CERN’s CLOUD experiment results suggests industrial revolution reduced cloud cover, cosmic rays have an impact too

From CERN

Our planet’s pre-industrial climate may have been cloudier than presently thought, shows CERN’s CLOUD experiment in two papers published in Nature.

CERN experiment points to a cloudier pre-industrial climate

In two papers1,2 published today in the journal Nature, new results from the CLOUD3experiment at CERN4 imply the baseline pristine pre-industrial climate may have been cloudier than presently thought. CLOUD shows that organic vapours emitted by trees produce abundant aerosol particles in the atmosphere in the absence of sulphuric acid. Previously it was thought that sulphuric acid – which largely arises from fossil fuels – was essential to initiate aerosol particle formation. CLOUD finds that these so-called biogenic vapours are also key to the growth of the newly-formed particles up to sizes where they can seed clouds.

“These results are the most important so far by the CLOUD experiment at CERN,” said CLOUD spokesperson, Jasper Kirkby. “When the nucleation and growth of pure biogenic aerosol particles is included in climate models, it should sharpen our understanding of the impact of human activities on clouds and climate.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considers that the increase in aerosols and clouds since pre-industrial times represents one of the largest sources of uncertainty in climate change5. CLOUD is designed to understand how new aerosol particles form and grow in the atmosphere, and their effect on clouds and climate.

CLOUD also finds that ions from galactic cosmic rays strongly enhance the production rate of pure biogenic particles – by a factor 10-100 compared with particles without ions. This suggests that cosmic rays may have played a more important role in aerosol and cloud formation in pre-industrial times than in today’s polluted atmosphere.

A paper published simultaneously in Science (Bianchi, F., et al. Science, doi 10.1126/ science.aad5456(link is external), 2016) describes an observation of pure organic nucleation at the Jungfraujoch observatory by the same mechanism reported by CLOUD. The measurements did not involve CLOUD directly but most of the authors are also members of the CLOUD collaboration.

“The observation of pure organic nucleation at the Jungfraujoch is very satisfying,” said Kirkby. “It confirms that the same process discovered by CLOUD in the laboratory also takes place in the atmosphere.”


Footnote(s)

1. Kirkby, J., et al. Ion-induced nucleation of pure biogenic particles. Nature, doi 10.1038/nature 17953(link is external) (2016).

2. Tröstl, J., et al. The role of low-volatility organic compounds in initial particle growth in the atmosphere. Nature, doi 10.1038/nature18271(link is external) (2016).

3. The CLOUD experiment consists of a large instrumented chamber in which the atmosphere can be precisely simulated, and the formation and growth of aerosol particles and the clouds they seed can be studied under precisely controled atmospheric conditions. Unwanted contaminants can be suppressed well below the part-per-trillion level. The CLOUD experiment uses a beam from CERN’s Proton Synchrotron to simulate cosmic rays – particles bombarding the atmosphere from space.

The experimental collaboration comprises 21 institutes: Aerodyne Research, California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, CERN, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Goethe University Frankfurt, Helsinki Institute of Physics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Lebedev Physical Institute, Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Paul Scherrer Institute, Stockholm University, Tofwerk, University of Beira Interior, University of Eastern Finland, University of Helsinki, University of Innsbruck, University of Leeds, University of Lisbon, University of Manchester, and University of Vienna.

4. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics. Its headquarters are in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Romania is a Candidate for Accession. Cyprus and Serbia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. Pakistan and Turkey are Associate Member States. European Union, India, Japan, JINR, Russian Federation, UNESCO and United States of America have Observer status.

5. Boucher, O. et al. in Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (eds. Stocker, T.F. et al.) 571–658 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013).


Supporting information to press briefing on Nature publications by the CLOUD collaboration:

Kirkby, J. et al. Ion-induced nucleation of pure biogenic particles. Nature, doi 10.1038/nature17953 (2016).
Tröstl, J. et al. The role of low-volatility organic compounds in initial particle growth in the atmosphere. Nature, doi 10.1038/nature18271 (2016).

The background to the CERN CLOUD experiment. CLOUD is studying how new aerosol particles form or “nucleate” in the atmosphere and grow to sizes where they modify clouds and climate. Using a particle beam from the CERN Proton Synchrotron, CLOUD is also investigating whether these processes are affected by ionisation from galactic cosmic rays. Atmospheric aerosol particles cool the climate by reflecting sunlight and by forming more numerous but smaller cloud droplets, which makes clouds brighter and extends their lifetimes. Cooling due to increased aerosol particles from human activities has offset part of the warming caused by increased greenhouse gases. To determine the amount of cooling requires knowledge of the aerosol state of the pre-industrial atmosphere. Unfortunately we cannot directly measure this since there are almost no regions of today’s atmosphere that are perfectly free of pollution. So the pre-industrial atmosphere must be simulated with climate models based on sound measurements of the underlying microphysical processes obtained by laboratory experiments. CLOUD brings together fundamental experiments with climate modeling in a single international collaborative effort.

What has CLOUD studied? CLOUD has studied the formation of new atmospheric particles in a specially designed chamber under extremely well controlled laboratory conditions of temperature, humidity and concentrations of nucleating and condensing vapours. In the present experiments we measured the formation and growth of particles purely from organic vapours emitted by trees (so-called biogenic vapours). The particular vapour studied was alpha- pinene, which gives pine forests their characteristic pleasant smell. Alpha-pinene is rapidly oxidised on exposure to ozone, creating vapours with extremely low volatilities but only tiny concentrations of around one molecule per trillion (1012) air molecules.

What’s special about the CLOUD experiment? Using CERN know-how, the CLOUD chamber has achieved much lower concentrations of contaminants than all previous experiments, allowing us to measure particle nucleation and growth from biogenic vapours in the complete absence of contaminant vapours such as sulphuric acid. The collaboration has developed state-of-the-art instruments to measure the vapours, ions and aerosol particles at ultra low concentrations in the air sampled from the CLOUD chamber. We measure how these vapours and ions form molecular clusters and which vapours control the subsequent particle growth. A special feature of CLOUD is its capability to measure nucleation enhanced by cosmic-ray ionisation generated by a CERN pion beam – or with all the effects of ionisation completely suppressed by an internal electric field.

