.

Neither Rob nor I plan to write that proposal, but if any WUWT readers succeed in getting funded, I’ll happily publish a notice here.

So the moral of this story is: you can find short correlations in many things, such as correlating El Niño and Civil Wars, and truncating data is OK to make your point for the grant application and study, because you’ll be vindicated later if the study becomes popular and/or included in the IPCC AR5.

It also underscores the issue of reporting bias, which I’ve talked about again and again relating to the issue of bogus severe weather and AGW correlations, which simply don’t exist. They are a byproduct of improved radar systems, storm chasers, improved communications, and global 24/7 news gathering.

Caveat: For anyone reading with the composition of a neutron star, this essay is satirical, but with a real lesson: correlation is not causation.

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Yikes! Amateur astronomers are killing the stars!
PS why the lull after 1998?
REPLY: Good question. Technology maturation, CCD’s sensitivity has rather plateaued since the early advances – Anthony

“Well there’s data, and then there’s data reporting bias. While it would be easy to conclude on this sample that there’s something worth further (funded) study, especially given the recent first results of the CERN CLOUD experiment, there’s a bit of a rub in the data.”
Sceptic, DENIER!! We know how to deal with your type!! We know where you BLOG!!!!

Drat! You have discovered my location! I figured the gravity well of a neutron star would be a great place to hide, then some guy with a camera spots me… Oh, the humanity!
Thanks for that Sir A. I needed a good laugh.

Peter Miller

Sounds convincing to me, AGW clearly causes supernovae – well.it’s just as stupid as most of the other things it is supposed to cause.
Pity the scales are logarithmic one side and linear the other – if they were the same, the IPCC might be tempted to use this chart..

Why do I get the feeling your should have emboldened the word “Caveat”….. maybe increased the font size and put exclamation marks by it. Just a feeling…… 🙂

Richard111

Oh, I dunno. GCRs need time to travel. Present observations may help hind cast supernovae events in the distant past to forecast present incoming GCRs but our own familiar sun is the final arbiter of how many GCRs enter our atmosphere.
In the final analysis its the sun wot dunnit. (see, no funds required 🙂 )

eyesonu

I lovei t!
Every time I think it can’t get any better, it gets way better!
Anthony’s army marches onward!

netdr

I have always claimed that the hardness of the sidewalk in NY City caused global warming since they both went up together.
Now I conclude that the hardness of the sidewalk in NY city also causes supernovae.
The other blockbuster reason to believe in CAGW is “Our models don’t work without it.”
Of course they work without simulating clouds, ocean currents, cosmic rays or hundreds of other things, but not without aerosols which can be adjusted up or down as required and which have no embarrassing historical record.

Bob Diaz

Thanks for the report, I needed a good laugh. Maybe someone ca do a correlation between the number of stupid people or videos of stupid people and AGW.

Russ Hatch

Are we sure that Nasa’s aliens don’t have something to do with this. Maybe they are shooting the Cosmic rays at us or causing the super novas.

Bill Marsh

Well, given the already established relationship between Global Warming and number of pirates, does this mean that pirates are killing stars?

TinOKC

I predict that the night sky will be void of stars within the next 10 years.

Theodore

To Richard111,
GCRs do need time to travel but from what I know they travel at the speed of light. The light from the supernova that the astronomers are detecting also needs time to travel but travels at the speed of light. So while the supernova and the GCRs they trigger may have been released thousands of years ago, they both arrive at the Earth at the same time.

steveta_uk

What about a simpler explanation?
Perhaps CAGW is in fact reducing cloud cover, so allowing more supernovae to be seen.

Robert Clemenzi

Um, it looks like the temperature is leading the discovery curve. Since the discovery curve is actually based on improved technology, it follows that global warming causes technological growth. (Or did I miss something?) /sarc

Paul Westhaver

I love examples of the abuse of reasoning like this.
Here is one….
Icecream causes Polio. Yup! That was the prevailing theory back in the day. polio outbreaks would rise amongst children during the summer. Summer + Children = Icecream in 1948
http://www.whale.to/v/sandler/fig8%20jpg.jpg.

Allan M

Theodore says:
August 25, 2011 at 10:51 am
To Richard111,
GCRs do need time to travel but from what I know they travel at the speed of light. The light from the supernova that the astronomers are detecting also needs time to travel but travels at the speed of light. So while the supernova and the GCRs they trigger may have been released thousands of years ago, they both arrive at the Earth at the same time.

No problem. Just ask our friend Mr. Shore. I’m sure he can come up with a statistical theory of time.

RockyRoad

May I offer a new title to this post:
“Dying Stars Produce Global Warming”
This is based on the theory that as dying stars reduce in number, so will cosmic rays, which reduces the amount of clouds which, without their shade, warms the earth. (Correlation may not be causation, but don’t throw anything out until it’s examined closely.)
(And who was I arguing with yesterday on the CERN CLOUD experiment results about this very topic?)

