Nigel Calder reports on "Yet another trick of cosmic rays"

Sulphuric Acid

Sulphuric Acid Molecule - Image via Wikipedia

Reblogged from Calder’s Updates

In the climax to the Danes’ experiments, cloud seeds flout the theories

Near to the end of the story that starts with stars exploding in the Galaxy and ends with extra clouds gathering, a small but important paragraph was missing till now. From experiments in Copenhagen reported in 2006 and reconfirmed in 2011 in Aarhus and Geneva (CERN, CLOUD), cosmic rays coming from old supernovas can indeed make molecular clusters a few millionths of a millimetre wide, floating in the air. But can these aerosols really grow nearly a million times in mass to be large enough to become “cloud condensation nuclei” on which water droplets can form – as required by Henrik Svensmark’s cosmic theory of climate change?

Opponents pointed out that theoretical models said No, the growth of additional aerosols would be blocked by a resulting shortage of condensable gases like sulphuric acid in the atmosphere.

Now for the first time, an unexpected trick that Mother Nature had up her sleeve is revealed by experiment. The discovery is elegantly explained by a new way in which sulphuric acid forms in the atmosphere, as announced in a paper by Svensmark and two of his colleagues in Denmark’s National Space Institute in Copenhagen, Martin Enghoff and Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen. They have submitted it to Physical Review Letters. A preprint is available on arXiv here http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.5156v1

A brief history.

Last year’s attempts to dismiss the Aarhus and CERN results as inconsequential for climate change didn’t dismay the Danes. They knew there was something wrong with the current understanding because they had observational support for the whole chain from solar activity to cosmic rays to aerosols to clouds in the real atmosphere (Svensmark, Bondo and Svensmark 2009). In order to dig into the physics, they decided to rebuild, in the basement of the Space Institute, the 8 cubic metre experimental chamber SKYII which six years ago was used as the CLOUD prototype chamber at CERN,

In the limelight of the atmospheric drama, sulphuric acid is one of the commonest of trace gases and very important for both the formation and the growth of aerosols. When the Sun rises in the morning, its ultraviolet rays convert sulphur dioxide, ozone and water vapour in the air into sulphuric acid molecules. These are continuously lost as they club together with further water and a little ammonia into very small molecular clusters. Nevertheless, the concentration of sulphuric acid rises to a peak and then diminishes as the Sun goes down in the evening.

A clue that something more is going on comes from the persistence all through the night of sulphuric acid at about 10 per cent of the daytime maximum. If these molecules too are continuously lost, they must be replenished by a chemical reaction that doesn’t need ultraviolet light.

What did the new experiment called SKY2 show? Without going into technical details that you’ll find in the paper, let’s just say that the primary result flatly contradicts the theoretical prediction that the infant aerosols couldn’t grow up into cloud condensation nuclei. Here’s a figure from the paper.

Molecular clusters grow over time, in the SKY2 experiment in Copenhagen. The horizontal axis is scaled in nanometres (millionths of a millimetre) and each blue point shows the relative number of clusters of that size before and after the experimental runs. Anything over 1.0 means that growth has continued. In contrast, the red points illustrate a pessimistic prediction of previous theories, that growth should cease when the size passes 50 nanometres. On the other hand, the black curve running through the blue points shows what is to be expected if there is a continual supply of sulphuric acid. The persistent growth of clusters occurs only in the presence of gamma rays that simulate cosmic rays and set electrons free to influence the chemistry.

So what’s the explanation? What new pathway supplies the sulphuric acid needed to keep the growth going? The Danes recall a suggestion in their 2006 SKY report that electrons can act like catalysts, being used over and over again to promote chemical action. In the new paper they say: A possible explanation could be that the charged clusters are producing additional [sulphuric acid] molecules from reactions involving negative ion chemistry of [ozone, sulphur dioxide and water], where a negative ion can be reused in a catalytic production of several [sulphuric acid molecules].