What has CLOUD discovered? CLOUD has found that oxidised biogenic vapours produce abundant particles in the atmosphere in the absence of sulphuric acid. Previously it was thought that sulphuric acid – which largely arises from sulphur dioxide emitted by fossil fuels – was essential to initiate particle formation. We found that ions from galactic cosmic rays strongly enhance the production rate of pure biogenic particles – by a factor 10-100 compared with particles without ions, when concentrations are low. We also show that oxidised biogenic vapours dominate particle growth in unpolluted environments, starting just after the first few molecules have stuck together and continuing all the way up to sizes above 50-100 nm where the particles can seed cloud droplets. The growth rate accelerates as the particles increase in size, as progressively higher-volatility biogenic vapours are able to participate. We quantitatively explain this with a model of organic condensation.

Why is it important for our understanding of climate? Ion-induced nucleation of pure biogenic particles may have important consequences for pristine climates since it provides a hitherto-unknown mechanism by which nature produces particles without pollution. And, once embryonic particles have formed, related but more abundant oxidised biogenic vapours cause the particle growth to accelerate. Rapid growth of the new particles while they are still small and highly mobile implies a larger fraction will avoid coagulation with pre-existing larger particles and eventually reach sizes where they can seed cloud droplets and influence climate. Pure biogenic nucleation and growth may raise the baseline aerosol state of the pristine pre-industrial atmosphere and so may reduce the estimated anthropogenic radiative forcing from increased aerosol-cloud albedo over the industrial period. Ion- induced pure biogenic nucleation may also shed new light on the long-standing question of a physical mechanism for solar-climate variability in the pristine pre-industrial climate.

A paper published simultaneously in Science (Bianchi, F. et al. Science, doi 10.1126/science.aad5456, 2016) reports observations made at the Jungfraujoch of pure organic nucleation in the free troposphere, confirming the relevance of the CLOUD measurements to the atmosphere.

Advertisements

133 thoughts on “CERN’s CLOUD experiment results suggests industrial revolution reduced cloud cover, cosmic rays have an impact too

    • Bud
      My thought entirely.
      Plainly there are a lot of known unknowns, and more hitherto unknown unknowns – each month.

      Each week may be a little bit strong – or may not.

      Auto – ever more impressed at what we can find that we don’t actually know . . . .

    • So it really IS true, that water droplets will not grow from zero radius requiring infinite internal excess pressure.

      You’ve got to have all that soot from coal burning steam trains to grow the water droplets that make clouds.

      So California’s clean air act that mandates that California air be cleaner than when the first covered wagon crossed the border into the golden state, is the real cause of global warming, by making it harder for cloud droplets to nucleate.

      Talk about unintended consequences.

      G

      • Consider a film of water between two parallel wires separated by a width (w), where the wires are in two holes in a fixed wall, with a cross wire at the end away from the wall, so that the area of the water film is: a = l x w where l is the length of the two wires. Well the film is double sided so the total water surface area a = 2 lw

        The surface tension (t) in the water surface is trying to pull the film into the wall with a force F = 2t x w Newtons. (t) has units of Newtons per meter. Two surfaces remember.

        So if I push the wires out from the wall by a distance D, the amount of work I do against the surface tension force is simply W = Fd = 2twD.

        Note that 2wD is simply is the total increase in water surface area caused by the extension.

        So the work done against surface tension is simply t times the increase in total water surface area.

        Well we all knew that didn’t we, and I could have simply told you so, but the trolls would say I was arguing from a position of authority.

        Well hell I was wasn’t I ??

        So now consider an isolated spherical droplet of water with a radius r, and we assume it is in ordinary air so basically it is at atmospheric pressure.

        So the surface tension in the droplet surface is struggling to reduce the surface area by pulling everywhere with the surface tension t, so it is trying to shrink the droplet to a smaller radius.

        Imagine a small reduction in radius due to the surface tension amounting to dr. (differential).
        This would reduce the surface area of the droplet, which is a = 4pir^2, and the amount of that reduction in area is da/dr x dr = 8pirdr

        So such a reduction in droplet radius would perform work amounting to w = 8pirdrt multiplying the change in droplet area by the surface tension (only one surface in this case.)

        Well the droplet of course will not shrink (much) but the result of the surface tension, is to create an internal pressure i(p) nside the droplet, and that pressure opposes the surface tension force.

        Such a pressure over the whole surface multiplied by the change in radius (dr) would give the amount of work done by the internal pressure in opposing the radius change.

        So the droplet does not shrink, but the “virtual” work that would be done by the internal pressure, must equal the virtual work that the surface tension would do, if such a droplet radius change occurred.

        So we have W = 8pirdrt = p4pir^2dr since the droplet area is 4pir^2

        So the work done is of course virtual work and dr is really next to zero, but it cancels, along with the pi, and we find that 8rt = 4pr, or p = 2t/r

        Well I could have told you that in the first place, but more fun to show you how to use the principle of “virtual work” to figure out what would happen if something that doesn’t happen did happen (droplet shrinks)

        So water droplets, and air/steam bubbles in water all have an internal excess pressure due to surface tension in the water surface given by 2t/r.

        Note that a soap bubble has two surfaces so the internal excess pressure in a soap bubble is 4t/r.

        So now we see the climatic OOoops !!

        If r > 0 (zero) p > infinity.

        So water droplets cannot grow, nor can steam bubbles form in boiling water, unless there is an excess internal pressure that gets very high when the radius is small.

        So clous droplets need a larger area substrate to grow on, and steam bubbles need some dirt or coffee grounds to grow on. So if you nuke very clean water, don’t be surprised if it explodes in your face due to superheating without bubbles forming.

        So anyhow.

        It is surface tension that stops rain drops from forming without a substrate to grow on, and the larger the radius o curvature of the substrate surface, the easier it is to deposit water on.

