Saturday, August 21, 2004

Another Blow to Climatology?

FuturePundit (again) points to an article at
Cosmic ray link to global warming boosted

10:27 17 August 04

The controversial idea that cosmic rays could be driving global warming by influencing cloud cover will get a boost at a conference next week. But some scientists dismiss the idea and are worried that it will detract from efforts to curb rising levels of greenhouse gases.

At issue is whether cosmic rays, the high-energy particles spat out by exploding stars elsewhere in the galaxy, can affect the temperature on Earth. The suggestion is that cosmic rays crashing into the atmosphere ionise the molecules they collide with, triggering cloud formation.

If the flux of cosmic rays drops, fewer clouds will form and the planet will warm up. No one yet understands the mechanism, which was first described in the late 1990s. But what makes it controversial is that climate models used to predict the consequences of rising levels of greenhouse gases do not allow for the effect, and may be inaccurate [emphasis added].

Some proponents of the theory argue that changes in the number of cosmic rays reaching Earth can explain past climate change as well as global warming today [emphasis added]. Nir Shaviv of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, and Jan Veizer of the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, claimed in 2003 that changes in cosmic-ray flux are the major reason for temperature changes over the past 500 million years [emphasis added]....
You want more examples of research that suggests global warming may have little to do with human activity? FuturePundit has them.