Nir Shaviv on the CLOUD experiment, worth a read

It is now known that most cosmic rays are atom...

Cosmic rays interact with Earth's atmosphere - Image via Wikipedia

Israeli Astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv posted a guest essay at Luboš Motl The Reference Frame titled: The CLOUD is clearing

In a nutshell he’s saying that cosmic ray flux modulated by solar variability has a strong place right alongside CO2, and may in fact be a larger forcing.

He writes:

The results are very beautiful and they demonstrate, yet again, how cosmic rays (which govern the amount of atmospheric ionization) can in principle have an effect on climate.

What do I mean? First, it is well known that solar variability has a large effect on climate. In fact, the effect can be quantified and shown to be 6 to 7 times larger than one could naively expect from just changes in the total solar irradiance. This was shown by using the oceans as a huge calorimeter (e.g., as described here). Namely, an amplification mechanism must be operating.

As a consequence, anyone trying to understand past (and future) climate change must consider the whole effect that the sun has on climate, not just the relatively small variations in the total irradiance (which is the only solar influence most modelers consider). This in turn implies, that some of the 20th century warming should be attributed to the sun, and that the climate sensitivity is on the low side (around 1 deg increase per CO2 doubling)

Read the entire essay here

h/t to Dr. Indur Goklany

Also, William Briggs has an excellent summary as well.

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

The cosmic rays albedo negative feedback is about same magnitude as CO2 positive feedback, both negligible.

gpp

All one has to do to confirm the sun is the primary driver of the climate is look at all the historic records going back hundreds and in some cases, many thousands of years. As for CO2, the historical record shows little impact on climate from changing levels.
So what gives? Politics, bias, narrow thinking, wishful thinking, or a mix thereof.

Those who dislike my colorful backgrounds and numerous gadgets should start with a super-minimalistic template here:
http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/08/nir-shaviv-cloud-is-clearing.html?m=1

Theo Goodwin

Though Judith Curry has not yet made her official CLOUD post, there is a video of Shaviv’s talk at the ACS meeting: http: //judithcurry.com/2011/08/29/acs-webinar-on-climate-change-part-ii/. Scroll down.
Shaviv’s work will draw attention to the work of Svensmark and Kirkby. The importance of these three scientists is found mainly in the fact that each of them practices entirely within the confines of scientific method. The contrast with the practice of Warmista is stark.

John Whitman

Dr. Nir Shaviv,
A lucid article. Thank you.
Yes, we can see IPCC vested scientists downplaying the evidence showing the significance of solar modulation of GCR on climate.
Keep spreading the word. AR5 is coming.
John

Sensor operator

Of course, Dr. Shaviv leaves out one important statement from the lead author everyone seems afaid to accept: “[The paper] actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate, but it’s a very important first step.”
Rather than just copying what is very well explained elsewhere, try looking at:
http://skepticalscience.com/ConCERN-Trolling-on-Cosmic-Rays-Clouds-and-Climate-Change.html
The explanation includes numerous journaled papers and reviews explaining why GCR have some influence on cloud behavior (a potential mechanism for cloud formation but does not indicate GCRs significantly promote cloud formation in the real world), but they are not responsible for significant climate change now or in the geologic past.

pat

This confirmation comes on the heels of the revelation that measured terrestrial heat radiation is about twice as much as climate modellers had assumed and incorporated into their calculations. Entirely consistent with the CERN findings. Instead of modelling CO2 climate interactions, I suggest someone use the sunspot,heliosphere,cosmic radiation, PDO, and NAO data for the last 30 years and project temperature out another 10 or so. I think we will find very little room for a measurable CO2 effect.

Tesla_x
Theo Goodwin

Sensor operator says:
September 1, 2011 at 9:35 am
I always wonder why people show up to assign homework. If you have an argument to make, and you can make it in your own words, please do so.

I really do recommend the following video to everyone. Then once you have watched it please do pass it on to a few others.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1n2oq-XIxI&w=560&h=345%5D

That should have been :

Sun Spot

@Sensor operator says: September 1, 2011 at 9:35 am
I think Dr. Shaviv is not afraid.
septicalscience.con is a hack science site, why would any one click on a link with a lie in its name ?

Will we start hearing the term “Sun-Climate Skeptics” with increasing frequency?