        G

      • If you buy a brand new pyrex bowl and some distilled/de-ionized water and you place the water in the bowl in the microwave – then you can heat and heat it to the point where it would normally have boiled.
        If you now turn the microwave off and throw some salt into the water, then it will boil explosively.
        Please, be aware that this experiment does feature some significant hazards.
        For example if you decide to remove the bowl and superheated water from the microwave and place it on a counter-top – then it could suddenly decide to flash boil whilst you are carrying it.
        Anyway – being the nerd that I am – I once did this as a teenager.
        After the boiling had abated, only a small fraction of the water was left in the bowl.
        It was pretty impressive, and dangerous.

      • And as they tell us, the warming will increase wildfires and drought – /sarc
        Producing a powerful negative feedback to the attempts to “clean” the air.
        I’m saying it way too often these days, but I do love the smell of cognitive dissonance in the morning…

      • There’s a typo error down there: 8rt = 4pr^2 (the ^2 was lost down there).

        Also for those who don’t know differential calculus:

        Surface area of sphere with radius r = 4pir^2
        Surface area of sphere with radius (r +dr) =4pi(r+dr)^2 = 4pi(r^2 + 2rdr + (dr)^2)

        The differential change in radius (dr) tends to zero in the limit, so (dr)^2 is vanishingly small which leaves the surface area = 4pir^2 + 8pirdr , so 8pirdr is the differential increase in surface area due to the virtual increase in radius (dr).

        When I was teaching Physics to first year premed students; their pre-requisites did not include calculus, so I couldn’t use any calculus in the course.

        Well I used it anyway; and I just developed the derivative of 4pir^2 in front of their noses; just as here, just never mentioned the word calculus.

        Sorry I missed that typo down there.

        G

    • Amazing arrogance. He starts out by saying the previous understanding of clouds was completely wrong but now it is all completely understood. Then ends with a completely confident claim that of course, temperatures are still going to be increasing through a process that he does not explain. What a plonker!

    • Trees also produce smog according to the EPA. In fact the EPA once asked Atlanta, GA to remove most of the trees within the city so they could pass the clean air standards. I was waiting for them to ask us hillbillies to clear cut the Great Smoky Mountains, since they also couldn’t pass. Don’t know why they never did… Sure couldn’t accuse ’em of too much common sense.

      • I remember when the same activists wanted Pres. Reagan’s head when he stated that trees can cause pollution.

  1. A paper published simultaneously in Science (Bianchi, F., et al. Science, doi 10.1126/ science.aad5456(link is external), 2016) describes an observation of pure organic nucleation at the Jungfraujoch observatory by the same mechanism reported by CLOUD. The measurements did not involve CLOUD directly but most of the authors are also members of the CLOUD collaboration.
    ======================================================================
    So basically the 2 papers agree which might appear to be good on the surface but if you look at the papers author list
    The Kirby et al paper lists 25 named authors
    while
    The Tröstl, J., et al paper lists 24 named authors.
    But 18 of those are listed as authors of BOTH papers.
    To a certain extent this could simply be the majority of authors agreeing with themselves in 2 authored papers to reinforce their perceived viewpoint of Cause and Effect

    • Wow take a new finding lead by an group who believes in a coming ice age in the near past and then claim the new findings about cloud formation means / conclusion. The catastrophic climate events such as global warming of the current process of mass extinction of complex life on earth will not be so bad. This conclusion is disconnected from the new findings. Also the conclusion the earth by “organic nucleation” had more cloud cover is pure garbage. Who allowed such people who as a group did measurements at Jungfraujoch and came to a conclusion then to control CERN’s experimental cloud chamber to prove their forgone conclusions. This is as close to scientific fraud as possible. This group needs to be replaced by a different group just in the face of having made public their private conclusions as if they are supported by the new findings concerning nucleation of clouds. In fact the new findings on cloud nucleation could indicate its possible global warming could be much worse. Ouch!

      • Clueless troll seems to believe that posting the exact nonsense multiple times makes him marginally more relevant.

    • that’s the whole truth about IPCC : authors and peer-reviewers are members of the same club, selected to prove the anthropogenic influence on climate. Not to disprove it.

  2. I thought the pre industrial era was cloudier than the midieval warm period, as judged by paintings of the periods Is this a flawed assumption and if not what caused that variability.

    • Both are possible. Forests were cut down in Europe and Asia (at least) during the Medieval Warm Period, until the Black Death. Then they were cut down again during the Little Ice Age, as population recovered and building, heating and naval needs grew.

      The early industrial age was limited to western Europe. Hard to say when industrialization might have become climatically significant. Although the age arguably began around AD 1760, “climate scientists” used to consider 1850 as the approximate end of the “pre-industrial” era.

      The LIA was very likely cloudier than the Medieval WP.

      • Gabro wrote: ” Hard to say when industrialization might have become climatically significant.”

        There is no evidence that industrialization has ever become climatically significant.

  3. “Previously it was thought that sulphuric acid – which largely arises from fossil fuels – was essential to initiate aerosol particle formation.”
    What narrow-minded egotists dreamed this up?
    The first synthetic clouds (Wilson – 1911) used no sulfur. Clouds were produced by ions (created by ionizing radiation!) in an atmosphere super-saturated with vapors of a substance that is normally liquid at the operating temperature. In 1936 a variation using alcohol was developed (Langsdorf).
    The ‘climatiologists’ have had over a century to study this, and still don’t get it.

    • That’s not how I read their paper. They are claiming that biogenic materials are more significant that sulfur for cloud formation and that this biogenic material is formed less in the presence of sulfur contaminated air.

    • If humans weren’t burning much fossil fuel a couple hundred years ago, do these guys think it wasn’t raining back then? And, does their “hitherto-unknown mechanism ” imply that they think no mechanism was around to nucleate clouds, allowing it to rain, or did they realize that, of course, it rained but now we know what one possible mechanism was?

      • I can only conclude that you never bothered to actually read the article.
        1) They claimed that biogenesis particles were better at promoting clouds than are sulfure dioxide particles.
        Therefore the claim that the authors didn’t think it rained prior to the introduction of sulfure dioxide particles is easily refuted.
        2) Postulating a hitherto-unknown mechanism does not imply that there are no other mechanisms.
        3) Are you being paid to embarrass yourself?