Depending on the concentrations of trace gases, several may mean dozens. And where do the electrons come from? They are liberated by cosmic rays raining down by night as well as by day. If the results of the experiment and these ideas are confirmed, there’s an amazing pay-off. The cosmic rays help to make the extra sulphuric acid that allows (1) a number of additional aerosols to form and (2) a larger number of aerosols to grow into cloud condensation nuclei. Without this second effect the aerosols would grow slowly and most of the extra aerosols would be lost before becoming large enough to seed clouds.

That ions liberated by cosmic rays promote a second pathway for forming sulphuric acid was already known from an experiment performed in Copenhagen in a collaboration with the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Tokyo (see the Enghoff et al. reference below). Depending on whether the sulphuric acid comes from ultraviolet action or is ion-induced, it has different signatures in the relative abundances of isotopes of sulphur. What’s more, the number of molecules made by the ion route greatly surpassed the number of ions available, again implying reuse of the electrons in a catalytic fashion.

To summarize the latest paper, the Svensmark, Enghoff and Pepke Pedersen abstract reads:

In experiments where ultraviolet light produces aerosols from trace amounts of ozone, sulphur dioxide, and water vapour, the number of additional small particles produced by ionization by gamma sources all grow up to diameters larger than 50 nm, appropriate for cloud condensation nuclei. This result contradicts both ion-free control experiments and also theoretical models that predict a decline in the response of larger particles due to an insufficiency of condensable gases (which leads to slower growth) and to larger losses by coagulation between the particles. This unpredicted experimental finding points to a process not included in current theoretical models, possibly an ion-induced formation of sulphuric acid in small clusters.

Scandals of a political character engulf climate physics these days, but future historians may shake their heads more sadly over scientific negligence. Isn’t it amazing that such a fundamental activity of sulphuric acid, going on over your head right now, has passed unnoticed since 1875 when cloud seeding was discovered, since 1996 when Svensmark found the link between cosmic rays and cloud cover, and since 2006 when the Danes suggested the catalytic role of electrons? Perhaps the experts were confused by the ever-present dislike of the role of the Sun in climate change.

So Svensmark and the small team in Copenhagen have had nearly all of the breakthroughs to themselves. And the chain of experimental and observational evidence is now much more secure:

Supernova remnants cosmic rays solar modulation of cosmic rays variations in cluster and sulphuric acid production variation in cloud condensation nuclei variation in low cloud formation variation in climate.

Svensmark won’t comment publicly on the new paper until it’s accepted for publication. But I can report that, in conversation, he sounds like a man who has reached the end of a very long trek in defiance of continual opposition and mockery.

References

Henrik Svensmark, Martin B. Enghoff and Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen, “Response of Cloud Condensation Nuclei (> 50 nm) to changes in ion-nucleation”, submitted for publication 2012. Preprint available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.5156v1

H. Svensmark, T. Bondo and J. Svensmark, “Cosmic ray decreases affect atmospheric aerosols and clouds”, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L15101, 2009

Henrik Svensmark, Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen, Nigel Marsh, Martin Enghoff and Ulrik Uggerhøj, ‘Experimental Evidence for the Role of Ions in Particle Nucleation under Atmospheric Conditions’, Proceedings of the Royal Society A, Vol. 463, pp. 385–96, 2007 (online release 2006). This was the original SKY experiment in a basement in Copenhagen.

M. B. Enghoff, N. Bork, S. Hattori, C. Meusinger, M. Nakagawa, J. O. P. Pedersen, S. Danielache, Y. Ueno, M. S. Johnson, N. Yoshida, and H. Svensmark, “An isotope view on ionising radiation as a source of sulphuric acid”, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 5039–5064, 2012. See http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/12/5039/2012/acpd-12-5039-2012.html

Some relevant items on this blog

Aarhus experiment http://calderup.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/accelerator-results-on-cloud-nucleation-2/

CERN CLOUD experiment http://calderup.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/cern-experiment-confirms-cosmic-ray-action/

Observational evidence of aerosol growth http://calderup.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/do-clouds-disappear/

Summary of Svensmark’s theory http://calderup.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/nutshell/

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Books by Nigel Calder http://calderup.wordpress.com/category/4-buy-the-chilling-stars/

h/t to Matthew Pearce

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kwik

Concratulation, Svensmark! So energy turns into mass?