Wil

I have written on this site a number of times in order to try an assist humankind but to no avail. Therefore it is time I broke my cover – I am an alien (no not the cross border kind) sent to this planet in an effort to save you all from destroying our shared universe. As you can see from this article you are a destructive species now taken to destroying perfectly good stars in the universe against our wishes – therefore I have no choice but to recommend we terminate your primitive existence. Why couldn’t your people repair your Global Warming problem quietly?

Neil Jones

Alternatively supernovae are warming the planet. 🙂

Glenn

It sounds to me like it could further confirm the CLOUD experiment. Rise and fall of GCRs and clouds.

Joe Horner

Would a suggested mechanism (with as much “common sense” scientific basis as certain others) help the grant proposal?
Clearly, it’s not the supernovae but the amateur astromomers themselves that are warming the globe. Every boyscout knows that, if you take a lense and focus the sunshine, you make lots of heat. These astronomers are now using lots of telescopes to do exactly the same thing with starshine while, incidentally, discovering more supernovae. Thus, the increasing temperatures and the supernovae are actually effects of the increase in astronomers – which reinforces the direction of the causality.
Before anyone pokes any of the very obvious holes in this theory, I’d just like to call them out as AstroDeniers, flat-universers and clearly funded by Big Lens – Carl Zeiss is the new Exxon!

Rabe

But but but isn’t temperature inverse propotional to GCR intensity? More supernovae mean more clouds. More clouds mean colder weather. One of the lines should be upside down. But that’s also settled practice.

So what your trying to tell us Anthony is that because of the mass production of cheap CCD detectors supplying the demand of amateur astronomers, and all of the carbon intensive manufacturing involved is causing ‘catastrophic man made global warming’, the solution is clear! We need to put ban on amateur astronomy, close down all industry and cap ‘n trade Carbon Dioxide.
/JK

Don K

We already know from ice core records that future CO2 levels drive current temperatures. So why shouldn’t current Earth temperatures drive past supernovae explosions? Should be easy enough to model. You going to argue with computer modeling done by real bona fide scientists?

thelastdemocrat

I would be wary of this Harvard-trained analyst:
Increased Harvard lawyer representation on the Supreme Court shows an amazing relation with global temps…
http://thelastdemocrat.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/harvard-law-causes-global-warming/

j fisk

I note that as of today (UK) that the GCSE results have continued their year on year rise do I sense a correlation between intelligence and global warming?

Don Wagner

So those spiral arms in galaxies are the result of a death spiral?

Shevva

Bet that was a fun post to write.
And it’d be the Soria Hypothesis?

The debate is over, we are changing the shape of the whole Universe through AGW which is exclusively caused by our irresponsible consumption. If we are not going to accept the new ‘enviro-elitism’, some draconian restrictions and additional taxes we will be unable to prevent the threat of an unprecedented Mass Intergalactic Extinction (MIE). /sarc
By the way, CAGW now sells quite well at home thanks to a massive late summer heat wave. Daytime temps have been slightly above 100°F for days in most of the Hungarian lowlands, including the capital. Compared with historical events, this kind of heat is not exceptional but it is just enough for the local MSM and warmist activists to scare the public with climate model based projections, like ‘in 2070, these temperatures will be treated as average’…

Shevva

Sorry forgot the Shevva Hypothesis, speeding tickets and climate scientists, I have guesstimated that the more climate scientists that have appeared on Earth the more speeding tickets there have been, can I have my grant in Swiss Frances please.

JJ

Detecting Supernova is facilitated by cloudless skies. Cloudless skies produce, on the whole, warmer temperatures. Makes perfect sense to me.
Supernova detects are simply a proxy for cloudiness. And that one kid in Yamal is really good at finding Supernova…

Hoser

Let’s dig into this issue a little more.
Given the inverse square relationship that will influence the GCR flux, it may be important to distinguish between numbers of distant supernovae and closer supernovae. It is doubtful we need to worry about GCRs from other galaxies. GCRs persist in our galaxy on the order of 10 million years or more.
However, since charged particles are directed by magnetic field lines, and given that the galaxy has a turbulent magnetic field, it is reasonable to conclude the GCR flux is not constant. Although GCRs can come from any direction, there is anisotropy in the flux. We need to know how much the GCR flux vary. Could it become higher, and has it been, significantly higher than we currently observe? Yes.
The Svensmark hypothesis seems quite plausible, and now we have additional evidence to support it from CERN. Solar variation may explain short term climate variation, but it does not seem to be sufficient to explain longer period climate variation. If the GCR flux increased by a factor of 10 or more, what would happen to clouds on Earth? Maunder mimimum-like events do not persist long enough to induce glaciation. What more can the Sun do alone? GCR flux variation through other mechanisms seems necessary and a reasonable mechanism for induction of glaciation either independently of the solar activity and Milankovitch cycles, or augmenting them.
Cosmogenic isotope levels are a useful proxy for GCR flux, however, it can be difficult to distinguish between the GCR flux and deposition rate (e.g. snowfall on glaciers). There is independent measurement of GCR flux in meteroites, and correlation of GCR flux with climate on the geologic time scale. Deep ocean sediments can provide a better record of GCR variation because the levels of cosmogenic isotopes can be normalized to the deposition rate of a non-cosmogenic isotope.
Although the final reference below suggests GCR flux variation could be “between -75% and +35% of present values”, the authors mention that nearby supernovae could GCRs above these limits. They suggest variations in geomagnetism is a much more significant factor modulating GCR flux. Also, they note the GCR flux in northern latitudes is higher by a factor of 4 than at the equator, and much more dependent on solar activity, whereas, geomagnetic field strength variations affect GCR flux at lower latitudes more.
AGW by CO2 variation is obviously incredibly naive in this context.
http://www.nmdb.eu/?q=node/149
http://galprop.stanford.edu/elibrary/icrc/2003/proceedings/FILES/PDF/78.pdf
http://www.jstor.org/pss/74495
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016112630.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way
http://www.sciencebits.com/CosmicRaysClimate
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0407/0407005v1.pdf

