At Wired Science Fraser Cain reports on the latest research on global warming and cosmic rays. There is no link:

But T. Sloan from the University of Lancaster and A.W. Wolfendale from Durham University have looked carefully at the evidence and found it unconvincing. They published their results in a new paper called Cosmic Rays and Global Warming. Their research will be presented at the 30th International Cosmic Ray Conference, held in Merida Mexico from July 3 – July 11, 2007.

According to Sloan and Wolfendale, the 2000 paper highlighting the connection between cosmic rays and low-level clouds completely avoids clouds at other altitudes. This is surprising because cosmic ray ionization should increase with altitude. Cosmic rays should be intercepted earlier by the atmosphere and turned into clouds, not down at the lowest altitudes. If cosmic rays were to blame, you would expect the exact opposite, with more high-altitude clouds.

Via Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy.

Comments

  1. #1 bigTom
    July 4, 2007

    This is a good report to have. Denialists always trot out the cosmic rays thing. Its almost as common as the sunspot claims. Interestingly it is the variation in the strength of the solar wind which modulates the low energy cosmic rays.

  2. #2 Mike M.
    July 4, 2007

    Of course we bring up sunspots. There’s an almost perfect correlation between sunspot activity and temperature unlike co2. What’s sickening is how you Alarmists fight the notion that there could be any natural cause at work here. You actually WANT Man to be at fault. Two lefty scientists cover a seven year old paper and announce to the world that they agree. Wow. Apparently they are unaware of the CLOUD project currently taking place at the CERN Lab in Geneva, Switzerland. They’re using a $2.4bn particle accelerator to actually test the cosmic ray hypothesis. You know, the scientific method and all that.

  3. #3 Eli Rabett
    July 4, 2007

    Mike, what makes you or anyone think that ion concentration is the limiting factor in cloud formation?

  4. #4 David
    July 4, 2007

    >Of course we bring up sunspots. There’s an almost perfect correlation between sunspot activity and temperature unlike co2. What’s sickening is how you Alarmists fight the notion that there could be any natural cause at work here. You actually WANT Man to be at fault.

    So why don’t you tell us mike what the current sun spot count is? Pretty darn low last time I checked.

    Stop pretending you have evidence for your crazy claims.

  5. #5 Ender
    July 5, 2007

    Mike M – “There’s an almost perfect correlation between sunspot activity and temperature unlike co2″

    Where is the data that supports this claim?
    http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/600px-Temp-sunspot-co2.svg.png

    If you look at this PAST 1980 then sunspot numbers are decreasing when temperatures are rising. With the downturn solar activity then more cosmic rays should be hitting the earth therefore more clouds should be forming reflecting more heat and therefore the Earth should be cooling. As the downturn happened at about 1990 then even with the inertia of the oceans should be seeing cooling now – which we aren’t.

  6. #6 Chad
    July 5, 2007

    Phil Plait and Fraser Cain have a liberal bias so I can ignore their arguments and continue to believe that “global warming” is just another liberal hoax.

    P.S. I’m not a troll, just making fun of the opposition. LOL.

  7. #7 ChrisC
    July 5, 2007

    “Apparently they are unaware of the CLOUD project currently taking place at the CERN Lab in Geneva, Switzerland. They’re using a $2.4bn particle accelerator to actually test the cosmic ray hypothesis. You know, the scientific method and all that.”

    And apparently you are unaware that the CLOUD project is yet to produce a single piece of research? Don’t belive me? Check their website:

    http://cloud.web.cern.ch/cloud/

    So, given that the two researchers who produced this paper don’t have access to a time machine, how are they suppose to analyse experimental results from experiments that haven’t even been performed yet, let alone published, in their study?

    You know, logic and all that?

  8. #8 mark
    July 5, 2007

    Alarmists fight the notion that there could be any natural cause at work here. You actually WANT Man to be at fault.

    It’s interesting to see this comment which strikes to the very heart of the global warming issue. Needless to say, I don’t think scientists, sorry “alarmists”, want man to be at fault, but denialists absolutely don’t want man to be at fault. That’s their whole issue, and they seem to look for any other possible cause other than human activity however crazy. This denial of human responsibility really gets to the fact that this is a political issue, not a scientific one, and that there are some very complex epistemological questions which can be drawn out about knowledge of social and political power and its operations.

  9. #9 Dano
    July 5, 2007

    but denialists absolutely don’t want man to be at fault.

    A-men mark. That’s it in a nutshell. I’d add their pathology extends to hating folk who like flowers and cute bunnies.

    BTW, can’t find it now but the Institute that supported Veizer completely rubbished his crazy claims, and their takedown was a marvel to read. Yet, the denialists still must trot it out.

