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Cosmic Rays and Global Warming

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the yet-another-theory dept.

Space 548

Overly Critical Guy writes "The former editor of New Scientist has written an article in the TimesOnline suggesting that cosmic rays may affect global climate. The author criticizes the UN's recent global warming report, noting several underreported trends it doesn't account for, such as increasing sea-ice in the Southern Ocean. He describes an experiment by Henrik Svensmark showing a relation between atmospheric cloudiness and atomic particles coming in from exploded stars. In the basement of the Danish National Space Center in 2005, Svensmark's team showed that electrons from cosmic rays caused cloud condensation. Svensmark's scenario apparently predicts several unexplained temperature trends from the warmer trend of the 20th century to the temporary drop in the 1970s, attributed to changes in the sun's magnetic field affecting the amount of cosmic rays entering the atmosphere."

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cult of global warming (4, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979182)

oh noes he discredited the cult of global warming! he MUST be in the pocket of big business.

Re:cult of global warming (2, Informative)

Oracle of Bandwidth (528405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979210)

While it is possible that he is wrong, it wouldn't be the first time one guy turned out to be right over the establishment, anyone remember a man a long time ago called Galileo Galilei.

Re:cult of global warming (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979226)

anyone remember a man a long time ago called Galileo Galilei.

Indeed! The fact that men like Galileo exist is proof that every lone nutter with a theory is utterly correct!

Re:cult of global warming (3, Insightful)

Oracle of Bandwidth (528405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979248)

And by this line of thought if this man turned out to be wrong, it would be a valid argument against gravity? All I'm saying is if his work has merit he won't be considered a crackpot for long, and it makes it worth at least looking at his claim.

Re:cult of global warming (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979836)

chump.

Re:cult of global warming (2)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979290)

because you seem extra slow and posted the same thing below, i'll say it again. he was part of a team. not a lone nut. READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE.

Re:cult of global warming (-1, Flamebait)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979378)

hahahahaha!

You're the lone nut in this case :-)

Re:cult of global warming (2, Interesting)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979322)

I may have read it wrong, but I don't think his theory accounts for every bit of the temperature change.

Re:cult of global warming (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979518)

Indeed! The fact that men like Galileo exist is proof that every lone nutter with a theory is utterly correct!

That reminded me of two Robert A. Heinlein quotes (in the voice of Lazarus Long):

"Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How's that again? I missed something."

"Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Let's play that over again, too. Who decides?"

It's Pirates I tell Ye Laddy (2, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979298)

It's well know that the decline of seafaring pirates correlates the rise of global warming me hearties. sunspots too

FSM link (3, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979342)

It surely be pirates [venganza.org] , jim lad. Never a truer tale been told. All this shows is that pirate decline may be associated with cosmic rays.

Re:FSM link (3, Funny)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979652)

It can't be pirates, because my friends from the planet Xenon told me it is indeed cosmic rays. See, when they visited me last month, they said "Your planet is being warmed because cosmic radiation is affecting the atmosphere." I said "Wow! You came all the way here to tell me that?" But the big gray one said "No, actually, we came because our scientists also said the PS3 was the most advanced computer on Earth, and we wanted to buy one, but there was a big line and Circuit City was all sold out when we tried." I asked, "The same scientists who told you about cosmic rays?" and he said "Yes. But we got a raincheck from the clerk. And then he sold us something called an 'iPod'. He said it was cooler than an anal probe."

I have a few doubts about the cosmic ray advice, frankly. But, yes, iPods are cooler than an anal probe.

Re:FSM link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979680)

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is not amused

Re:FSM link (-1, Flamebait)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979738)

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a really fucking tired meme.

Re:cult of global warming (2, Informative)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979382)

He's pointing out another possible contributing factor. There are lots of them including volcanic activity. The one thing none of it adequately accounts for is the spike in CO2. No one is disputing the CO2 spike is manmade. All the other factors are within normal levels and would not account for an unpresidented spike in CO2. If he was working for corporate america he'd claim Spotted Owls were causing the CO2 and cutting down the forests would reduce the number of the little CO2 machines. No reputible sources are disputing global warming and that humans are the cause. The only issues are how bad it'll be and if it can be stopped. If you notice our flipflopping President quitely acknowledged global warming and that we are the cause. Amazing the press gave him a pass on this since he went from saying global warming wasn't proven to accepted science overnight with zero fanfare. If CO2 levels are any indication we are in for a rough ride. I hate to break it to the flat earthers but there is a well established correlation between CO2 levels and temperature. If CO2 levels are even close Florida may be the first state in the union to give fish the right to vote.