Gary Hladik

If aerosol formation continues at night, then could cloud formation continue, too (presumably at a lower rate with less water vapor available from evaporation)? And maybe offset to some extent the cooling effect of daytime clouds by increasing “back radiation”?

John F. Hultquist

If this holds up, will Svensmark be awarded a Noble Prize?

The main problem with Svensmark’s ideas is that the climate does not follow the cosmic ray intensity.

mike about town

This has been an amazing story to follow…thanks for keeping us updated!

dtbronzich

I would be very interested to know what would happen in this process if methane was added to the equation? Would hydrocarbons form?

One also has to assume that post-industrial releases of Sulphur Dioxide has an effect here – more SO2 available for seeding?

Among all the four papers Svensmark submitted to arXiv.org, only one finally gets published. Will this new paper rejected or accepted by PRL? What does the time tag of the paper (Received December 2011) and the upload date Feb 23, 2012 mean?
http://arxiv.org/find/physics/1/au:+Svensmark_H/0/1/0/all/0/1

eyesonu

“So Svensmark and the small team in Copenhagen have had nearly all of the breakthroughs to themselves. And the chain of experimental and observational evidence is now much more secure”
===================
I wish the best to Svensmark and his team.
Fortunately there were some funding that was not wasted on the CO2 scheme. Imagine other scientific / engineering solutions that may have been made with regards to reliable energy solutions if not for the waste on CO2 CAGW. Very sad. The USA is now a very minor player in real science. Very sad indeed.
Another sad result of the CO2 causes CAGW is the generational loss of true scientific minds which can be applied to real scientific and engineering research. 20 plus years of corruption in academia and politics will be difficult to remedy in the fields of science. But then we can always rely on the Chinese and other overseas institutions to pick up the slack. Very sad state of affairs in the US. I will leave judgement of the UK to others.

I see Leif S. got his $0.00002 in right away! That bodes well.

Bengt A

Leif downplays everything that comes out of Svensmarks hands as usual. Why don’t you read the paper as a start? You might find that this time Svensmark has made a significant scientific finding.

Steve Brown

Game set and match to Svensmark, Kirby and Shaviv.
A good theory, supported by observation and now with clear experimental results to back it up. Proper science, a phenomenon unknown in that special field known as climate science where conjecture and alarm trump science every time.

Steve C

Excellent news. The GCR theory is growing up in a very promising way. Amazing how many of these hitherto unexpected mechanisms Mother Nature has up her sleeve.

Very interesting. I await the outcome of the review process. I’m not certain that this is all of the story even yet, but it does sound like some details are being filled in.
rgb

Charles.U.Farley

As every day passes so we find out just how little we know about the processes and their interactions that govern what happens in our atmosphere, being as it is, ever more complex than anyone could ever guess.
No wonder its not accurately modelled or capable of being so, no wonder the climate crackpots can only resort to lies, deception and misdirection to explain it.

MangoChutney

IF, and I mean IF, this stands up to peer review and the results are able to be reproduced, this work could bode very badly for the gravy train.
Leif is correct. If the results are confirmed, correlation will then need to be found, but how?

Steve Brown

This is the conclusive evidence as far as I can see…

Leif says: “climate does not follow the cosmic ray intensity.”
Several dozen studies say otherwise. Two dozen are cited in the second section of my AR5 review here.

Mrsean2k

@leif
At least one thing GCRs have in common with CO2 then.

Katherine

Science the way it ought to be done. Thank goodness for Svensmark and other real scientists hanging tough despite the long haul.

James Bull

This is science following wherever the findings lead you even when you get told you’r a fool for going that way and the science is settled. They should all get a prise for their determination to follow the facts and find the answers.
Also like Heartland they are getting good results for what must be a tiny investment compared to the CO2 crowed.
James Bull

Leif Svalgaard said @ March 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm

The main problem with Svensmark’s ideas is that the climate does not follow the cosmic ray intensity.