    Best,

    D

  10. #10 QrazyQat
    July 5, 2007

    Mike M.’s troll was a terrific example of the genre: open with a sweeping and completely unsupported statement (“There’s an almost perfect correlation “), make a disparaging comment about the troll’s opponents (capitalizing the madeup name he gives them to make it “official”: “What’s sickening is how you Alarmists fight the notion that there could be any natural cause at work here. You actually WANT Man to be at fault. Two lefty scientists…”), then haughtily (gotta get that tone right, extra haughty and a touch offended) claim the troll’s opponents don’t know about some bit of research and point out that it’s going to be done on a real expensive piece of equipment, because of course the more expensive the equipment, the better the research. Then, unfortunately, as most trolls seem to (why, I don’t know) he fizzles out with a weak closing sentence.

    Gotta work on that closing, troll.

  11. #11 Dano
    July 5, 2007

    I actually pictured Mikey as saying the last line with a dismissive wave of the hand, licking his lips, skin shiny from sweat, and eyes moving quickly from side to side, as in the behavior to see if his acting was believable. That’s too good for a parody character.

    Best,

    D

  12. #12 Eli Rabett
    July 6, 2007

    Lots of people don’t like cute bunnies and we are going to do something about them.

  13. #13 z
    July 6, 2007

    There are two possibilities regarding raising the temperature of an object, such as the earth. You can raise the amount of incident energy absorbed, and/or you can reduce the amount of energy leaving.

    All mechanisms suggested for explaining a warming climate which involve solar output, whether it’s greater emission by the sun or reduced reflection from clouds, have inherent the prediction that the effect will be greater where and when absorbtion of solar radiation is greater; i.e., more in the daytime than at night; more in the tropics than at the poles with their high albedo ice and snow covers; etc.

    Conversely, mechanisms which involve a reduction in energy loss predict the opposite, a greater effect where and when solar input is least; i.e., greater effect at night than in the day, greater at the poles than in the tropics.

    The current warming which is worrying folks fits the latter model, not the first. It’s pretty clear, therefore, that, even if any or all of these “sun’s getting hotter”, “clouds are getting fewer”, etc. models are perfectly correct, they have nothing to do with the current phenomenon which is popularly referred to as “global warming”. On the other hand, the predictions from increased absorbtion of radiated IR by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere do fit this diurnal and geographical pattern actually seen.

    Yet, we see no end of denialists trotting out these solar powered warming models. Svensmark just got an approving article in Discover Magazine.

  14. #14 Dano
    July 6, 2007

    We keep the cute bunnies out of the garden so’s they don’t eat the veggies. Otherwise, they can be cute in every other place.

    Best,

    D

  15. #15 Dean Morrison
    July 8, 2007

    Next Thursday 12th (repeated Sat 14th) Durkin’s Swindle get’s its airing on ABC. This is to be followed by an in-depth interview with Martin Durkin – and a panel discussion on ‘lateline’

    It would be fascinating to have some reporting on:

    - what ‘modifications’ have been made to Durkin’s Swindle – which of his most egregious errors have simply been edited out to ‘save time’ (I understand that about half an hour of the prog will be chopped)

    - what kind of a mauling Durkin will be given in the interview – and whether this latest research will make an appearance.

    - fortunately the ‘lateline’ discussion will be available on the web – it would be rather nice if the edited Swindle and the Durkin Interview were made more widely available through Youtube of Bitorrent or some such method – although I wouldn’t suggest for a moment the people should break ABC’s copywrite ;)

  16. #16 z
    July 8, 2007

    “They’re using a $2.4bn particle accelerator to actually test the cosmic ray hypothesis. You know, the scientific method and all that. ”

    Yep. They’ve got a couple of teenie weenie planets in there, with teenie weenie people driving teenie weenie cars making teenie weenie CO2 and everything, one getting cosmic rays and one not. Teenie weenie bunny rabbits, too.

  17. #17 Ken
    July 8, 2007

    The Solar Activity hypothesis appears to start with ignoring every known and measurable climate factor in favour of a single unknown mechanism (that might be cosmic rays but there’s no convincing evidence of it). I guess part of the appeal of it as a skeptic argument is that most people would think increasing solar activity means more of the sun’s energy is reaching the Earth and not bother to find out it’s sunspots and shortening of the solar cycle. The implication being that climate scientist ignore how much energy reaches Earth from the Sun! When the cycle from solar maximum to solar minimum and back fails to cause ~22 year climate cycles, it’s hard to accept that if the cycles shorten to 20years there’ll be climate warming. Especially without scientific evidence for how this would be happening.
    It also seems that scientist proponents of this theory of past climate change are saying recent global warming is probably attributable to greenhouse gases for example [here](http://web.dmi.dk/fsweb/solarterrestrial/sunclimate/welcome.shtml)

  18. #18 Eli Rabett
    July 8, 2007

    Hell no, not unless Eli gets a fair share of the 9M Euro.