Cosmic rays could indeed seed clouds

Sticking to science – and experimental science at that – while ignoring the politicisation and religious overtones of “climate science”, Henrik Svensmark continues to painstakingly build his cosmic theory of climate change.

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.

When experiments or observations show that model predictions are wrong it is time to ditch the falsified hypotheses  and to build new hypotheses.  Far too often in ” global warming science” the hypotheses and the models become “incontrovertible dogma” and rather than test the falsifiability of the hypothesis with observations and experiment, data are fudged to fit the dogma. Svensmark’s approach is an oasis of proper science in a desert of pseudo-science.

Nigel Calder reports:

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.

Not 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

Abstract: 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.

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2 Responses to “Cosmic rays could indeed seed clouds”

  1. lehautegryphon Says:

    Nigel, I read some of this too and find it a fascinating development in the science of climate. It shows a huge gap in existing models of climate, demonstrating one aspect of why those models are inadequate. They probably have some truth to them, but it is like many scientific hypotheses through the centuries: new data creates the need for refining or removing the hypothesis.

    What happened to prevent this normal scientific process? I think their need to not only be correct, but to be purveyors of the only truth suggests they have moved from science to pseudo-science to evangelical and finally to fundamentalist secular religion. It is unfortunate that CAGWists refuse to engage in the dialog, both schools of thought could benefit from the dialog.

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