Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. blog comments powered by Disqus

Lawrence Loves Lorne

lawrencewsolomon
Our cosmic climate; CERN experiment overturns global-warming orthodoxy

The 20-year-long global warming debate is in its final stages, the
controversy having been settled over whether manmade causes such as
carbon dioxide or natural causes such as the Sun dominate climate change
on Earth.

First, the global warming doomsayers lost the argument in the court of
public opinion - barely one-third of the U.S. public, for example, now
believes that human activity can lead to dangerous warming.

Then, the doomsayers lost the economic argument when attempts to develop
renewable energy proved utterly futile. The world is instead rapidly
developing its fossil fuels, recently discovered to be so plentiful that
they can meet mankind's needs for centuries to come.

And now, the global warming doomsayers have lost their pretended
monopoly on the official science. Their long-standing claim that only a
scientific fringe denies the dominant role of humans - a claim that was
never true - has ended. One of the world's largest and most prestigious
scientific organizations - more on that later --now formally opposes the
IPCC's official position that the Sun and other natural phenomena are
all-but irrelevant to climate change.

To understand the nature of the IPCC's just-ended scientific "monopoly,"
place yourself in a meeting in Guangzhou, China in 1992, shortly after
the IPCC was created, involving 130 delegates from 47 countries. In
comes the Danish delegation with exciting findings from Danish
scientists published just weeks earlier in the prestigious journal
Science, showing a blockbuster correlation between solar activity and
temperature on Earth. Not only did Science publish the findings, to make
sure no one could miss their significance, Science trumpeted the
findings in an accompanying article.

"Take a good look at the graph on this page, reproduced from a report
that appears on page 698. It's giving climatologists goose bumps,"
Science's accompanying article began. This "is the most striking
correlation ever found between climate and small variations in solar
activity - and the strongest suggestion ever of a casual link." The
article, entitled Could the Sun Be Warming the Climate?, suggested that
the tables had now turned in the global-warming debate by including this
assertion from a prominent U.S. scientist: "The burden of proof that
something's wrong [with the Danish correlation] almost rests with the
detractors."

What does the IPCC decide at that Guangzhou meeting when faced with this
emphatic evidence that the Sun could be driving climate? The IPCC
outright refuses to consider the Danish findings, saying it only has a
mandate to investigate manmade causes of climate change. The IPCC and
its followers then spent some $80billion over the next two decades
trying to establish that carbon dioxide and human activities explained
climate change.

They came up empty-handed - they found not a scintilla of compelling
evidence, absolutely nothing, that could pin more than a dollop or two
of warming on human activities. All that the IPCC scientists have to
show for their efforts are endless computer models that don't work - the
models have not only failed to predict the climate over the last 20
years, they can't model the past climate when they are run backwards.

While this 20-year dead-end research was turning up failure after
failure, the Danish science went from success to success. Geophysicist
Eigil Friis-Christensen, a co-author of the startling Science study,

continued his work with Henrik Svensmark and other Danish colleagues,
making more and more progress and hypothesizing the mechanism through
which the Sun heats and cools the planet. The answer could lie in the
cosmic rays from beyond the solar system that continually bombard Earth,
they surmised.

Their theory was quite straightforward: The cosmic rays seed clouds.
When the cloud cover is great, the Earth tends to cool; when the cloud
cover dissipates, the Earth tends to warm. And why does the cloud cover
vary? Here the role of the Sun comes to play.

When the Sun is especially strong, its magnetic field tends to push the
cosmic rays away from Earth, preventing clouds from forming and leading
to a hotter planet. Likewise, when activity on the Sun weakens, so too
does its magnetic field, allowing more clouds to form and leading to a
cooler planet.

"You'll never prove cosmic rays can seed clouds," the IPCC establishment
retorted, and embarked on a smear campaign to discredit the Danes. The
Danes were accused, falsely, of having made arithmetic errors, of having
mishandling data, even of having fabricated data.

But the Danes persevered. In 2006 they built a reaction chamber at the
Danish National Space Centre, filled it with gases that approximated the
composition of the lower atmosphere, added ultraviolet rays to mimic the
rays of the Sun, and presto - the chamber soon filled with a vast number
of floating microscopic droplets! These were ultra-small clusters of
sulphuric acid and water molecules - the building blocks for cloud
condensation nuclei - that had been catalyzed by the electrons released
by the cosmic rays. "We were amazed by the speed and efficiency with
which the electrons do their work," Svensmark remarked of his
breakthrough.

The scientists inside the IPCC bubble again discredited and discounted
the Danes' findings, using the authority of the IPCC, a United Nations
agency with representation from the nations of the world, to trump the
findings from tiny Denmark. But to their dismay, the IPCC - less a
scientific body than a lobbying organization - was itself soon trumped
by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, a true
scientific agency involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more
than 600 universities and national laboratories. CERN, which is best
known for having built the Large Hadron Collider - a multibillion-dollar
instrument that collides subatomic particles head-on at very high energy
to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang - decided to build a
Cadillac version of the Danish chamber. It did, releasing the results
last week and validating Danish findings that point to the role of
cosmic rays in seeding clouds. In doing so, it also buried future talk
of carbon dioxide as a significant driver of climate change. For good
measure, CERN also notes that independent satellite evidence points to
the effect of cosmic rays on clouds.

Because of these and other discoveries, "climate models will need to be
substantially revised," CERN says, in its study and supplementary
materials that mention various avenues worth exploring but carbon
dioxide not once. Much more work will need to be done - CERN is now hot
on the trail for what it believes is a missing ingredient in its recipe
for the lower atmosphere, for example, and the Danes and others are also
looking to the heavens, rather than to our coal plants and SUVs, in
their quest to unlock the mysteries of climate change. As the lead
author of the CERN study puts it, there is "strong evidence" that the
Sun affects the climate through some mechanism, and "a cosmic ray
influence on clouds is a leading candidate." CO2 not. is

? Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and Urban
Renaissance Institute and author of The Deniers.

Lawrence Solomon
National Post
Sat, 3 Sep 2011
English
1206 words
(c) 2011 National Post . All Rights Reserved.