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How Nearby Supernovae Affected Life On Earth

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the made-of-star-stuff dept.

Earth 109

sycodon writes with news of research into how nearby supernovae affected the development of life on Earth. "[Professor Henrik Svensmark] found that the changing frequency of nearby supernovae seems to have strongly shaped the conditions for life on Earth. Whenever the Sun and its planets have visited regions of enhanced star formation in the Milky Way Galaxy, where exploding stars are most common, life has prospered. Prof. Svensmark remarks in the paper, "The biosphere seems to contain a reflection of the sky, in that the evolution of life mirrors the evolution of the Galaxy.' ... The data also support the idea of a long-term link between cosmic rays and climate, with these climatic changes underlying the biological effects. And compared with the temperature variations seen on short timescales as a consequence of the Sun's influence on the influx of cosmic rays, the heating and cooling of the Earth due to cosmic rays varying with the prevailing supernova rate have been far larger.""

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Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788311)

Didn't I see this in the last episode of The Next Generation? Where life on earth was helped by a supernova which Q eventually had removed from existence?

Re:Star Trek (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788433)

IIRC, a temporal anomaly - which was created by the Enterprise shooting its magical bullshit beam into the same place, at three points in time, grew bigger as it went back in time, and prevented life from forming.

Q bopped Picard around from past to present until he figured it out, and saved the day with an inverse magical bullshit beam and paradox, whatever bullshit LeVar Burton spewed out to "explain" it.

Ultimately Q's the good guy, since while he wasn't allowed to directly affect or fix it because of more magical bullshit Q rules, he bent the rules to lead Piccard figure it all out.

Or was that not the last episode? You should maybe ask someone who liked the show more than me. I just liked to rub one out to the space cheerleader mind reading chick, now and then.

Re:Star Trek (3, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788517)

That is indeed a pretty solid synopsis of "All Good Things". It should be emphasized though that the episode was completely paradoxical: the anomaly only started manifesting in the first place because the beam was fired to fix it. At the time it was hailed as a really strong Star Trek episode, but going back to it after watching seven seasons of the HMS Reset Button (Voyager), it's obvious that the writers were completely daft.

Re:Star Trek (3, Informative)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789225)

I found it a really strong episode, not for the plot (Which, like most trek, is BS) but for the way Q and Picard play off each other. TNG's best episodes often have a strong Q/Picard dynamic. My favourite being Tapestry, which had that *and* a half decent story around it.

Disclaimer: I am not a trekkie. Despite looking like your stereotypical example of one

Re:Star Trek (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789927)

Yeah, Tapestry is probably my favourite Q episode and easily one of the strongest episodes in the whole franchise, not counting the really incredible DS9 pieces like In The Pale Moonlight (a title which has the distinction of being the only Batman reference in all of Star Trek.)

You've hit the nail on the head about characterization, though. 80s/90s/00s Star Trek was at its core a human drama, just in the context of science fiction. Ron D. Moore once said in an interview that in some episodes the writers didn't even write the actual technobabble; they just put the word 'tech' in the script and a science consultant filled it in before shooting. That's a major reason why so many episodes are resolved with one-hit deflector dish wonders; they didn't really work on integrating the sf into the story. There are lots of great counterexamples to this (one early Voyager episode is about a ride in a space elevator), but they're way too few in number.

Re:Star Trek (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793549)

"80s/90s/00s Star Trek was at its core a human drama, just in the context of science fiction."

Most of the hard SF authors define science fiction as a human story in the context of some future world. So you can simplify your sentence to "Star Trek was at it's core science fiction."

Re:Star Trek (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39796913)

Well, generally hard SF involves looking at how the changes of the future (or the peculiar anomalies) shape that human interaction, to some extent. In TNG and Voyager the use of the science fictiony elements as props is much more blatant, and often even an outright MacGuffin while the story proceeds to tell a tale that has nothing to do with that context. It's fiction, and there's speculative science, but the two don't quite fit together that well a lot of the time.

Re:Star Trek (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793867)

Speaking of early Voyager, I decided to watch some recently. In one very early episode they made a reference to 'warp particles'.. and suddenly all Star Trek looks daft now and no amount of Q can fix it.

