'In the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.'
- Abraham Lincoln -

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Cosmic Rays Causing The Globe To Warm?

I still think the most plausible theory holds that solar activity most affects the rise and fall in earth's temperature (along with it's rotation, etc. of course).  But there is this, which seems to be gaining scientific credibility (as opposed to wild-ass guessing based on wild-ass computer models constructed to give wild-ass results):
The Other Climate Theory
Anne Jolis, Wall Street Journal

In April 1990, Al Gore published an open letter in the New York Times "To Skeptics on Global Warming" in which he compared them to medieval flat-Earthers. He soon became vice president and his conviction that climate change was dominated by man-made emissions went mainstream. Western governments embarked on a new era of anti-emission regulation and poured billions into research that might justify it. As far as the average Western politician was concerned, the debate was over.

But a few physicists weren't worrying about Al Gore in the 1990s. They were theorizing about another possible factor in climate change: charged subatomic particles from outer space, or "cosmic rays," whose atmospheric levels appear to rise and fall with the weakness or strength of solar winds that deflect them from the earth. These shifts might significantly impact the type and quantity of clouds covering the earth, providing a clue to one of the least-understood but most important questions about climate. Heavenly bodies might be driving long-term weather trends.

The theory has now moved from the corners of climate skepticism to the center of the physical-science universe: the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. At the Franco-Swiss home of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, scientists have been shooting simulated cosmic rays into a cloud chamber to isolate and measure their contribution to cloud formation. CERN's researchers reported last month that in the conditions they've observed so far, these rays appear to be enhancing the formation rates of pre-cloud seeds by up to a factor of 10. Current climate models do not consider any impact of cosmic rays on clouds. [link]
Give me a controlled laboratory experiment over a computer model any day.

I think these guys may be on to something.

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* It should be noted that the researcher here believes that solar activity plays a key part in the warming and cooling process as well.