It doesn’t seem to follow CO2 concentration either.

There was a suggestion of a link (the NAO & AMO) with the intensity of heliospheric magnetic field at the Earth’s orbit (HMF), but that broke down in the early 1990s.
Fortunately there is still one more horse in the race which responds to the events of the solar system (second graph):
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GNAP.htm

M Courtney

Leif Svalgaard says:
March 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm
The main problem with Svensmark’s ideas is that the climate does not follow the cosmic ray intensity.
Are all cosmic rays are the same? When comparing total cosmic ray input with the negative charge catalysing cosmic ray input are we comparing like with like?
Serious question. I’m not an expert.

Mrsean2k

Many millions have been expended finding and modelling various corrections and supposed confounding factors in the hope of bolstering CO2 as a major climate driver.
Let’s see what happens when a fraction of that effort and budget is applied to looking for a GCR based climate “signal”

David Cage

eyesonu says:
Another sad result of the CO2 causes CAGW is the generational loss of true scientific minds which can be applied to real scientific and engineering research.
=========================
Not a loss at all. One of customers of the company I worked for had a group of three ex climate scientists. They were utterly brilliant young people who had been unable to get funding because they were considered to be in the words of their manager. “not committed to to the ethos of the group”. In English they wanted to research the idea it was not CO2 that altered climate.
They were a huge bonus to engineering which they would otherwise have ignored as a profession.
They had suggested a very similar idea to this and that the removal of SO2 for acid rain clean up had caused the shift but it would be self limiting.
I also wish the best to Svensmark and his team together with congratulations to the very brave man who helped get their funding against all the resistance it must have met.

Philip Bradley

The main problem with Svensmark’s ideas is that the climate does not follow the cosmic ray intensity.
Leif, on what timescale and geographic basis?
Note while SO2 emissions have risen sharply in Asia they have declined in Europe and to a lesser extent in N America and Australia.
http://library.thinkquest.org/26026/Statistics/world_so2_emissions.html
Clearly SO2 availability will affect the cloud seeding process.

Pat Frank

Svensmark isn’t specific in his paper on what ions are being produced during his gamma radiolysis. But gamma induced pulse-radiolysis of water is a well-known method to produce aquated electrons in the study of fast reduction kinetics.
If in-coming gamma radiolyzed stratospheric or tropospheric water, hydrogen atoms, hydrogen atoms, H., hydrogen ions, H+, hydroxyl radicals HO., and free electrons, e-, can be produced. Free electrons will be preferentially scavenged by dioxygen molecules (speaking Chemistry, here).
That reaction will produce the dioxygen radical anion: O2 + e- => .O2(-) (the dot on the back of O2 represents the extra electron), also known as superoxide.
One can then write an admittedly speculative catalytic chain reaction with SO2, sulfur dioxide, to produce sulfuric acid. Here we go:
1. SO2 + .O2(-) => [.SO3-O](-) The persulfuric radical anion (notice the dot now on the backside of sulfur)
2-1. propose that [.SO3-O](-) undergoes O-O homolytic cleavage to produce SO3 and the oxygen radical anion…
2-2. … thus [.SO3-O](-) => SO3 + .O(-)
3. SO3 + (ambient) H2O => H2SO4; sulfuric acid number 1.
4. .O(-) + another SO2 => .SO3(-), the sulfur trioxide radical anion.
The sulfur trioxide radical anion is a strong reductant, and will reduce another dioxygen…
5. Thus .SO3(-) + O2 => SO3 + .O2(-)
6. SO3 + (ambient) H2O => H2SO4; sulfuric acid number 2.
And the new .O2(-) radical anion produced in reaction 5 cycles right back up to reaction 1 again.
The net reaction is 2 SO2 + O2 => 2 SO3, and the further reaction with ambient water produces 2 H2SO4 molecules.
All catalyzed by .O2(-), which is invisible in the net reaction because it passes through unchanged like any good catalyst.
Termination of the catalytic chain might happen when .O2(-) encounters chlorine, bromine, or nitric oxide, all of which would be very happy to relieve the superoxide, .O2(-), of the burden of its extra electron.
It’s interesting that capture of an electron removes the spin barrier to reaction by dioxygen. Some may not know it, but we’re all thermodynamically unstable in a dioxygen atmosphere, and by rights we should all explode spontaneously into flame. Strict thermo says so.
The reason we don’t explode into flame is because dioxygen has a quantum mechanical barrier to reaction. Dioxygen has two unpaired electrons, in what’s called a ground state triplet. All normal compounds have zero unpaired electrons, in what’s called a ground state singlet. Triple to singlet transitions are “forbidden” in quantum mechanics. So, there’s a barrier (about 100 kiloJoules) that prevents dioxygen from reacting with any singlet molecule, of which we are mostly composed. Lovely, electron-rich molecules like fats, sugars, and amino acids. Those are all real lip-lickers for dioxygen. Darn that QM barrier, anyway. 🙂 It’s like a thick glass wall separating predator from prey.
The dioxygen radical anion, .O2(-), has only one free electron and has become a quantum mechanical “doublet.” Doublet to singlet transitions are allowed, and so superoxide can have its way with whatever it meets. Just whittling and grinning, looking for a pretty sulfur dioxide to mosey on by. . . 🙂