Re:Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39796569)

HMS Reset Button

LOL. Nice :)

Re:Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791971)

one of the first ones actually

Re:Star Trek (2)

thaddeusthudpucker (1082657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788455)

No, that was where Picard PREVENTED the start of life, because he was jumping through Q's hoops, then he realized it and stopped the stuff that was making the anomaly.

Liz Phair (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788359)

in the 90s she was goddess of all geeks

Re:Liz Phair (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788575)

in the 90s she was goddess of all geeks

This ain't the 90s anymore, gramps.

Everything (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788371)

Considering the majority of matter on the planet, including life, is from the remnants of a supernova, I'd say it helped quite a lot.

Re:Everything (-1, Flamebait)

asepsryn (2387852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789609)

Considering the majority of matter on the planet, including life, is from the remnants of a supernova, I'd say it helped quite a lot.

Comments:
*It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

XAMTHONE PLUS [obatherbalku.net]

Re:Everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791695)

It's been known for a long time that supernovae have done a lot for life on earth. Starting with not destroying it.

If a small sun were to go nova at 100 lightyears, the human race and any animal larger than a small marble is toast, except (maybe) large animals deep enough underwater (only for that reason we should maintain a human population of 100 people or so more than 100 meters underwater). If it's a almost-black-hole sun, it may kill most life on earth at a distance of 1000, maybe even 10000 light years. In addition to thoroughly cooking anything it encounters, events like this would heat the athmosphere to the point that 80% or more of it would essentially leave the earth, either temporary or permanent depending on the alignment of the planets of the solar system at the time. "Temporary" would still mean millennia at the least. Water can absorb absurdly high amounts of heat, and even when it forms into steam, it keeps absorbing heat at a lot of frequencies (which is of course why it's such a big problem for global warming), so large amounts of water may stop enough radiation to make it survivable.

The problem here is, given that a supernova is a yearly event in the milky way, how come we live in a 1%x1%x1% ball-shaped portion of the milky-way that has not known a single (decent) supernova in the last 4 billion years ? The chances of that happening are less than 1 in 4 million. You can of course use the anthropogenic argument (if it wasn't clear of supernovae, I wouldn't be here asking that question), but that's a thoroughly unsatisfactory answer.

Re:Everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791779)

But what does any of that have to do with the post you replied to, which is a spam-bot hawking some kind of virus bullshit?

Re:Everything (2)

rich_hudds (1360617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792945)

How do you know we haven't had a supernova in the last 4 billion years and why do you say we are in a 1% by 1% by 1% portion of the milky way? Aren't we also in a 0.01% by 0.01% by 0.01% portion of the milky way?

As I understand it, and I'm no expert, this 'lack of supernovae' argumnet is used by creationists and has been thoroughly debunked by astronomers.

anti-time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788439)

"Aww...it didn't happen. See what you've done?"

Life Has Prospered (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788453)

>Whenever the Sun and its planets have visited regions of enhanced star formation in the Milky Way Galaxy, where exploding stars are most common, life has prospered.

Nothing like repeated blasts of high-energy gamma radiation to stir things up.

Re:Life Has Prospered (5, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788681)

HULK AGREES!

Re:Life Has Prospered (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788737)

>Whenever the Sun and its planets have visited regions of enhanced star formation in the Milky Way Galaxy, where exploding stars are most common, life has prospered.

Nothing like repeated blasts of high-energy gamma radiation to stir things up.

TFA does in fact explain that when he says "prospered" it means increased biodiversity.

However, his mechanism is that nearby supernovae cause cooler climates (how???), and that when the earth is cooler there's a broader range of thermal environments between the equator and the poles, thus more niches for life to diversify into.

Trying to parse... (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788473)

Trying to make sense of this:

And compared with the temperature variations seen on short timescales as a consequence of the Sun's influence on the influx of cosmic rays, the heating and cooling of the Earth due to cosmic rays varying with the prevailing supernova rate have been far larger

Is this a correct translation?