Carsten Arnholm

Those who dislike my colorful backgrounds and numerous gadgets should start with a super-minimalistic template here:
http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/08/nir-shaviv-cloud-is-clearing.html?m=1

Thank you, Luboš! You just moved up my list of bookmarks, it seems to work for your site in general, what a difference… now I am going to read that entry 🙂

Tom_R

>> Sensor operator says:
September 1, 2011 at 9:35 am
Rather than just copying what is very well explained elsewhere, try looking at: <<
Ah yes, SkepticalScience.com. Doesn't it give you pause to refer to a website who's name itself is a lie?

Jeremy

Sensor Operator,
Have you read the book Chilling Stars, if not then you should.
The links you give are just BS modeling papers. Until further actual experiments are performed, the GCR to clouds hypothesis remains a plausible hypothesis. The initial CERN results SUPPORT the theory that GCRs induce ionization that can form particles. Although the link to seeding clouds (small particles to bigger ones) has NOT been tested, the basis for the theory appears to be on very solid ground – rather than struck out it has got to first base (using a sporting analogy). The initial results ARE encouraging and your disingenuous attempts to downplay the GCR hypothesis simply reflect the pre-conceived opinions of yourself and others that nothing affects climate in meaningful way except CO2. Intelligent people will accept that it is much much more likely that a great many things can and do affect climate and that GCRs are just another of many untested possible variables. Possibilities that NEED to be investigated experimentally rather than “modeled”! As an engineer, I know all to well how useless models are in the face of complex systems. If we understood everything we would not need scale models, experimental mock ups, extensive prototyping and test pilots to test commercial versions.
You and your ilk are so narrow minded that you cannot see the woods for the trees. You are blinkered by your religion. I doubt we will fully solve the climate conundrum in my lifetime or my childrens lifetime. Over the next 100 years, I expect we will still be improving our knowledge or will have long given up trying to solve such an impossibly complex system. Time will tell if GCRs, like CO2, turn out to be a blind alley or a minor side street on our long journey of scientific discovery.

M.A.Vukcevic says:
September 1, 2011 at 9:01 am
The cosmic rays albedo negative feedback is about same magnitude as CO2 positive feedback, both negligible.
Odd, I remember Svensmark showing a cosmic relationship to the relative position of our solar system in our galaxy as a relationship to global temperatures AND a relationship of solar activity as well. I don’t see that with CO2. Correct me if I miss understood Svensmark’s work.

rbateman

Sensor operator says:
September 1, 2011 at 9:35 am
You might have an argument if the Milky Way was not a multi-armed spiral, but an elliptical instead.
You might have an argument if the Sun exhibited no variation, but it does.
You might have an argument if the CLOUD experiment failed to rise empirically, but it did.
Your steady-state Galaxy, Sun and Planet are not available to grow the runaway CO2 tracegas theory into a Godzilla tipping point. Global tracegas warming is not going to get us going in the 21st Century, and is not going to give rise to any skyscraping advances in knowlege and technology.

Crispin in Waterloo

John Whitman says:
>…Yes, we can see IPCC vested scientists downplaying the evidence showing the significance of solar modulation of GCR on climate.
++++++
It appears that, as was the case with AR4, the conclusions were written some time ago. All that remains before launch is to fill in the gaps with sciencey paperwork. Upstart findings like CLOUD are a mere distraction to be examined perhaps in AR6 or 7 by which time a consensus can be forged.
CERN wants 5 years of big funding to continue ‘work’ to find out if CCN’s cause visible clouds. They can keep mentioning their discovery of the importance of the trace quantities of ammonia. Good for them. Press on. Go for it. Maybe they too will find out how CCN’s form clouds and publish it in a textbook on Atmospherics. Oh wait…
In the meantime, why wait for AR5’s launch date? Release the conclusions now so the sciencey papers can be properly selected to support its truthiness. No sense letting people waste research money between now and then on contradictory unscientific investigations.
/sarc-faceit
But methinks the future of CAGW is going to get CLOUDier by the week.

DocMartyn

Is there a correlation between lightening strikes and the levels of cosmic rays entering low Earth atmosphere?
Large buildings, like the Empire State, might have strike trackers and allow us to know the rate of lightening strikes. An ionized trail could possibly form a track for an electrical discharge.