In experiments where ultraviolet light produces aerosols from trace amounts of ozone, sulphur dioxide, and water vapour, the number of additional small particles produced by ionization by gamma sources all grow up to diameters larger than 50 nm, appropriate for cloud condensation nuclei.
Interesting that UV is now playing a part in the total theory.

Scottish Sceptic

Svensmark won’t comment publicly on the new paper until it’s accepted for publication.
So sometime around 2020??

Scottish Sceptic

James Bull says: March 2, 2012 at 12:18 am
This is science following wherever the findings lead you even when you get told you’r a fool for going that way and the science is settled. They should all get a prise for their determination to follow the facts and find the answers.
I’ll take that as a nomination for the John Harrison award for best contributions to climate science:

Agnostic

It doesn’t seem to follow CO2 concentration either.
Which is a bigger point than the glibness with which it was made suggests. If I understand the GCR cloud formation hypotheses correctly, it doesn’t necessarily correlate directly because of other influencing factors.
In the same way we know that GhGs have a background influence on temperature, is not the GCR idea a tendency to create an effect if the conditions are right? Big enough to have an effect but modulated by many other factors?

Andrew30

Leif Svalgaard says: March 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm
The main problem with Svensmark’s ideas is that the climate [science funding] does not follow the cosmic ray intensity [proponents].
Fixed that for ya.

Bob Ryan

Leif Svalgaard says: ‘The main problem with Svensmark’s ideas is that the climate does not follow the cosmic ray intensity.’
If true, is that a real problem? Are you saying that there is no statistically robust correlation between change in intensity of CR flux and change in global T on any lag? Have you tested the statistical relationship making sure you have eliminated any unit roots by appropriate integration of the variables? Or, indeed, as with the deltaCo2/deltaT relationship, have you have realised that the time series are so structurally different that you have undertaken some other form of attribution analysis? Or have you just eyeballed a graph and formed a conclusion? I cannot find any evidence in the literature that you, or anyone else for that matter, have done any of these things. So before you dismiss a theory quite so emphatically reflect on this: you might just be on the wrong side of the argument.

Ken Hall

Thanks to head in the sand denialism by climate alarmists creating a political block to the rational and normal progress in scientific discovery, and Svensmark’s dogged, politically incorrect, though scientifically essential stubbornness to apply the full tenets of the scientific method, no matter what, then Svensmark SHOULD go down in scientific history as one of the great contrarian scientists of the age.
What this proves is that reality trumps theory every time. Alarmists reject reality when it conflicts with theory and then deny reality even exists.

Ken Hall

“The main problem with Svensmark’s ideas is that the climate does not follow the cosmic ray intensity.”
But there is a far stronger correlation with solar activity, than there is with CO2 concentration.