"The influence of supernovae on cosmic rays is greater than the sun's influence on the cosmic rays"

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788613)

I have no idea. That sentence made absolutely no sense to me. I think this is right up there in terms of "WTF does slashdot have editors for?" My best guess is that it's supposed to mean "because the sun drags the earth through areas that have significant differences in the amount of cosmic rays in them, the total effect of cosmic rays on global temperatures has been larger than previously thought". But again, it's a guess that's more based on the notion that cosmic rays impact global temperatures rather than the actual sentence or anything that's in the article.

Re:Trying to parse... (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788665)

The correct translation from this guy would be:
"I can't actually show that it's the cause of climate warming, so I'll put in a confusing sentence to make it seem that way."
He compares the climate change with we are currently experiencing to things that take a much longer time, and things that aren't happening at the rate he referrers to 500 million years ago.
If the Earth was currently being bombarded at the rate necessary for his claim, we would be seeing extinction events.

Classic denier.

Here is a break down of his points:
http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/tag/cosmic-rays/ [wordpress.com]

with links to data and sources.

--

Re:Trying to parse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788751)

I'll take empirical data over snarky posts by some internet troll.

Re:Trying to parse... (2, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788957)

I don't think he's a "Classic denier." Most deniers' skepticism is based on cognitive-biased faith - this guy seems to have actually done considerable work to support his cognitive bias.

Re:Trying to parse... (4, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789039)

Classic politically motivated Slashdot climate post.

The guy didn't say anything about current warming, carbon dioxide, human activities or anything else. He's saying that cosmic rays influence climate (they do), short term variation due to the sun's magnetic field have a fairly small effect (the opposite of the words you're trying to put in his mouth) and a bunch of supernovae going off nearby has a larger effect (not hard to believe).

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789165)

"The guy didn't say anything about current warming, carbon dioxide, human activities or anything else."

Well, perhaps not in this article. Thanks to google, it's not hard to find where Henrik Svensmark's climate change chips lie. Here's something to get you started, complete with a potent musical background:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1qGOUIRac0 [youtube.com]

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789827)

Going with the ad hominem argument then?

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790277)

No, this was an example of the "rebutting error with verifiable fact" technique.

That URL (or a simple google search) reveals that the guy has said quite a bit about current warming and carbon dioxide.

Re:Trying to parse... (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792887)

I'm not sure if you noticed, but this thread is about a particular excerpt from the story current under discussion.

Re:Trying to parse... (1, Flamebait)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789955)

"The guy didn't say anything about current warming, carbon dioxide, human activities or anything else."

Well, perhaps not in this article. Thanks to google, it's not hard to find where Henrik Svensmark's climate change chips lie. Here's something to get you started, complete with a potent musical background:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1qGOUIRac0 [youtube.com]

So you are saying he's not a scientist? I have to ask because we are all talking like he is a scientist, but, as we all know, there is a consensus among all scientists that global warming is real and caused by SUV's, and Republicans. Only ignorant hicks, Bible thumpers, and creationist believe otherwise.

So, which one is this guy?

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788733)

SoulSkill complete rewrote my submissions, which I admit I completely plagiarized from here, [wordpress.com] which is a good summary of the very technical paper.

The author does take pot shots at AGW at the end so perhaps SoulSkill was looking to avoid a flame war that would completely drown out the very interesting paper.

Of course, now that posted the link, it's probably Flame On for many.

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788815)

It doesn't help that Svensmark has been shown to be wrong. Of course he ignores the data of the last few decades.

His finding have no bearing on Climate Change we are experiencing, and there are many large Cosmic ray increase that we know of that caused no effect.

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789157)

I'm not going to tell you I understand this paper. I'll thank you to not insult the rest of us by suggesting that you do.

If you believe in Science at all, you'd at least read interpretations of his paper as they come out an keep an open mind.

But if you want to just be some AGW tribalist, go right ahead.

Re:Trying to parse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789347)

It's not for you to say that the parent doesn't understand the paper, especially since you yourself have admitted to the same.

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790511)

Since the paper was only released today I am fairly confident that he knows nothing of it.

Irony (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789401)

"If you believe in Science"

Not only does my tribe "believe in Science", we also fight for peace and fornicate for chastity.