Crispin in Waterloo says: September 1, 2011 at 11:08 am
CERN wants 5 years of big funding to continue ‘work’
Translation: CERN want 5 more years on the gravy train during which they will bury this research so there is an excuse not to give any funds to any laboratory with the honesty to do it properly …. in the (totally vane) hope from “community” that within 5 years the world is going to be a flaming ball of fire with hundreds of meters of sea level swamping the planet (except the bit where Al Gore has a condo on the sea front) …. OR at least those on the gravy train can retire on a good pension and spend their ill gotten gains.
At least that’s what my translator comes up with, or is it broken?

First, it is well known that solar variability has a large effect on climate.
If this is ‘well known’ then why all the discussion. The fact is that it is not established, and in particular, the variation of cosmic rays the past 60 years is not at all like that of climate. Application of the ‘scientific method’ that some cling to, now requires one to drop the hypothesis, or, at least, as Kirkby et al. admits to note that the CLOUD results say nothing about the climate link.

And whilst we’re on the subject of CERN, what is the point of CERN? I remember they were a prestigious research institute back in the 1980s, but what have they done since then? Are they still looking of the “god” particle or the “unified theory of how to get research funding” or whatever it was? I assume they haven’t found nuclear fusion which would be useful.
And, what do you do with a god particle?
Seriously, what is the economic justification for CERN?

It is misleading to put the cosmic ray effect alongside CO2. More like cosmic rays should be placed well above CO2 as a climate factor as, beyond the first 10s of CO2 ppm, its efect drops off quite rapidly, a la Beer’s Law.
Placing them side by side gives the warmists hope—all they have to do is discount cosmic rays and claim CO2 ascendancy again. If CO2 is well below CO2, all is lost.

highflight56433 says:
September 1, 2011 at 10:41 am
……………………
The problem is that the GCRs count that gets through the Earth’s magnetic field is far too low to make any difference.
There are apparently numerous correlations from the solar ‘barycentre properties’, Hale cycle, cosmic rays etc.
I myself have produced some:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LL.htm
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/HmL.htm
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NAOn.htm
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Atlantic-Essential.htm
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/PDOc.htm
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/S-V.htm
and more relating to climate, sunspot cycles, the solar magnetic field etc, so you may be forgiven if you assume I do have an obsession with correlations.
I do not think that solar variability of the TSI is sufficient enough to explain MWP, LIA or current warming. Without mechanism with the energy required to move the oceans temperatures it’s just a speculation.
My simple view is the Sun is constant (within reason) the ocean currents are not, the acquired heat from Equator to about 35+ degrees latitude is partially re-radiated and partially moved towards the poles. How much goes towards to poles depends on the strength of the ocean currents. Stronger currents more heat is transported (with related consequences), and vice versa, etc., etc.

Jeff Mitchell

The study gives a mechanism that could explain the Maunder and Dalton etc minimums. Quiet sun = more GCRs = more clouds = more reflection of sunlight back into space = cooling.

DR

@ Leif
A bit disingenuous of you to cherry pick one sentence from Nir Shaviv.

What do I mean? First, it is well known that solar variability has a large effect on climate. In fact, the effect can be quantified and shown to be 6 to 7 times larger than one could naively expect from just changes in the total solar irradiance. This was shown by using the oceans as a huge calorimeter (e.g., as described here). Namely, an amplification mechanism must be operating.

Kirkby has changed his tune recently compared to previous statements he’s made, even in published material. Why is that? But you are content to use one liners to support your POV, and imply or state outright everyone else are complete dunces unless you approve.

A. C. Osborn

M.A.Vukcevic says:September 1, 2011 at 11:54 am “My simple view is the Sun is constant (within reason)”
But as many others have pointed out the UV content of the TSI is not any where near “constant”, so why only use TSI?

1DandyTroll

The CAGW proponents doesn’t like the idea of any kind of rays entering the earth’s atmosphere since the precautionary principle then states they need to spend all their money on tin foil, and courses in hat making, to protect, their otherwise unshielded heads, from being bombarded by potentially brain frying cosmic rays and not just brain sucking Rays from CIA.