  4. “Previously it was thought that sulphuric acid – which largely arises from fossil fuels – was essential to initiate aerosol particle formation.”

    That is rather non-specific. Wouldn’t be safer to say “sulphuric acid – which largely arises from coal, but has been removed by modern processes prior to burning”? Some of these articles seem hell bent on confounding the questions of aerosols with carbon dioxide.

    • No, that would not be more accurate. Diesel and aviation fuel also contains considerable amounts of sulphur. It’s fossil fuels in general, it was correct as stated.

    • It would be interesting to see that graph with the global totals. where does it come from?

      Just doing an eye-ball addition, it looks like aerosols rose rapidly since 1950; peaked around 1975 and then dropped towards the end of the 20th c. plateauing out from about 1995. Sound like a mirror image of the temperature record in such a broad brush description.

  5. Why is it important for our understanding of climate? Ion-induced nucleation of pure biogenic particles may have important consequences for pristine climates since it provides a hitherto-unknown mechanism

    Hitherto-unknown indeed? So how is this different to what Svensmark has been publishing on since the 1990s ? Because they put the words pure biogenic at the end. I was not aware that Svensmark ever suggested his hypothesis applied ONLY to anthropogenic polluted atmospheres, so this is hardly new.

    This is most unfair and dishonest to claim this is hitherto-unknown when it was Svensmark who did the ground breaking work on this and even did it in his own apartment because CERN refused to get their act together and build something.

    So, reading between the lines of what they are carefully NOT saying ( for fear of being ‘politically incorrect’ ) is that man made aerosols will have a much lesser effect than modellers are currently using since there was already a very significant natural component before industrialisation.

    Well, despite all the dancing around trying to avoid offending the IPCC false consensus, Kirkby did actually say that this will bring down model projections of warming. So at least it is a step in the right direction.

    • It also puts a bit of a hole in the claim that aerosols from dirty coal plants in China were the cause of the pause.

    • Svensmark’s mistake was not adding the required mantra at the end of his papers, “we’re still headed for major warming”.

    • I did not read this as a slap in anyone’s face, just as additional convincing scientific evidence that aerosols are much less understood than most people assumed – and much more tangled, making modeling even more uncertain than thought (which is pretty hard to do in my case, because I always thought the models were as predictive as throwing darts!)

      So if I read this right, before significant use of coal, weather was impacted by natural aerosols that are more reactive with cosmic rays. Any increase or decrease in either aerosols or cosmic rays reduced cloud cover, and may impact weather (warmer, dryer?). If it continues over a long enough period of time it becomes an impact to Climate.

      Once significant Sulfur is released in burning, it becomes the primary aerosol (as sulfuric acid) and is less affected by cosmic rays, therefore cloud cover increases (?) more easily. Possibly a lead into the little ice age (<– pure unadulterated speculation…did coal use expand around 1,100 AD? I'll have to look that up). No idea why we recovered from the Little Ice Age using this reasoning, other than other natural cycles are more important.

      Once you start scrubbing sulfur from exhaust, levels drop and cloud cover is reduced. And temperatures start rising again around 1975? (<– more unadulterated speculation)

      Its interesting to think about.

      • I didn’t get the idea that biogenic aerosols decreased the amount of cloud cover and sulpheric aerosols increased cloud cover from this paper, rather the opposite the way I read it. What am I missing?

      • A Nobel Physics Prize physicist told me (actually over a beer in a friend’s garden).

        No matter how small a piece of a sphere you select, the curvature remains the same.

        So no, earth is NOT flat.

        G

        PS He proved quarks exist.

  6. The “climate community” are “attacking like white blood cells”, Schmidt pretends to praise the study while creating doubt and essentially shooting it down.

    He’s a sly one that one, always gives a long obfuscating answer to very simple questions

    I have no idea as to the validity of this study and neither does Gav, he’s a modeler who doesn’t even understand statistics ffs

    • First thing he did was get on to his chums for reasons to cast doubt. Implies something about Svensmark not being an author, though his study is referenced

    • Only reason he didn’t go full rtrd was because it is CERN, they’d eat Gav the modeler alive

    • always gives a long obfuscating answer
      ================
      the very definition of a poor communicator. the least amount of information in the most amount of words.

      In Canada we have french and english labels. Both say the same thing. The french always takes 2-3 times as much room. Half the time they need to make the box bigger to allow for the french. One shudders to think how big the container would have to be if the instructions were written in gavin.

      • For things written in Gavinese, one needs a living dictionary.

        A lliving dictionary is like one of those internet-connected “picture frames” you gave your mom and dad at Christmas so you can weekly update the photos displayed of their grandkids.

      • …and I understand that in French it does not matter what the label says, all that mattes is how it is said.

  7. So we have another negative feedback loop:

    CO2 rises
    More plant growth
    More biogenic aerosols
    GCR’s seed more clouds
    Albedo goes up
    Earth cools

    I was interested by the recent WUWT article on albedo. If you look at the graph you can see increased albedo just after the solar cycle minima, plus another increase in the last few years of this weak solar cycle. Looks like the Svensmark effect to me.

  8. Wow take a new finding lead by an group who believes in a coming ice age in the near past and then claim the new findings about cloud formation means / conclusion. The catastrophic climate events such as global warming of the current process of mass extinction of complex life on earth will not be so bad. This conclusion is disconnected from the new findings. Also the conclusion the earth by “organic nucleation” had more cloud cover is pure garbage. Who allowed such people who as a group did measurements at Jungfraujoch and came to a conclusion then to control CERN’s experimental cloud chamber to prove their forgone conclusions. This is as close to scientific fraud as possible. This group needs to be replaced by a different group just in the face of having made public their private conclusions as if they are supported by the new findings concerning nucleation of clouds. In fact the new findings on cloud nucleation could indicate its possible global warming could be much worse. Ouch!

    • Carriage returns are your friends.
      It would also help if you slowed down a bit and actually thought through what you wanted to say as opposed to a stream of consciousness.

