Cosmic Rays, Clouds, and the Solar Wind

20 May 2011

At http://calderup.wordpress.com May 15th and May 17th Nigel Calder draws our attention on an update on the Svensmark hypothesis. As the CERN CLOUD experiment took so long to get going and is not due out for awhile as yet and so the Danish decided to do their own laboratory experiment, in Copenhagen. A study of their findings has just been published in Geophysical Review Letters (12th May), with the title 'Aerosol nucleation induced by a high energy particle beam'. It was subsequently discussed at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/17/new-study-links-cosmic-rays-to-aer... and by David Whitehouse at http://thegwpf.org/the-observatory/3016-new-evidence-that-cosmic-rays-se... which are generall favourable in response. See also www.physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/45982 where it says that Chris Folland, a climate researcher at the UK Met Office was far from enthusiastic. Several commenters wondered if he had actually read the study - or anything written by Svensmark and his team.

However, Piers Corbyn at www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=345&c-5 (go to www.weatheraction.com and click on Piers Corbyn comments 18th May) pours a little cold water on the enthusiasm registered on the blogosphere - and his comments are very interesting, to say the least. He wrote the riposte in response to Anthony Watts posting, and actually left a comment at http://wattsupwiththat.com to make the point in which he said 'this is a theory that does not work' - which is even more negative than anything the AGW lot have said. His argument is that cosmic rays and solar activity are inverse proxies of each other so seeing one does not mean the other causes anything. An observed relation between solar activity and any kind of earth atmospheric variable does not need cosmic rays as the agency. The agent is solar particles which have 300 times the energy flux on average of cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are background. In addition, if cosmic rays are the agents linking solar activity to the atmosphere of the earth then since they follow the Sun's 11 year cycle it would follow that global temperatures should also have an 11 year cycle - but they do not (see http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3307 ). He then claims that Weather Action forecasts extreme weather events by observing solar activity (flares and fast solar wind  proton boosts etc) which cause ionospheric/magnetic effects, shifts in the jet streams, tornadoes, and extreme or sudden weather events. There is no observed modulation of cosmic rays on these short timescales so they can't effect a change in weather or climate (climate being the sum of weather over a longer period of time). He then suggests readers link to a video of solar action driving changes in the jet stream (see www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=3188c=1 ) which ended the Pakistan super-flood and the Russian heat wave last year. He says jet stream shifts change climate and cosmic rays have nothing to do with this process.