DirkH

Leif Svalgaard says:
March 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm
“The main problem with Svensmark’s ideas is that the climate does not follow the cosmic ray intensity.”
On decadal time scale, the discharges of El Niño’s and La Niña’s (caused by accumulation of UV photon energy in the boundary layer of the ocean) distort the correlation.
On a shorter time scale, the influence of the derivative of the CO2 concentration distorts it further.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12/derivative/scale:10/plot/uah
(It is the derivative of CO2 concentrations that inflluences the tropospheric temperature; not the concentration itself, because such a rise is followed by a drop in water vapor, keeping the total greenhouse effect constant.)
Subtract these influences and the correlation with cosmic rays might become more visible. I have not done this so far, so that’s speculation by me… I just want to point out that there are other effects that mask it over short (sub-century) timescales.

Ken Hall

There are two sides in the climate change debate. A debate which one side denied even existed for several recent years.
“The debate is over” – Al Gore.
The debate is clearly not over and it grows bitter and more entrenched by the month.
The two sides of the debate utilise different tactics and both have different agendas.
One side utilises emotive and upsetting and offensive propaganda. From videos showing Polar bears falling from the skies and landing in bloody impacts onto buildings and cars, to videos showing emotionless, graphic acts of bloody exploding children who may “doubt” the theory. Adverts on television showing cataclysmic end of world scenarios aimed at children which have caused deep emotional trauma and induced nightmares. The advocates and scientists try to close down debate, keep data secret, and prevent open investigation and shut the public out from understanding what is happening. They hate for us to dare to question them, but just want us all to uncritically believe them, which is the opposite of science.
Beyond the sick and offensive dramatics of the advocates, the actual antics of Alarmist scientists themselves go beyond the merely exaggerated, to the unethical and anti-scientific. There have been documented cases of scientists, using very misleading statistics to “prove” their case. Rejecting historical data if it inconveniently contradicts their theories (explorer’s finding islands in the Arctic which were not covered by ice in the 1920s, which are only now just being uncovered again by melting ice, suggesting that the current level of moderate ice melt is quite normal), Hiding inconvenient data, switching and applying unrelated data-sets and fraudulently passing them off as the same continuous bit of data (hockey-stick). There are cases of these scientists acting in cohort to incestuously peer-review each other’s work, instead of allowing the wider scientific community to do so and hiding and withholding data to prevent independent peer review. Even to the extent of illegally withholding data from lawful Freedom Of Information Act Requests. There are documented cases of Alarmist climate scientists conspiring to bully journal editors and working to threaten journals and have them closed down, if they have the temerity to dare publish properly peer reviewed papers which happen to conclude something which undermines the climate alarmist’s own work. We have cases of eminent climate scientists encouraging others to take illegal, criminal activities involving causing criminal damage to property and businesses.
Now we have alarmist climate scientists engaging in criminal activities themselves. ID fraud, Wire fraud, electronic impersonation, forgery and publishing false and malicious falsehoods with the intent to cause harm and loss. Wilfully undermining science and misleading the public is the least of their crimes. All these tactics, from the exaggerated outcomes, through the deceptions and falsehoods, to the actual harmful crimes, are accepted and defended by the Alarmist side of the debate as acceptable and understandable tactics. This side of the debate is funded to the tune of hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars by vested interests and political pressure groups and activists. Everyone from Big-Oil, Big Pharma, Political action committees, through to radical environmental groups to far left political campaign groups and not forgetting governments all over the world, all fund this side of the debate.
On the other side are some brave scientists who put the integrity of the scientific method above that of grant seeking and political expediency. Who believe in seeking truth, no matter where it lays, is more important than being part of the crowd. Who believe that the observation and measurement of reality, and experimentation to reproduce reality and falsify theories where possible, are more important than pushing a theory backed up solely by computer models. Who accept valid data, regardless of what it shows and who doggedly stick to experimentation and valid scientific methods of discovery in the face of constant threats to funding, political intimidation and overt attacks on their reputations. Svensmark springs to mind and I look forward to the publication of his latest work which finally shows the chain of events in cloud formation which demonstrates a far greater effect on climate changes from solar activity, than that of CO2, as is OBSERVED in reality.
This side scrapes by on a relative pittance. Funded by people who still believe in scientific integrity, truth and reality. This side is, remarkably, seeing their results still get through to the public, in spite of having less than 0.01% of the financial resources of the climate alarmist side. This is because of a fundamental truth. T > PPPP. TRUTH wins over piss poor political propaganda every time!
Now which of those two sides should I trust? The side which engages in criminal deception, fraud, forgery, slander and political propaganda using visuals of exploding children and splattered polar bears? Or the real empirical scientists?