      1) Your first sentence is sufficient to completely discredit anything else you may decide to regurgitate. First off, whether they do or do not believe that an ice age may happen in the future says nothing about whether this paper is correct or not. PS: Everybody believes that a new ice age is coming, they disagree regarding the timing. The group in question may have made comments regarding the possibility of a new little ice age, which is a completely different subject. [snip]

      2) What catastrophic global warming? Are you talking about the 0.8C over the last century, most of which was caused by something other than CO2? What mass extinction of complex life? Despite the recurring claims of such, there has been no increase in extinction events and to date not a single extinction has been traced back to climate change. Do you really want to continue destroying what little credibility you have left? Oh yes, I see that you do.

      3) The only conclusion the paper made was that organic molecules made better nucleation sites than previously believed and that cosmic rays played a role in helping both organic and inorganic nucleation sources cluster together. If you care to dispute that finding, be my guest. Just whining that you don’t like the results may impress your cell mates, but doesn’t cut it here.

      4) On what basis do you conclude that “earth by “organic nucleation” had more cloud cover is pure garbage”? Does the fact that it contradicts your religious beliefs really constitute proof in your “mind”?

      5) Do you have any evidence that their conclusions were foregone? Or are you just assuming that since this is how you operate, everyone else must also be so depraved? Do you have any evidence that the “foregone” conclusion affected the outcome of the experiment? If so, show your work. Naked assertions are not usually sufficient to over turn a scientific finding.

      6) They reached a conclusion that you don’t like, therefore they committed fraud. I love the way a trolls mind “works”.

      7) Ouch is right. I’ve never seen such an efficient use of self-refuting illogic and emotional rantings. [snip]

      • Thanks for your irrational comments on nature my rational, but also emotional comments. Now it seemed as if it were a personal attack. 1. My form is not correct therefore anything I have to say is wrong. (irrational at best) n… ect.. Given 1. your form of personal attack there was no reason to read the rest. However please if I am mistaken. Your view point is: No extinction events are currently in progress. No global warming. Wow Jaw dropping.

      • There was nothing rational about your rant, as I demonstrated.

        I love the way trolls get flabbergasted when confronted with the fact that nobody believes their lies.

    • I had an excellent and extended refutation of this nonsense. What happened to it? Mods?

    • “by an group who believes in a coming ice age”

      OMG: If somebody starts his comment with such complete BS then one can stop further reading!

      These researchers are not at all very AGW skeptical and don’t “believe in a coming ice age”, quite on the contrary! Therefore it’s rather remarkable that they admit now some likelihood for a significant Svensmark effect in the preindustrial era.

      Well, let’s see what will come out of this research in the next years? It’s certainly an important and exciting field of real science for a change…

      • Having had the misfortune of actually reading through that irrational rant, I can assure you that you didn’t miss anything.

  9. The CERN GCR impact on VOC nucleation may be new science, but the rest isn’t. Ocean algae produce dimethylsulfides, a known cloud nucleator. Coniferous boreal forests produce turpenes. Deciduous forests produce isoprenes, which is why the Great Smoky Mountains are ‘smoky’ in summer but not winter. Isoprene nucleated ‘smoke’ is actually fog. The Amazon produces both turpenes and isoprenes that nucleate early morning canopy fog. All three VOC classes get wafted aloft where they do the same thing for clouds. Been known for years.
    Whether land use change means the preindustrial era was cloudier is IMO unknowable speculation.

    • Makes a taxpayer wonder why billions for climate studies are required if one look at some old paintings can tell us what the weather was like in the 15th C.

      • Not sure that is a fair comment. If I was a painter I would prefer to be out in the sunshine painting a sunlit scene rather than sitting in the rain trying to stop the paint from running. If the weather was crap I would just wait until it got better, supposing it took a week or more.
        And anyway, most final results would be finished off in the studio after making working sketches or watercolours on site.

      • If you look to Indian painting from the same period – then we can deduce that in former times, Indian people who were far away were larger than Indian people who were near to the viewer.
        And the same was true in European painting during the early medieval period.
        Literal interpretation of trends or fashions in painting could lead a person to conclude some very odd things about reality in the past.
        There is a fundamental problem – paintings are not required to accurately represent reality.
        OR at least they weren’t until photorealism/hyperrealism of the 20th century.
        (Comment is reply to other comments in this thread.)

    • ristvan “Coniferous boreal forests produce turpenes. Deciduous forests produce isoprenes, which is why the Great Smoky Mountains are ‘smoky’ in summer but not winter. Isoprene nucleated ‘smoke’ is actually fog. ”

      Like the Blue Mountains in Australia which are incredibly blue.
      It is commonly believed that the blue haze blanketing the mountains is created by the atmosphere whereby dispersed droplets of Eucalypt oil combine with dust particles and water vapour to scatter refracted rays of light which are largely blue in colour.

      ferd berple “Makes perfect sense. Trees that are able to create clouds and thus water themselves have a better chance of survival. Over time this will lead to trees that are genetically selected for their ability to create rain.”

      If anywhere this would be an advantage it is Australia.

      • One wonders about the battle that is being fought along the east coast of Australia.
        On the one hand there are the trees producing droplets of eucalypt oil which enhance rainfall and on the other zooxanths that are pumping sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere that is damping down the effects of cosmic rays.

      • We thought it was only coral wars

        Now they are attacking Eucalypts
        Is there anything they can’t do?
        Coral v Eucalypts
        A bit like Terminator v Predator
        We know nothing! Should we exterminate the GBR to save Australia? Could the GBR be keeping The Great Sandy Desert in water penury?

      • So what happened to just the simple Mie, and Raleigh scattering that makes the sky blue anyway.

        Don’t need any turpentine or isoprentine clouds.

        g

    • Ristvan: “Whether land use change means the preindustrial era was cloudier is IMO unknowable speculation.”

      I think they are saying cloudier than *presumed* to be in climate models which presume it to be much less cloudly than late 20th c. , ie they assume a large negative aerosol forcing….. which then allows exaggerated CO2 / GHG forcing to balance the model.

      What Kirkby is saying , ever so gently and quietly, is that models are using exaggerated GHG forcing. this will allow modellers to say “oh, new evidence, we’ll have to revise our models. Not that we were wrong but this is new knowledge we did not have before”.