Pedantry (4, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979854)

>there is a well established correlation between CO2 levels and temperature.

It's a superb correlation, the curves track each other amazingly.

By itself that doesn't prove anything. Given only the correlation, you couldn't rule out that temperature increases cause increased CO2 levels. Which is plausible, since organic decay releases CO2 and goes faster when it's warmer (if you doubt that, unplug your refrigerator and see what happens).

Given only the correlation, you couldn't rule out that some other factor causes both warming and CO2 increases.

The reason to think it's causal is that there's a well-demonstrated mechanism and that the details match up.

>Florida may be the first state in the union to give fish the right to vote.

Hey, we already know all about Florida elections.

Re: cult of global warming (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979810)

> oh noes he discredited the cult of global warming! he MUST be in the pocket of big business.

I'm just glad to hear that all those $10K awards didn't go to waste.

Re:cult of global warming (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979856)

oh noes he discredited the cult of global warming! he MUST be in the pocket of big business.

I'm sure he's at the bank cashing his Exxon check right now!

Incorrect. (0)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979196)

Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare
God, you would think that someone commenting on something as serious as this would know that climate change not global warming is the outcome of CO2 levels rising (I.E. this bbc article [bbc.co.uk] on Europe cooling rather than warming.)

Yet Another Non-Scientist dismissing man made climate change. Yawn.At least Michael Chrichton's didn't try "cosmic rays".

Re:Incorrect. (2)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979228)

"Global warming" is the net effect on the planet's surface, taken as a whole. "Climate change" describes the local effects of global warming.

Re:Incorrect. (0, Redundant)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979286)

"Climate change" describes the local effects of global warming.

It's perfcetly obvious that Nigel Calder doesn't understand that - he gives examples of local cooling as evidence that those in the man-made climate change camp are wrong.

From the linked article:

Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter's billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages. The early arrival of migrant birds in spring provides colourful evidence for a recent warming of the northern lands. But did anyone tell you that in east Antarctica the Adélie penguins and Cape petrels are turning up at their spring nesting sites around nine days later than they did 50 years ago? While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean.
If he had the slightest clue, he would not be spouting this thoroughly debunked argument.

Re:Incorrect. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979316)

you don't do anything to support your argument in that quote.

Re:Incorrect. (2, Funny)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979356)

Apparently he doesn't need to. At least he thinks so, as long as the consensus is with him. Who are you to criticize him? are you some of those deniers who insist on old fashionable things as reproducible results?

Re:Incorrect. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979436)

No. The idea is that there ought to be no need at this point to go over some very basic aspects of global climate change. The concept that global warming does not mean that all places everywhere will show at all times the same small increases in temperatures is one of them. It isn't everybody's responsibility to spoon feed you every single thing about everything.

Re:Incorrect. (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979482)

Of course, that is the case. But it obviously depends on the definition of what is a locally restricted effect. You know, "south oceans" is a rather large body of water....

Re:Incorrect. (2, Interesting)

j_w_d (114171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979524)

Apparently he doesn't need to. At least he thinks so, as long as the consensus is with him.

Since science doesn't operate by consensus, any "consensus" is irrelevant. Brutal facts are simple. There is labortory evidence that the excess CO2 we have been putting into the atmosphere "ought" to affect the climate. The empirical data doesn't support this. The hockey stick curve is an artifact of data analysis and dependent upon data sets that are not correlated with temperature anyway. There is a clear chemical signature but the predicted climatic signal is largely missing. Between 1950 and 2000 the empirical data indicates that the amount of light reaching the ground decreased immensely; more than enough to explain the missing CO2 signal. Now the Danes have shown an alternative source of climatic effects in the incidence of cosmic rays, mediated by solar weather.

The short conclusion is, we have NO CLUE how the climate really works, nor do we know the full list of inputs that drive it nor their relative importance. Nor is there any convincing -i.e. not overly simplified- model of how our own inputs affect climate. It may well be that CO2 warming is all that is keeping us from a particulate driven cooling and ice age.

