Posts Tagged ‘Jasper Kirkby’

“It’s the Sun, stupid” > Svensmark vindicated: CERN shows cosmic rays do influence cloud formation

August 25, 2011

The much awaited results from the CLOUD experiments at CERN have now been published in Nature and show that cosmic rays can influence cloud formation – as Henrik Svensmark has hypothesised. This mechanism – ultimately dependent upon the sun – is far more credible as an explanation of the climate variations seen in recent times than dubious computer models based on implausible forcings due to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Cloud formation may be linked to cosmic rays Kirkby, J. et alNature 476, 429-433 (2011).

Nigel Calder (via GWPF) writes:

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.

Willy-nilly the results speak for themselves, and it’s no wonder the Director General was fretful.

Henrik Svensmark (born 1958) is a physicist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen who studies the effects of cosmic rays on cloud formation. His work presents hypotheses about solar activity as an indirect cause of global warming; his research has suggested a possible link through the interaction of the solar wind and cosmic rays. His conclusions have been controversial as the prevailing scientific opinion on climate change considers solar activity unlikely to be a major contributor to recent warming, though it is thought to be the primary driver of many earlier changes in climate.

I cannot do any better than reproduce Nigel Calder’s explanation of the CERN experimental results:

Jasper Kirkby of CERN and his 62 co-authors, from 17 institutes in Europe and the USA, announce big effects of pions from an accelerator, which simulate the cosmic rays and ionize the air in the experimental chamber. The pions strongly promote the formation of clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules – aerosols of the kind that may grow into cloud condensation nuclei on which cloud droplets form. What’s more, there’s a very important clarification of the chemistry involved.

(more…)


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