CommunityMy FDL

Climate Change “settled science” and the WSJ Cosmic ray report

Amazing how the WSJ tries to sell bad interpretation of good science so as to reduce corporate responsibility, and costs, for maintaining a good environment.

The WSJ today reports on a recent CERN experiment
The Other Climate Theory saying “Al Gore won’t hear it…..Western governments embarked on a new era of anti-emission regulation and poured billions into research that might justify it…..(but) 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 is WSJ report is based on
CERN Experiment Confirms Cosmic Rays Can Influence Climate Change .. Wednesday, 24 August 2011 17:12 Nigel Calder .. Long-anticipated results of the CLOUD experiment at CERN in Geneva appear in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Nature (25 August). The Director General of CERN stirred controversy last month, by saying that the CLOUD team’s report should be politically correct about climate change (see my 17 July post below). The implication was that they should on no account endorse the Danish heresy – Henrik Svensmark’s hypothesis that most of the global warming of the 20th Century can be explained by the reduction in cosmic rays due to livelier solar activity, resulting in less low cloud cover and warmer surface temperatures.”

So we have 3 lies in the title and first paragraph alone.

There are of course better write-ups – A write up at Nature entitled “Cloud formation may be linked to cosmic rays”
and one can read the actual paper:

But the best write up I found was at

“..Establishing a significant GCR/cloud/climate link would require the following steps (given that we have known that ionisation plays a role in nucleation for decades). One would need to demonstrate:

… that increased nucleation gives rise to increased numbers of (much larger) cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)
… and that even in the presence of other CCN, ionisation changes can make a noticeable difference to total CCN
… and even if there were more CCN, you would need to show that this actually changed cloud properties significantly,
… and that given that change in cloud properties, you would need to show that it had a significant effect on radiative forcing.

Of course, to show that cosmic rays were actually responsible for some part of the recent warming, you would need to show that there was actually a decreasing trend in cosmic rays over recent decades – which is tricky, because there hasn’t been”.

Good science, raising interesting question via their better data – but which proves nothing so far. But with all agreeing that man-made climate change is real, and that this, even if linked to climate change in some small way, is but a small influence on the data.  The seas might rise 6 inches, or 6 feet, in the next 75 years, but they will rise –  it is “settled science.”   Someone should tell GOP Governor Perry – and the WSJ.

Previous post

Political animals in the news

Next post

Stimulus Doesn't Need to Come in the Form of One Big Omnibus Bill