Re:Incorrect. (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979570)

Personally I think that is very likely that human activities have some impact on recent climate changes. But I think that we would never be able to come to a sound body of theory if we keep on mixing politics with science. We need to give space to dissenting voice, and if we are worried with spin coming from interest groups, we should rely on better review methods instead of trying to silence every dissenting voice.

Red herrings (2, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979858)

"Since science doesn't operate by consensus, any "consensus" is irrelevant."

BULLSHIT! Peer-review is an integral part of science, without it everything deteriorates into "he said - she said" politics.

Also the red herrings in TFA have been around for years and have been debunked ad-nauseam.

For all those wondering about attribution please look at the latest IPCC SPM, it has a diagram that has been peer-reviewed and agreed apon by ALL the national science bodies on the planet. It includes such things a volcanos, solar variation, ect, most impotantly it also includes error bars. The reason this guy has picked on clouds as other so called "skeptics" have done before him is because NOBODY has a good model of cloud formation.

"The short conclusion is, we have NO CLUE how the climate really works..."

The alternative conclusion is that you were deliberately aiming for the +Funny mod that you recieved.

Re:Incorrect. (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979458)

you don't do anything to support your argument in that quote.

Let me break it down for you.

Calder offers local cooling as an example of how anthropogenic climate change scientists are wrong.

However, anthropogenic climate change scientists predict local cooling in their models.

Therefore, one of Calder's 'proofs' that anthropogenic climate change scientists are incorrect is faulty.

Please note that I am not commenting on Cosmic Ray/Cloud formation experiment, until it is indepentantly reproduced (CERN is currently doing this [web.cern.ch] ).

Re:Incorrect. (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979268)

you didn't even read the article did you you moron. then again it's what i'd expect from someone with a blog called whineymacfanboy.

infact it doesn't even look like you read past the past line of the submitters description, since it clearly starts he in conjunction of a TEAM of scientists have shown that cosmic radiation creates cloud cover. so he is qualified to be commenting, and he is not a lone nut.

co2 alone is not sufficent to raise the greenhouse effect by any appreciable amount. this is a fact global warming nuts tend not to like have outed but it's true if you only stop taking spoon feedings.

Re:Incorrect. (2, Insightful)

halltk1983 (855209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979302)

I'm all for exploring all avenues. We don't know enough, by far to know even what we know or don't know yet. We're making theories without any idea what all forces play in the big scale. If this man figures out just ONE more variable, then his work was worth the time and effort.

Re:Incorrect. (1, Troll)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979328)

LOL Well, You're obviously a non-scientist yourself, as your willingness to resort to authority argument clearly demonstrates.

Re:Incorrect. (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979396)

LOL Well, You're obviously a non-scientist yourself, as your willingness to resort to authority argument clearly demonstrates.

Fair enough.

However, before my appeal to Authority, I did quite clearly state that his arguments dismissing global 'warming" (due to localised cooling) were false.

Re:Incorrect. (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979420)

Such an ignorant post you have made. By the same token, when I ask you if the Earth is round and you answer yes, you are resorting to authority as well, unless you have gone up in space and seen it to be the case with your own eyes.

Re:Incorrect. (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979450)

As a matter of fact, if you asked me formally if the earth is round, I would have a lot of experiments to suggest you, that would prove my statement that earth is round. That's why reproducible results are the cornerstone for science. And as a historical side note, the knowledge of the roundness of earth precedes space travel by some centuries ;-)

Re:Incorrect. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979486)

Wow. If you want to talk debate theory, you ought to know that there are specific instances when an appeal to authority is the proper way to proceed (or are you also arguing with cops who give you a ticket that they shouldn't argue from authority?), such as when legitimate experts on a specialized subject are quoted in the debate (see the last section in the entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority [wikipedia.org] ). It's nice to see though that the arguments against global warming are getting this weak. It means that we finally might see some action on it.

Re:Incorrect. (1)

igny (716218) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979352)

The cosmic ray theory is just a natural attempt to get some money from Exxon [cnn.com] . Just wait and we will hear theories that dinosaurs have caused [slashdot.org] current global warming.

Re:Incorrect. (4, Funny)

jmv (93421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979422)

Just wait and we will hear theories that dinosaurs have caused current global warming.