DR says:
September 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm
A bit disingenuous of you to cherry pick one sentence from Nir Shaviv.
It would seem that this is the most important sentence. If that statement were false, the rest falls apart.
But you are content to use one liners to support your POV, and imply or state outright everyone else are complete dunces unless you approve.
I point out that the temperature variation does not match the cosmic ray variation. What does that make of people who in spite of that think there is a ‘well known’ relation?

John Barrett

I tend to agree with MA Vukcevic. I think the cosmic ray effect, like CO2 is marginal. I am more persuaded by the arguments that periodically flying through cosmic dustclouds will have a more profound influence.
There is an obvious correlation between solar activity and the weather on earth. However I am told that it is not radiation-based as the levels remain roughly static, so is it the effect of the magnetic field ? What apart from cosmic rays does the magnetic field affect ?

Jason

Does it make sense that if we cross the galactic equator, that we get even more than if we’re slightly above or below? Becase according to the Mayans, we’re in the midst of crossing it now.

“We find that atmospherically relevant ammonia mixing ratios of 100 parts per trillion by volume, or less, increase the nucleation rate of sulphuric acid particles more than 100–1,000-fold. ”
what? how can a trace chemical have such an effect. Impossible. The same goes for C02, its only a trace element and we all know that the skeptical argument about trace elements rulz!.
/sarc off

John Barrett says:
September 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm
There is an obvious correlation between solar activity and the weather on earth.
This is not ‘obvious’ and not established.
What apart from cosmic rays does the magnetic field affect ?
The sun’s magnetic field [as measured by that which is dragged out by the solar wind to hit the Earth] has not shown any significant trend since at least the 1830s [and that is the main reason the cosmic rays haven’t either]: http://www.leif.org/research/2009JA015069.pdf

M.A.Vukcevic says:
September 1, 2011 at 11:54 am
“There are apparently numerous correlations from the solar ‘barycentre properties’”
Right. That is also why GCR activity increases and decrease as to the extent that old sol is agitated by solar system bodies tugging it out of round, thus increases and decreases in the size of the hypothetical solar oort cloud. The understanding here is that GCR activity accounts for condensation nuclei for cloud formation as do other atmospheric ions. The total needs to be accounted for to quantify cloud coverage on a standard day, or any other day.
The problems are in hypothesis ownership. We are constantly arguing over minutia rather than focused on the big picture. Most of what we scientifically study in global climate is hypothetical. Correlations are devised and discovered, however it is the entirety that is not understood and what follows are hypothesis of correlation.
CERN used a controlled lab to reproduce the Svensmark hypotheses. Many other hypothesis are historical in data collection: example tree rings; however that particular historical data is grossly biased and incomplete. Then there is surface temperatures that are scattered about and UHI. In a short drive to the grocery store I observe the temperatures change by 10 degrees! Who decided what to use???? Thus the history has to be set in a context that supports the hypotheses and vice verse without all the biases.
So with the big picture in mind, we have ocean currents, ocean temperatures, earth tilt and orbit, oort extent, solar wind, total solar radiance, solar system barycenter, volcanic activity, continental drift, atmosphere density and its components, and etc., any GCR increase or decrease in our ever changing climate system has an affect, be it small. Continue to grow with new understandings and keep the word hypothesis in context of what is believed.

David Corcoran

Leif, hasn’t the effect of Forbush events on cloud cover already been clearly demonstrated?

A. C. Osborn says:
September 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm
M.A.Vukcevic says:September 1, 2011 at 11:54 am “My simple view is the Sun is constant (within reason)”
But as many others have pointed out the UV content of the TSI is not any where near “constant”, so why only use TSI?
…………….
Agree, but UV is only a tiny part of the TSI, with not much energy, while the rest of TSI has a lot of it! Ratios of the heat retained / reradiated / moved pole-ward is the only thing that can move global climate (with of course the theory as formulated by my old university’s professor Milutin Milankovic, who sadly died long before I got there)
Steven Mosher says:
September 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm
……….
You are correct
both the GCR and the CO2 are about equal in their irrelevance.

dont bug them with observations Leif. their skepticism has flown the coop

rbateman

Leif Svalgaard says:
September 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm
And there never will be a perfect correlation with anything with so many factors affecting the climate.
Let the physics experimentors keep right on experimenting and sorting it out, and let the Astrophysicists keep right on finding out what’s really out there.
Meanwhile, it’s time to chew on recent discoveries. It doesn’t cost anything.
We still don’t know the why of what’s gone on in the Sun to produce what we are currently seeing, and, like the climate, we may never really know.
Why did the Sun do that? Why didn’t it keep on with the big cycles?