But our reality distortion does not stretch so far as betting some third party lipstick yet to come will make this scientific spam into Miss Universe.

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789765)

If you're stupid, and easily insulted perhaps Slashdot is not the best place to spend your time.
On the other hand, your ability to quickly switch modes into an overbearing moron, directing people how to think was impressive.
Carry on.

Re:Trying to parse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791879)

I'm not going to tell you I understand this paper. I'll thank you to not insult the rest of us by suggesting that you do.

Go fuck yourself.

If you believe in Science at all, you'd at least read interpretations of his paper as they come out an keep an open mind.

That's not science, that's religion, and you're not keeping an open mind you're believing it blindly and refusing to allow anybody to discuss it. The parent presented a logical counter-point. Instead of addressing his point, you chose to issue personal attacks.

And your followup reply below, where you state that "Since the paper was only released today I am fairly confident that he knows nothing of it." reveals that you are in fact a completely arrogant fuck. The paper was published today, for all YOU know the parent could have read it weeks ago. Just because you're too fucking stupid to comprehend the material doesn't mean the parent or anybody else here is in your situation.

Re:Trying to parse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39798625)

Yeah, as if fucking ACs like you understand shit.

Fuck off and die mother fucker.

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789021)

Thanks for the link. Makes a whole bunch more sense than TFS. Whether or not it's real is quite another thing - it's going to take a while to digest it and work through the issues he presents. I'm presuming that his previous research concerning the variation in biodiversity is real or at least plausible. Any comments?

Soulskill: Bad boy! No Doritos for a week.

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

finity (535067) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788785)

My interpretation was, "temperature variations caused by cosmic rays are influenced more by supernovae than by the Sun." I think it's similar to yours, but that the Sun and supernovae are causing cosmic rays to affect Earth's temperature. It probably infers what you're saying too.

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788855)

I take that to mean the Sun's variations are short duration and on average don't tend to have the same long term effect as the Solar System passing near the remnants of a supernova, which takes thousands of years and has a larger, cumulative effect on the atmosphere.

Re:Trying to parse... (1)

jaymemaurice (2024752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792787)

Shouldn't this be measurable by measuring the background radiation!?

Re:Trying to parse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791035)

Yes. The temperature variations is repeated in different ways, in a possibly confusing way. I wonder what the variations of the solar magnetosphere would have a on the amount of cosmic rays during times when the protective effect is at its minimum.

Dominant species (2)

bdabautcb (1040566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788479)

correlate with supernovae rate? This is a interesting analysis and paper, although I think it is hard to draw the distinction when only two (or three, if you count bacteria over all time) clades have actually 'dominated' the earth, reptiles and mammals. I don't know enough about classification to also include the oceans, but it is my understanding that they contain relatively low biomass other than microorganisms. I guess you could consider some sort of insect or arthropod for both, but those have dominated fairly consistently with bacteria as far as I know.

Re:Dominant species (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789099)

What the paper is hinging on seems to be the statement [wordpress.com] that

the changing rates of supernova explosions relatively close to the Earth have strongly influenced the biodiversity of marine invertebrate animals, from trilobites of ancient times to lobsters of today.

With the assumption that other clades follow suite (the several mass extinctions have involved virtually all life forms, some more than others but a significant change in all genera).

Further, the hypothesized effect from supernovae is also coincident with changes in uptake of Carbon 13 (as a proxy for photosynthesis).

Fairly strong correlates if the underlying assumptions are true.

IT was a (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788543)

life creating kaboom?

Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Again (1)

Jaborandy (96182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788619)

For those who understand plasma universe theory already, this makes perfect sense. The energy output of the sun is tied to the electric field strength of the surrounding galactic neighborhood, which fluctuates over time. The energy output of the sun has huge impacts on historical biodiversity and how well the biosphere thrives. Supernovae are events caused (at least in part) by stars exceeding their surface output capacity and blowing off their outer charged layer or dividing into smaller stars, which happens when the electric differential is higher than previously.

The fact that a correlation has been found between nearby supernovae and a highly sucessful biosphere on Earth is excellent news. It helps prove that solar output is tied to events outside our solar system, in our galactic neighborhood. Fascinating stuff.