Gary Hladik

This reminds me of a real sci fi novel in which humans actually do make distant stars explode (through teleportation experiments, not global warming):
http://www.amazon.com/Space-Eater-David-Langford/dp/1930997795/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314299539&sr=1-1

Kelvin Vaughan

There is another explanation. HadCRUT temperature data since 1960 has had the super nova numbers added to produce global warming.

RHS

I think there is a correlation between better measurement and more consciousness of effects on knowledge. To whom do I apply for my research grant? I want to be sure this is as bad as I think it is.

tom T

Or the lack of pirates is killing stars.

Hmmmmmm – I’m very worried. Very worried indeed, in fact.
The temperature curve, and indeed, the number of supernovae discovered/stars killed, correlate very well with the time I came ashore from my time at sea [I’m still in shipping].
Tipping point.
I know my responsibilities to the planet [and the galaxy].
Given a big enough grant, I’ll go back to sea (cruising looks pretty cushty today!) and save the world.
A couple of billion [Sterling] a week will do it. Absurdly cheap at the price, compared with the bird choppers the UK is getting, and some of the more hysterical suggestions about little green men [saving the planet from t h e m has to be worth a crust] – never mind the threatened populations of stars.
Worlds Wide Fund for Novae – help!

j fisk

I see only one small fly in the ointment, average temperature rise (since the 60s)
the stars that have gone supernova , many millions of years ago ?
I therefore assume that the dinosaurs were responsible.

jorgekafkazar

ROBUST

TomRude

Great work! Will be fast tracked in Nature… LOL

MrX

Where there’s data, there’s interpretations waiting to be wrong.

John F. Hultquist

Paul Westhaver says:
August 25, 2011 at 11:01 am
I love examples of the abuse of reasoning like this.
Here is one….
Icecream causes Polio.

In 1948 we were poor and could not afford ice cream. Around the corner and down the street there was a well-to-do family. They could afford ice cream. Their child, a girl my age, got a mild case of polio. Makes me wonder!
Seriously, I’ve not run across this idea before.
http://www.thinktwice.com/Polio.pdf
Go to the above link. Do a find for the word ‘cream’ – read the three paragraphs centered on the first instance of the word.
I learn something new every time I read WUWT.

Atomic Hairdryer

Re J fisk

I see only one small fly in the ointment, average temperature rise (since the 60s)
the stars that have gone supernova , many millions of years ago ?
I therefore assume that the dinosaurs were responsible.

No, aliens were still responsible. As the aliens were sophisticated enough to create supernovae to induce global warming, they would also be in possession of sophisticated models that predicted we would become a threat. This is simply their precautionary principle being applied on a much longer timescale than we are used to. Everything can be explained with enough beer.

RoHa

Aliens are attacking us. They are blowing up stars so that the cosmic rays will cause Global Warming on Earth.
We’re doomed.

Harry Buttle

Al Gore: “We are … altering the balance of energy between our planet and the rest of the universe.”
FOOLS!!! you laughed at him and now you see the proof…

Theo Goodwin

Oh Darn It! I thought this post was about the deaths of some of the many dukes and duchesses of Hollywood (I guess they are all dukes now). I thought you had a knock down argument for intensifying CAGW and I was ready to support it. My guess was that you had discovered that global warming destroys marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and the indefinitely large number of other illegal drugs. /sarc off

RoHa

Incidentally, I used to regularly give my Critical Thinking students the task of explaining the close correlation between hemlines and economic activity during the twentieth century. Has anyone tried a correlation between hemlines and Global Warming? That would surely be easier to explain.

RoHa

Al – i – e – ns, dammit.
Even more doomed.

Robert Clemenzi says:
August 25, 2011 at 11:01 am
Um, it looks like the temperature is leading the discovery curve. Since the discovery curve is actually based on improved technology, it follows that global warming causes technological growth. (Or did I miss something?) /sarc

‘sarc’ unnecessary, I think. Warming accelerates civilization and technology. QED. 🙂
About those light-speed GCRs: not quite. They are generally “relativistic”, meaning a high enough fraction of C to experience time dilation, but come in a wide range of energies and hence speed. To clarify, any particle with measurable rest mass would require infinite acceleration/energy to reach exactly C, and would acquire infinite mass equivalence.