Steven Mosher says:
September 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm
dont bug them with observations Leif. their skepticism has flown the coop
Like AGW became a religion so is skepticism. Both developments are saddening, but such is human nature, I guess, that things eventually end up like this.

As a chemist my eyes opened most at the mention of 35 pptv of ammonia in the chamber mix. This is such a small quantity that there would be problems even in metering it accurately. Despite some deep thinking, I cannot discern its fuction. At those levels, factors such as adsorption on chamber walls would have to be considered.
Anyone have an idea? I would feel intuitively that this chamber concentration is well below that found in the natural atmosphere, especialy close to the ground (where it might not be relevant to some mechanisms – also noting that its atmospheric residence time is probably very short).

David Corcoran says:
September 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm
Leif, hasn’t the effect of Forbush events on cloud cover already been clearly demonstrated?
No: http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/8/13265/2008/acpd-8-13265-2008.html
“In conclusion, no response to variations in cosmic rays associated with Forbush decrease events was found in marine low clouds in remote regions using MODIS data”
rbateman says:
September 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm
Why did the Sun do that? Why didn’t it keep on with the big cycles?
We must always keep looking. but that is very different from saying: “it is well known that solar variability has a large effect on climate”

Let me roll up my sleeves and tighten up my pull ups.
Some vital data has recently surfaced that Earth has been bombarded by cosmic particles in ‘hotspots’ around the globe.
It is difficult without a longer study to determine if this is a cyclic trend or random.
If we assume that there is a correlation with increases in cosmic particles as a by-product of a lessening solar magnetic field and/or event anomalies, what difference does it make if the solar wind varies or not ‘dragging’ out to Earth?
I would think our concern or focus should be the returning magnetic flux from the outer boundaries of the heliosphere.
If we assume that outgoing solar winds alone dictate trends in cosmic particles, then how does that justify ‘hotspot’ activity?
Having said all this, to assume their isn’t ‘any significant trend’ in increases of cosmic spallation, at a geophysical level, maybe a bit archaic and/or premature.

u.k.(us)

Steven Mosher says:
September 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm
dont bug them with observations Leif. their skepticism has flown the coop
=======
Along with the economy, jobs and confidence in our elected officials.
My only hope is to stem the bleeding before the “patient” dies.
Oh, I forgot, the windmills will save us all.
Reason is losing out to guilt driven popularity polls.
Check your history books for what comes next.

ClimateForAll says:
September 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm
I would think our concern or focus should be the returning magnetic flux from the outer boundaries of the heliosphere.
There really isn’t any. It is like asking about returning river water from the Gulf to St. Louis.
to assume their isn’t ‘any significant trend’ in increases of cosmic spallation, at a geophysical level, maybe a bit archaic and/or premature.
That is what the observations show.

John Whitman

Leif Svalgaard says:
September 1, 2011 at 11:36 am
If this is ‘well known’ then why all the discussion. The fact is that it is not established, and in particular, the variation of cosmic rays the past 60 years is not at all like that of climate. Application of the ‘scientific method’ that some cling to, now requires one to drop the hypothesis, or, at least, as Kirkby et al. admits to note that the CLOUD results say nothing about the climate link.

—————-
Leif,
It seems in the true nature of the scientific process we have Dr. Nir Shaviv disagreeing with Dr. J. Kirkby. Let their dialog begin. Is either Kirkby or Shaviv invested with more authority than the other in this matter? It would seem not. I would like to see them dialog directly with us watching.
Leif, which graph(s) of Shaviv’s do you have issue with?
John

Leif Svalgaard says:
September 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm
David Corcoran says:
September 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm
Leif, hasn’t the effect of Forbush events on cloud cover already been clearly demonstrated?
No: http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/8/13265/2008/acpd-8-13265-2008.html

Yes, but not by the people Leif links to.

SteveSadlov

This has probably caused past extinctions, and very sudden ones at that.