(For those of you who haven't been convinced of the validity of the plasma universe theory, you are behind the times and need to get cracking. Be a scientist and stop supporting the dead Big Bang theory.)

--Jaborandy

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788755)

The energy output of the sun is tied to the electric field strength of the surrounding galactic neighborhood, which fluctuates over time.

Indeed. I'm working on a unification for Electric Universe Theory and Time Cube Theory, which, if I can pull it off, should make me the Crank of the Century.

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (1)

Jaborandy (96182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788801)

Those younger than forty will probably live to see the fall of the Big Bang Theory.

Remember this mocking when that time comes. You'll have plenty of company in your camp of people who didn't see it coming, but you'll forever lose your geek cred when you find that you've been the flat-earther, mocking the true scientists who based their theories on observations, not mathematical models.

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789071)

Possibly, but it's certainly not going to be the electric universe "theory" that replaces it.

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789379)

But Neo affected the machines "outside" the Matrix, so that proves it's just another encapsulating Matrix.

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789285)

Let's see, on the one hand I have the opinion that almost every cosmologist holds, and the other I have the opinion of a Slashdotter.

I'm really torn on this one.

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789869)

Well, i for one, will at least wait to see his final mod score before i take sides!
although, you do have a lower UID then him
now I am torn.

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792883)

Well, i for one, will at least wait to see his final mod score before i take sides!
although, you do have a lower UID then him
now I am torn.

It's a well-known fact that you can use the ratio of two people's UIDs to determine the probability of who's right.

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793563)

Hey, be fair. It's a Slashdotter backed up by a half dozen or so cranks.

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791963)

Those younger than forty will probably live to see the fall of the Big Bang Theory.

Even if it turns out that many phenomena have electric-plasma origins, I don't think the most basic premise of the big bang is going to go away. Red-shifted galaxies provide strong evidence that galaxies have been moving away, and if you rewind the process you're left with a big bang.

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (1)

jaymemaurice (2024752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792835)

Unless our understanding of the red-shift incorrect as well...

Re:Electric/Plasma Universe Theory - Supported Aga (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794389)

Those younger than forty will probably live to see the fall of the Big Bang Theory.

Well, sure. If you look at the list of longest-running TV shows by category [wikipedia.org] , it looks like Meet The Press, which started in 1947, has been on the longest. If The Big Bang Theory were to run for the same length of time, someone who's 40 now would have to live to be just over 100 to see it end its run. That's plausible, assuming humanity doesn't do something to wipe itself out in the meantime. But somehow I don't think it's going to run for 60+ years.

All lies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788689)

It's just more denialist propaganda!

How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39788719)

How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? Does it affect the sun? The Van Alan belt? Does it cause a sudden massive die off in micro-organisms that rebounds a few years later?

The article is neat, but doesn't go into detail about that process. Anyone with a clue want to try and illuminate me?

The nearest I can tell is it works in conjunction with the sun, and plate tectonics to cool the atmosphere. Either through volcanic gasses, or shifts in the mass of the mantle, creating different sea levels.

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (4, Informative)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788879)

The claim is that more cosmic rays cause cloud formation, which reflects heat.

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (4, Informative)

Troed (102527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788965)

Cosmic rays are charged particles that bombard the Earth's atmosphere from outer space. Studies suggest they may have an influence on the amount of cloud cover through the formation of new aerosols (tiny particles suspended in the air that seed cloud droplets). This is supported by satellite measurements, which show a possible correlation between cosmic-ray intensity and the amount of low cloud cover. Clouds exert a strong influence on the Earth’s energy balance; changes of only a few per cent have an important effect on the climate.

http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/research/CLOUD-en.html [web.cern.ch]

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789185)

I believe they also did an experiment at CERN [web.cern.ch]

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (0)

hackus (159037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789693)

You bet they did, and what they discovered was quickly hushed up, and labled classified.

-Hack

PS: (i.e. People won't pay Carbon Credit taxes if they kept doing those sorts of experiments so they shut them down.)