      Part of the long row back without ever admitted they got it wrong.

      • Roger, it is a simple consequence of the internal excess pressure due to surface tension.
        The required pressure excess to sustain the droplet is given by dP = 2t/r where t is the surface tension in newton per meter, and r is the droplet (of water) radius.

        So an infinite internal pressure is required for the droplet to start at zero radius. Large molecules, charged particles microbes dust soot, it is all good non zero radius substrate to grow water droplets on.

        G

        it’s just 4-H club physics. Dunno why it seems to be unknown up here on the cheesy side of the pizza.

    • ristvan is correct that coniferous forests produce terpenes. Alpha-pinene, C10H16, is a terpene, a dimer of isoprene, C5H8, and is a main component of turpentine, obtained from pine trees in Tennessee and other southern states. Turpentine is used as a paint thinner for oil-based paints used by artists, and formerly by house painters before the development of water-based latex paints. Terpenes are produced by conifers probably as insect repellents, but can act as nuclei for macroscopic water droplets (fog particles) which led to the name of the Great Smoky Mountains. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Smoky_Mountains and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinene .

      george e. smith may be right about the need for macroscopic particles to act as seeds for fog/cloud droplets. This is the theory behind the use of tiny crystals of silver iodide or dry ice to act as seeds to form rain. Smoke particles too, as it seems to me that after major artillery and firearms battles involving gunpowder, the agonized, wounded survivors are made more miserable by rain pissing down on them in the cool evenings. Cosmic ray particles have such high energies that they leave a trail of ionized particles behind them. Since large molecules like terpenes or isoprene might be more easily ionized than small O2 or N2 molecules, they might more easily attract polar water molecules and stabilize them as they cluster together to form liquid droplets (there are more ways to distribute the heat of vaporization among many vibrational and rotational modes of large molecules than the one vibration and 2 rotations of linear diatomic molecules). So natural terpene pollution produced by trees, combined with cosmic rays from outside the Solar system, may have caused a slightly higher cloud cover and lower surface temperatures, conditions which reversed and caused much of the temperature rise since 1850.

      • To george e. smith: I don’t think we disagree re liquid droplet formation; I just think in terms of molecular properties, not bulk properties such as surface tension. For example, practically every chemistry text that shows two hydrogen atoms combining to form one H2 molecule by the process H + H = H2 is wrong about the mechanism. Two separate hydrogen atoms (H) in outer space already have more energy than the bond dissociation energy of the H2 molecule. So when two H atoms approach each other, they speed up (kinetic energy increases) as the potential energy decreases (as the electrons adjust their motions to result in net attraction). When they reach the equilibrium bond length, they do not stop, but continue on until they climb the potential energy wall at smaller distances (the positive nuclei repel each other more than the attraction to electrons in between them). Since the H2 molecule has no permanent electric dipole moment, emission of an electromagnetic wave (photon) to stabilize the two atoms in the bound state does not happen. Instead, the two H atoms bounce off each other (ending up as separate atoms in outer space). In order to form a stable H2 molecule, energy equivalent to the bond dissociation energy must be transferred to a third body. This could be a third molecule that simultaneously collides with the two hydrogen atoms, but better would be a macroscopic particle of dust, or a clean metal surface (for example, platinum or palladium used in catalytic converters for auto exhaust). Hydrogen atoms loosely bond to clean metal surfaces, and two such atoms can bond at the surface, and then detach as an H2 molecule. The energy released, equivalent to the bond dissociation energy, ends up heating the platinum catalytic surface, possibly red-hot.

        In the case of condensation of water droplets, separate H2O molecules in the gas phase attract each other (since the polar molecules attract each other, like dipole magnets), but they must eventually lose energy equivalent to the latent heat of vaporization from bulk water. This is more probably accomplished on collision with a macroscopic dust particle, or possibly ionized large molecules such as terpenes like alpha-pinene. It’s been a while since I was a college student, but I’m guessing no one has yet calculated from the Schroedinger Equation the vapor pressure curve for liquid water, and thus something simply measured as the normal boiling point. However, chemists like thinking in terms of molecular mechanisms, in which radii are never exactly zero (OK, the Ideal Gas Equation works for point molecules with no attractive forces between them, but this is only a useful model, an approximation. The van der Waals’ Equation tried to compensate for the non-zero volume of the molecules, and the non-zero attractive forces, using two fudge factors, parameters which differ between different gases).

        The bottom line, however, is that you and I share equal skepticism of the “97% expert consensus” on CAGW.

  10. “CLOUD also finds that ions from galactic cosmic rays strongly enhance the production rate of pure biogenic particles – by a factor 10-100 compared with particles without ions. This suggests that cosmic rays may have played a more important role in aerosol and cloud formation in pre-industrial times than in today’s polluted atmosphere.”

    This graph might show some evidence of the above


    but not necessarily, since the winter’s and annual data show lower degree of correlation. I am in process of writing a paper (more details when completed), but it is taking far longer than anticipated.

    • Delta GSN is change in the group sunspot number across one Hale cycle (smoothed by a LPF), the summer CET data is de-trended.

    • Interesting graph Vuk’.

      Two questions : why detrend CET. What does this linear trend represent?

      Also what is correl coeff. for the earlier period and what can be considered significant for that number of dtaa points, not forgetting to adjust for the loss of degrees of freedom due to using a FIR LP filter?

      Not expecting a reply if you have not done that but you should probably put that into whatever you write for publication. Looks interesting.

      • Hi Greg
        You spotted a deliberate ‘error’. The CET summer data has nearly ‘zero’ uptrend (y = 0.001x + 13.557); it isn’t de-trended, the actual data is reduced by the average of the total, to bring two scales in line i.e. X(t) = CET(t) – average (CETtotal), in addition when the ends are LPF-truncated, the trend comes down to (y = 0.0002x – 0.3539) virtually same as de-trended. As you can see it is far simpler to state that it is ‘de-trended’.

  11. Makes perfect sense. Trees that are able to create clouds and thus water themselves have a better chance of survival. Over time this will lead to trees that are genetically selected for their ability to create rain.