Slabadang

A real replicable controlled experiment!
Wow! Svensmark really sticks out as odd. No climate modelling with pseudo scientific interpretation behind the results and the conclusion? We can`t have that can we? I meen …. REAL SCIENE isnt that to mock the whole CAGW industry?

Roger Carr

Thank you for presenting this, Nigel. Particularly interesting to read, and producing a fascination of commentary.

anticlimactic

It is nice to know there are some true scientists involved in climate research, and that they can get funding, admittedly a fraction of the funding of the quasi-science of AGW. Not so much David versus Goliath as David versus Godzilla!

Slabadang

Leif Svalgard!
Is stubborness some how a part of the scientific education? You have to DENIE the existence of the effect to argue the way you do. Have you allready really checked the numbers and the possibilities of combinations lf Shapiro et al aerosols ultra violet fluktuations different timescales?
Or did you just do what came as i spine marrow reaction and put both hands on your face to ensure that it didnt fall off? Your reaction is more like Gleicks recension of D La Frambois book at amazon without reading it.
You know with or weithout you …. science make giant leaps somtimes and leaves people behind.

Tony McGough

Well done to Svensmark and the Danes.
Mind you, it’s about time we had some payback for all the Danegeld we paid for all those years.

Scottish Sceptic

Bob Ryan says: March 2, 2012 at 12:52 am
Leif Svalgaard says: ‘The main problem with Svensmark’s ideas is that the climate does not follow the cosmic ray intensity.’
If true, is that a real problem?

Whilst it is tru that since 1980 there has been a divergence between some temperature series and cosmic ray flux, this appears to be a problem with the temperature series. For example this is when temperature divergerces from total global rainfall. It is also when Central England Temperature series diverges. For graphs see: my blog

The fellow sees things (makes observations) that disagree with currently accepted theories. The fellow then comes up with a theory that seeks to make sense. He then gets support for his theory by observation. Finally he gets experimental results which appear to back up the theory.
Is this some new tactic in climate science? If so, we need a name for it don’t we?
🙂

John Marshall

Excellent work. I’ve read the book now looking forward to the film.
There is plenty more to go at in our knowledge of our atmosphere which is still fairly poor.

NavarreAggie

I’m happy to see vindication for Svensmark. He really does deserve a Nobel Prize (if that award still has any true meaning). I’ll never forget the first program I saw in 2000-2001 detailing Svensmark’s theory…fascinating.

Bill Marsh

kwik says:
March 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm
Concratulation, Svensmark! So energy turns into mass?
==================
Assuming this was written with ‘tongue firmly planted in cheek’ given that GCR are not energy (rays) but particles (mass).

DirkH says: March 2, 2012 at 1:46 am
On decadal time scale, the discharges of El Niño’s and La Niña’s (caused by accumulation of UV photon energy in the boundary layer of the ocean) distort the correlation.
Judging by the spectral response elNino / laNina (the SOI here compared to the AMO) on decadal scale have suppressed 11 year component.
On multidecadal scale there isn’t much of significance.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AMO-SOI.htm

Ian W

Geoff Sharp says:
March 2, 2012 at 12:43 am
“In experiments where ultraviolet light produces aerosols from trace amounts of ozone, sulphur dioxide, and water vapour, the number of additional small particles produced by ionization by gamma sources all grow up to diameters larger than 50 nm, appropriate for cloud condensation nuclei.”
Interesting that UV is now playing a part in the total theory.

And although TSI remains relatively constant the amount of UV alters significantly.