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (3, Informative)

belthize (990217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789833)

Except that the person above you posted a link to the CERN site for CLOUD which includes a link to CLOUD's website (http://cloud.web.cern.ch/cloud/) which includes a link to their publications (http://cloud.web.cern.ch/cloud/People/Publications.html). All they have is some preliminary data from a prototype but still includes a link to the initial publication "Results from the CERN pilot CLOUD experiment" (http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/1635/2010/acp-10-1635-2010.html)

But that probably doesn't fit with what ever decoder ring you found at the bottom of your box of cocoa pebbles which rather than suggesting you drink more Ovaltine apparently claimed that CLOUD results are classified.

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792129)

What they published on the cloud website is bullshit scientific legalize, the real report, got classified...

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791903)

You bet they did, and what they discovered was quickly hushed up, and labled classified.

Uh, that's nice and all, but you forgot the word following "classified" which tells us which classification it received.
So I'll help you out, its was classified as being approved for general publication, so it's only restricted in the sense that you will get in trouble for sending copies to North Korea or Syria because they are under embargo. And if you read up a post or two, there's a link which will lead you to the "hushed up" data.

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (1)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790103)

not to mention the CLOUD project [web.cern.ch] at the European Organization for Nuclear Research!

Brought to you by the society for redundantly linking redundantly to redundant links

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792139)

Thanks, that answer pointed me in the right direction. I can see how the article came to its conclusions.

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789125)

Carefully read this blog [wordpress.com] . While his main point is to say that there isn't any evidence that cosmic radiation is causing global climate changes, it does discuss a possible mechanism.

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789665)

The paper isn't so much about cosmic rays controlling the climate as it is about cosmic rays causing massive extinctions. Any climate change could be due to several possible causes.

The thing that got my attention was the huge change in the composition of the atmosphere. It is possible that some animals became extinct because they didn't have enough oxygen to breathe.

Whether or not you think cosmic rays cause the climate to cool, by creating low clouds, the evidence correlating cosmic rays with biodiversity are at least interesting and, perhaps, compelling.

Re:How does a supernova cool the atmosphere? (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790435)

While the mechanisms and effects are completely different, this article reminds me of Poul Anderson's Brain Wave [wikipedia.org] .

Supernova tectonics (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788777)

In the new work, the diversity of life over the last 500 million years seems remarkably well explained by tectonics affecting the sea-level together with variations in the supernova rate, and virtually nothing else.

I'm guessing that if he were to factor in the rate of meteor impacts, the beating of butterfly wings would turn out to be a driver of evolution too.

Re:Supernova tectonics (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789083)

Ah. Someone who doesn't understand statistics.

Re:Supernova tectonics (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789813)

Doesn't understand them? Seems to me he manipulated them perfectly to arrive at his conclusions. This guy is no amateur.

Let's Start a Religion! (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39788929)

When these things go off, wise men and kings go hunting for babies to garnish with bling.

Well, duh! Is anyone on Slashdot surprised? (4, Informative)

Kergan (780543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789195)

Svensmark is the scientist whose controversial ideas ultimately led CERN to conduct its CLOUD experiment. The gist of his idea was: cosmic particle presence (more clouds, due to more substrate) and solar magnetic activity (less clouds, due to repelled particles) are amongst the driving factors --perhaps the primary one-- of climate volatility on Earth, because they control overall cloud cover.

CERN's conclusion? Svensmark was basically spot on with respect to cloud formation.

Make no mistake here. Clouds excersice materially high positive and negative feedback loops on climate. Whether it is overwhelmingly superior or merely predominant to carbon dioxide et al is the only point of contention.

In light of this, is any Slashdot reader surprised that proximity of supernovae, aka amount of cosmic particles, accepting the evidence that the latter have an impact on cloud cover and thus on climate, might have an impact on how life in thriving on Earth?

Re:Well, duh! Is anyone on Slashdot surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789383)

More on cosmic rays, cloud cover and climate.
http://skepticalscience.com/cosmic-rays-and-global-warming.htm

And now the warmists will exclaim... (1, Troll)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789329)

Oh noes! Human CO2 causes supernovas!!! I'm super cereal!