    So, while people love to talk about the weather, trees can actually do something about it.

      • is Gaia belief a part of scientific theory or a religion?

        The former uses a method that makes testable predictions which can be falsified. That only reauires uncritical faith.

      • It started out as a theory, but some have elevated it to religion.
        Or perhaps it was the other way around.

      • Gaia is simply my favorite Empress of the Maxwell’s Demons. She can read the serial numbers on each and every molecule so she can keep track of the Temperature of every one.

        So Mother Gaia, always knows that the Temperature is always exactly what it is supposed to be.

        She won’t tell us though.

        G

      • At least Jim Lovelock has a good sense of humour. Richard Branson owner of ‘Virgin airline’ wanted to name one of his businesses Gaia, but Lovelock said he can’t do that, it would be as if he (Lovelock) was to open a brothel and call it ‘Virgin’.

  12. “received 6 July 2015; accepted 16 March 2016.”

    Would not want anything like that to have been published before COP-out 21 would we.

    Interesting contrast to Karl et al’s express passage.

    • the CERN CLOUD studies are very technical. Very much ground breaking methods. Very hard work with lots of disciplines involved.

      The Karlized NCEI adjustments were very theological. Take it on faith. Like a pastor’s homely, you want it quick, easy, and pure scripture.

  13. I hate to let such a thread go by without heralding the Wilson Cloud Chamber for those who may not know that the idea is over a century old and not a discovery by CERN scientists. Here is an MIT video of the cloud streaks generated by cosmic rays and the build up of a cloudy “atmosphere” in a cloud chamber.

    http://video.mit.edu/watch/cloud-chamber-4058/

    “Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (1869–1959), a Scottish physicist, is credited with inventing the cloud chamber. Inspired by sightings of the Brocken spectre while working on the summit of Ben Nevis in 1894, he began to develop expansion chambers for studying cloud formation and optical phenomena in moist air. Very rapidly he discovered that ions could act as centers for water droplet formation in such chambers.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_chamber#Invention

    We don’t acknowledge brilliant predecessors, the likes of whom you don’t see much of these post normal days.

  14. Svensmark 1 IPCC 0
    Kirby said years ago that this experiment would have detrimental effect on IPCC understanding of the science and his prophecy has come to pass.
    So much for settled science.
    The Nobel prize must go to Svensmark not to those who have merely verified the result.


  15. Don”t forget that Kirkby and his team are under direct orders from the director of CERN to ensure that anything they publish is “politically correct”.

    • And they are wise to adopt this strategy.
      Who cares what is said on blogs, tumblr, twitter, facebook, UN conferences and congressional hearings etc
      Let all the twits twitter among themselves.
      As long as the real science is not censored or defunded, then their is hope that progress will be made towards a genuine understanding of the processes which govern the climate.
      And towards explaining the striking phenomenon of climate shifts/reversals evident in the paleorecord.
      Then, one day we may be able to make reliable predictions regarding the future of the earth’s climate.
      All that Kirby’s crew need to do is make no “interpretations” and to genuflect to the current political climate panic consensus.
      Or at least to “fart in its general direction” to paraphrase Monty Python.

  16. “CLOUD shows that organic vapours emitted by trees produce abundant aerosol particles in the atmosphere in the absence of sulphuric acid.”
    This is not good for coal.

    • Well, nobody expects a cosmic ray collision.
      Their chief weapon is surprise and energy.
      TWO!! Chief two weapons are surprise, energy and an avalanche of ionizing radiation.
      THREE weapons!! …etc

  17. The commitment to certainty is necessary.
    “It will warm.. We are definitely warming the planet”.
    This comment is expedient. The continuation of the experiment is dependent upon the gracious support of the political masters. And only confirmation of anthropogenic warming is allowed. Obviously,
    Of course, the reality is – 20 years of the development of the cosmic ray hypothesis, from Svensmark to Kirby, has already revealed formerly unknown processes which influence climate.
    I don’t recall anyone discussing the possibility of an interaction between trees and cosmic rays – back in the 1990’s.
    Who is to say what the next discovery may be?
    I assume that GCM’s will immediately be adapted to account for this process.
    And to account for the assumption that more CO2 will produce more growth of trees.
    And will we now reforest poor quality arable land, for the sake of cooling the climate?
    Rather than clearing trees to make space for solar panel farms.
    Bring back the vast deciduous forests of Europe.
    The squirrels will like it.
    I love “settled science”. Everyday it changes.
    All that we can say with certainty – is that tomorrow’s settled science will be very different from today’s.
    Well done, Jasper. We will support your work – by pretending to be critical of it.
    I actually do look forward to every release from CLOUD.
    I look up the topic regularly to check for a new bombshell.

  18. It is likely that too many comments have been made without full understanding of the CERN work to date on this topic.
    If you are going to comment on a paper, you should at least study it and comprehend it. Social chit chat about likes and dislikes and personal beliefs have little to do with hard science.
    Previous studies by Kirkby et all have been notable for the high standards of their work. Generalising here for brevity, it can be asserted that – Hypotheses are clearly defined, experimental design to address these is structured, there is detailed work to try to control for complicating variables, the results are presented as measurement rather than opinion.
    Reading these papers carefully has two main benefits. Readers are reminded of the properties of high standard science; and readers learn more about a most important topic in climate changes, broadly ‘clouds’.
    I am comfortable to forecast that in coming decades, long after the demise of large volumes of poor climate science, the Kirkby et al papers will stand as prime examples of proper scientific research and its management.
    (There are no incentives to cause me to write this endorsement. It is simply a relief to see that the skills of hard scientific investigation have not been lost in the madness of post-normal excuse making.)

    • Agreed. These are serious scientists doing serious work. That is sadly a refreshing change these days.

      My main gripe it that they they are having to self-sensor in order to keep doing essential work on climate basics and that CERN could have got this done at least a decade earlier.

      There is probably a lot more in their results that has not been deemed ‘politically correct’ enough to be published. Or tests which they have been prevented from running for fear of what it may show.

      • Hi Greg,
        Just let the politics roll by when you concentrate on quality work like this. It is didactic.
        Geoff.

