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Unsettling the science: CERN research on sun, cosmic rays & clouds

Solar magnetic fluctuations (affecting cosmic ray influx and cloud nucleation) have always seemed to me the most plausible major-driver of climate variation, but this research, as with other ‘alternative theories’, has been intimidated by the cult-like group-think of “the settled science”. Prepare to be unsettled, Al Gore et al: this research at CERN is too big to be suppressed.

This article in the Wall Street Journal (HERE) reports on research at the CERN / European Centre for Nuclear Research (using the older of the two particle accelerators under the French / Swiss border) which simulates conditions for the postulated formation of cloud nuclei from incoming cosmic rays. It finds, so far, a ten-fold increase in the nucleation of humid air due to bombardment by these artificially created cosmic rays.

The significance is this: cloud formation tends to reflect more sunlight from the earth (increasing the planet’s ‘albedo’), and so cool the climate. Here, students, is a nice example of science (true science, not group-think) works:

1. Make an observation: We have known for years that there is a very nice correlation between solar activity and measured variations in the earth’s temperature. This graph from 20 years back shows the well-known correlation recorded over a century and a half:

Even short-term changes (corona plasma ejections, such as we had in February) are shown to have an impact on earth’s temperature a couple of days latter – see THIS recent article at WUWT.

2. Make a hypothesis to account of that observation:  We observe that a weakening in the sun’s magnetic field results in a weaker solar ‘wind’ surging out past the planets.  Because a reduced solar wind is less effective at sweeping away incoming cosmic particles, more of the cosmic rays from ‘way out there’ hit our atmosphere. Svenmark and others postulated in 1996 that these cosmic rays create small ‘nuclei’ of water droplets as they hit moist air, and thus increase cloudiness. Greater cloudiness reflects more sunlight, and so the earth cools. This mechanism would account for the observed close correlation between solar magnetic energy and earth’s temperature.

3. Make some experimental observations! For that you need a particle accelerator, lots of money, and the political courage to allow research that might ask heretical questions aout the Settled Science. That is what has now been down at the great research centre of CERN.

To think such political nervousness should affect science at all! But as Svenmark said, a fellow researcher had advised him years ago that “the only thing he could say about cosmic rays and climate is that it’s a really bad career move”. There, in a nutshell, is the corruption of science under the political Doctrine of Global Warming.

“I had this idea that the real link could be between cloud cover and cosmic rays, and I wanted to try to figure out if it was a good idea or a bad idea,” Mr. Svensmark told me from Copenhagen, where he leads sun-climate research at the Danish National Space Institute.

He wasn’t the first scientist to have the idea, but he was the first to try to demonstrate it. He got in touch with Mr. Friis-Christensen, and they used satellite data to show a close correlation among solar activity, cloud cover and cosmic-ray levels since 1979.

They announced their findings, and the possible climatic implications, at a 1996 space conference in Birmingham, England. Then, as Mr. Svensmark recalls, “everything went completely crazy. . . . It turned out it was very, very sensitive to say these things already at that time.” He returned to Copenhagen to find his local daily leading with a quote from the then-chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): “I find the move from this pair scientifically extremely naïve and irresponsible.”

Mr. Svensmark had been, at the very least, politically naïve. “Before 1995 I was doing things related to quantum fluctuations. Nobody was interested, it was just me sitting in my office. It was really an eye-opener, that baptism into climate science.” He says his work was “very much ignored” by the climate-science establishment—but not by CERN physicist Jasper Kirkby, who is leading today’s ongoing cloud-chamber experiment.

And even official statements exhibit this sort of political nervousness:

In July, CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Die Welt that he was asking his researchers to make the forthcoming cloud-chamber results “clear, however, not to interpret them. This would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate-change debate.”

It was Roger Whittaker (he was at Cape Town University with my father in the 50s) who sang:

“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds…. at all”.

Nor do the geeks modelling inherently chaotic systems with their trivially simple computers- so ignorant of clouds, sun, currents, volcanoes etc etc, but still able to tell us to destroy our economies and worship Gaia on the strength of their ‘settled speculation’. And nor do the narrow minded men of the IPCC. They largely rejected the solar-cloud-climate link in their most recent report, 2007, but they are going to have a job on their hands to suppress this one in their next report  – to ‘make sure it doesn’t make the report – even if we have to redefine what peer-review means!’ as their ClimateGate colleagues said of other uncomfortable findings.

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