(yes, yes, mod me troll/flamebait)

Uptick? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789465)

According to the graphs, we are currently on an uptick. Does that mean I'll grow a second wanker?

Re:Uptick? (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790105)

don't get your hopes up. If the first one didn't work, the second one probably won't either.

Nice but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39789567)

While its great that the pieces are coming together in the bigger puzzle of how things work in our world and universe, I know some nuts are going to use this to explain away the part that our actions play on the climate.

SuperNova Credits Exchange to the Rescue! (2)

hackus (159037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789673)

Effective immediately Al Gore is announcing a SuperNova Credits Exchange!

Taxes paid by every man women and child will stop the SuperNova's climate change effects!

It is illegal not to pay.

So you better not cheat on your SuperNova taxes or we will take away your Passport.

Oh yeah, we got ya covered.

-Hack

Not a long enough study. (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39789681)

If research scientists would stop cherry picking their data it would probably help the rest of us. Using the same astronomical model - the earth passing through the galactic plane - has also been used to explain most of the mass extinction events on the planet.
Sometimes specialization causes worse effects than Adam Smith could have foreseen.

Re:Not a long enough study. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793659)

Try again. The solar system's passes through the galactic plane do not line up with mass extinction events very well. And what do you mean "the same astronomical model?" The solar system being in a star forming region and passing through the galactic plane are not the same thing.

over-reaching? (2)

bityz (2011656) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790117)

The article links to dtu.dk which contains an article called "The Milky Way Shaped Life on Earth" [space.dtu.dk] . That article includes a quote that I found suspiciously unscientific:

The odds are 10,000 to 1 against this unexpected link between cosmic rays and the variable state of the biosphere being just a coincidence, and it offers a new perspective on the connection between the evolution of the Milky Way and the entire history of life over the last 4 billion years,’ Dr Svensmark comments.

So I Googled it and found this article [ossfoundation.us] containing a refutation and further examples of over-reaching. I leave it to /. to comment on the accuracy of these links.

Re:over-reaching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792901)

I'm surprised it took so long to see a comment like this. Those "Real Climate" activists have long lost credibility in my eyes, ever since they took to blogs to try and change how the science of climate is perceived by the press and public. Science is not done on blogs or press communiques.

All our friendly bloggers have along the scale of longer geologic time scale is a "proxy" for tmperature, not atmospheric albedo readings. As long as the connection between cosmic rays and the atmospheres albedo is not refuted, all I have is a bunch of acronym-loving modelers dismissing actual experimental data -- a concept largely unknown to them.

Re:over-reaching? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39793719)

What do you find unscientific about that quote?

The "refutation" you link to is refuting Svensmark's claims about anthropogenic global warming. The current article is about climate change that happened a long time before there were humans, thus is completely unrelated to anthropogenic global warming. If you're wondering, Svensmark's hypothesis about cosmic rays and clouds (and thus climate) have held up pretty well in both his own studies and independent studies by groups including some at CERN. I think he's probably overreached by claiming that cosmic rays explain current warming, but it's quite reasonable that they play a role, and may have played a very significant role in the past.

So does it mean, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790513)

Destruction and creation are the same thing? Or perhaps there is no destruction only creation.

Correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791047)

In related news:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/correlation-or-causation-12012011-gfx.html

See also: (1)

ankhank (756164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39794577)

http://www.ann-geophys.net/30/9/2012/angeo-30-9-2012.pdf [ann-geophys.net]

Ann. Geophys., 30, 9–19, 2012
www.ann-geophys.net/30/9/2012/
doi:10.5194/angeo-30-9-2012

Cosmic rays and space weather: effects on global climate change

Insert socially engineered witticism here. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39795121)

Regions with more radiation generate more mutations, allowing for faster exploring of the evolutionary gradient descent space. Interesting observation that this influence is not static.

BTW this is similar to "simulated annealing", a technique to help an organism trapped in a local minimum escape the well so it can find a deeper one.

Fish cause super novas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39796103)

That's what the article says... right?

(GASP!) Astrologers were RIGHT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39796619)

The stars DO affect our lives! Hahahah!

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