  19. Why did not CERN experiment on the impact of sulfur dioxide on cloud formation? It has a big impact since this is the mechanism of the cooling effect of large volcanic eruptions. I suspect activist scientists are afraid the experiment will confirm what we already know. Coal plants emit more SO2 than large volcanic eruption. By regulating SO2 emission, the activists are significantly contributing to global warming. Better keep this dirty little secret.

    • All you need is the dust. Don’t have to endow it with any chemical properties, simply physical (surface tension).

      G

  20. Wait just a minute here…The trees did it??
    And why does he feel the atmosphere was ‘pristine’ before the Industrial Revolution? Were the cavemen using solar? Or how about all those folks in pre-1750 Europe? Did they just now discover all those windmills have been rotting away for 200 years and decided to put them to good use to fire up electric candles? Or that in (at least the Western Hemisphere)controlled burning was used to manage paradise?
    Inquiring minds want to know!

    • If you had an inquiring mind you would not need to ask the question.How many friggin “cavemen” do you think there were on Earth?

  21. Comparisons with atmospheric observations should be considered as
    preliminary because our measurements were made at only one temper-
    ature, with a single monoterpene, in the absence of isoprene and mostly
    in the absence of NOx , which can influence HOM yields. Nevertheless,
    our results may provide fresh insights into several seemingly disparate
    phenomena associated with low atmospheric concentrations of sulfu-
    ric acid.

    “hat they have published so far is obviously very limited but it’s a start to understanding cloud formation which is one of poorest understood yet most important factors in understanding climate.

    The key to the late 20th c. changes in climate that got everyone into an alarmist spin seems to lie in the stratosphere where sulphate aerosols initially cause warming ( hence blocking solar energy from the lower atmosphere ) but after a few years produce net cooling below the pre-eruption temperatures. This implies a warming of lower atmosphere.


    https://climategrog.wordpress.com/uah_tls_365d/

    • What is the vapor pressure of sulfuric acid, at atmospheric Temperatures ??

      What is the surface tension of sulfuric acid at Atmospheric Temperatures ??

      G

  22. I have lived in Central America and clouds build very rapidly over the rain forest. then it pours, cools off, clears, then clouds form again. Its seems the less green a region, the less cloud formation. The rain forest acts like a heat sink. The less of it, the more regional heat, it seems. Same thing in South Eastern United States, the more they pave over the woodlands and marshes, the hotter its gonna get.

  23. Oh Noes! We stopped burning coal, so the SOx isn’t keeping the sky clear, the higher concentration of CO2 is feeding the trees, and the clouds are coming back! Now we will freeze!

  24. The role of dimethyl sulphoxide from plankton on cloud formation has been known since 1987 http://www.jameslovelock.org/page35.html

    whereas that of the non methane hydrocarbons emitted from forests and terrestrial plants has also been known since at least 1997: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/276/5315/1052.full

    So these effects were known to climate modelers but ignored in their rush to isolate carbon dioxide as the climate villain. The CERN experiments are only concerned with establishing the physics and chemistry of how they work not that they work as forests were planted to induce rainfall and their effects on mountain slopes near oceans are well known.

    In terms of unintended consequences it would be interesting to know how the replacement of rain forests in Indonesia by Palm oil or in S America by sugar cane etc for the production of biofuels has limited the emissions of these key chemicals and had a detrimental effect on climate. It would be good to show that the Greens area major cause of the recent warming, just as their love affair with bio diesel has caused increased deaths from cancer in cities like London, though they no doubt consider these to be acceptable collateral impacts!

    • One explanation for the warm, equable climate of the Cretaceous is that the oceans were so hot that biological productivity fell, making fewer CCN available.

      GCMs can’t model Cretaceous climate without preposterously high climate sensitivity to CO2, which was elevated then but not enough to reproduce apparent warmth with the models.

  25. “Mongol hordes gave up on conquering Europe due to wet weather”

    Analysing tree rings in the region, Di Cosmo and his colleagues found that Hungary had a cold, wet winter in early 1242. This probably turned Hungary’s central plain into a huge swamp.

    Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, says the study is interesting, but he warns against over-interpreting the influence of climate on historic events. “I’m sceptical that such ‘climate determinism’ holds nearly as universally as some authors seem to think,” he says. The changes in weather the study reported seemed “modest”, he says

    He is sceptical about over-interpreting Tree data? I should think so after he created a whole new data set, climate change and global warming, with just one tree in Yamal, Siberia.
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2090335-mongol-hordes-gave-up-on-conquering-europe-due-to-wet-weather/?utm_source=NSNS&utm_medium=ILC&utm_campaign=webpush&cmpid=ILC%257CNSNS%257C2016-GLOBAL-webpush-mongols

  26. The cloud cover / rain was measured with the return of a rainforest with spectacular local ecological results.

    Because of observations most oft referred to as unscientific anecdotal / wisdom personal experience the result of more was to be expected.

    Moreover its the missing results because of the reductive science experiment limited findings. Results such the size and quality of the “natural” nucleation.

    Experience in living next to and in a west coast rain forest is the afternoon rain, better described as afternoon mist. Or the one experience of camping in the east coast smokey mountains / a mist.

    Moreover the quality of the molecular or micro nutrient content of the different nucleation processes and the using different sources for the water vapor is missing.

    This puts the value of the experiment about the nucleation at near zero in relationship to the impacts of the “the climate change” issue or the unspeakable terms of a pending mass extinction of complex life. The reason behind the funding?

    These kinds of reductive science experiment are not comprehensive, inclusive or complex enough to be of much value for anyone to decide on taking any kind of global action on the pending mass extinction.

    This type of limited experiment seem to be use to come to any bias or convenient conclusion experimenters desire including asking for more funding.

    What was of the greatest ire, the members of group in other public statements used the limited new reductive findings to broadcast an unwarranted conclusion global warming will not be as great.

    So when I check their bias ( and we all have one) of past viewpoints wow not good. The experiment should be expanded and the group should be replaced with another to add to its value and verify the results.

    Shame on CERN and the NSF.

Comments are closed.