Considering that the main cause is CO2 from fossil fuel, this statement is actually not too far off :-)

Re:Incorrect. (1)

pionzypher (886253) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979684)

+1 insightful. Don't have any mod points, but I wish I did.

One of the arguments he uses is that east antarctica is colder. Erm, but look at the ice shelfs on the western peninsula. Localized cooling doesn't indicate squat. It's great that the penguins return x days later. I'm sure that the bears up north [timesonline.co.uk] are happy for them.

I'm still up in the air as to the extent of our contribution to climate change... but politicians like yes or no answers. I'd rather see us err on the side of caution on an issue like this.

USE=brain (5, Informative)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979218)

Before you people start screaming, "what do they expect us to do about cosmic rays??//?/?" Think. This isn't about "debunking" global warming, nor is it about fearmongering about it. It's about building more accurate climate models.

Move along.

Re:USE=brain (1, Insightful)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979462)

We like the climate model we have, thank you. Besides we're not going for accuracy. We want whatever model will shut down those wealthy big-oil pigs.

Re:USE=brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979756)

We want whatever model will shut down those wealthy big-oil pigs

Fuckwit.

Re:USE=brain (2, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979522)

"The important thing is not to stop questioning."

-Albert Einstein

Re:USE=brain (2, Funny)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979758)

"The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Umm... What?

Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (4, Informative)

Reverse Gear (891207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979222)

I have had some classes on this theory at university.

This being a somewhat new theory everything is still quite uncertain how much effect this has on the heating of the earth.

I think the estimates we saw in class a year ago was that this could explain from 10% to maybe 30% of the heating that has happened in the last 30 years.

We don't have measurements of the amount of cosmic radiation from more than something like 30 years so it is hard to go further back to check this theory.
We have CO2 measurements from somewhat longer, but not that much longer, but we have trapped air in the ice cores which give us information almost 100K years back which gives the evidence of CO2 and methane quite strong support.
Cosmic radiation does is not "trapped" anywhere in the geologic layers to my knowledge.

I am no saying Svensmarks theory is wrong, it most likely has an effect, but how big this effect is is very hard to say by now.
Anyhow I think the critique of the UN-report is justified, if this theory is not part of the report. Not taking this theory into account and then saying there is a 90% certainty that humans have caused global warming is not scientific.

Re:Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979266)

Cosmic radiation does is not "trapped" anywhere in the geologic layers to my knowledge.
You are correct. However, there is some nonzero chance that information about the sun's magnetic field might be present in the geologic layers... Thinking about it a little more, likely not. More likely that that information would be found in rock of another solar-system object, one which doesn't have a strong magnetic field of its own.

Re:Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979404)

Thinking about it a little more, likely not.

Why did you correct yourself and leave your mistaken assumption in the first sentence without erasing it before posting?

Re:Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979698)

Hmm. The rate of synthesis of 14C is known to be variable depending on cosmic ray flux. There are known correction factors for radiocarbon dating based on those changes, so something must be known.

Re:Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (3, Interesting)

starman97 (29863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979304)

Cosmic rays are basically high energy nuclei, which include essentially all of the elements in the periodic table; about 89% of the nuclei are hydrogen (protons), 10% helium, and about 1% heavier elements. They are accelerated to between 40% and 99% of the Speed of light, or between 100Million electron Volts to 10GeV, this must leave some sort of chemical or isotopic signature on things like organic molecules in ice cores.
Sort of like the carbon14/12 ratio which is used to date formerly living things.

If the Cosmic Ray flux has changed substantially over a few thousand year period, there should be some way to test for it's effects.

Re:Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979444)

Cosmic radiation is an interesting thing. One other theory suggests that it is responsible for much of how lightning acts. Despite any theories, there is enough basic information to warrant further investigation with regard to climate and genetic mutations and many other things. The effect that solar radiation, cosmic radiation, and other not-of-this-world factors need to be taken into account ,as any programs to counter man made warming could be exacerbated or perverted into a situation that worsens the warming trend if all factors are not known.

The only logical plan is to use multiple attempts to reduce factors that contribute to warming, and continue to study climate vigorously to ensure that we don't try to counter the natural way of things. Logic and temperate thinking is the only way to achieve buy-in by those with power and money needed to effect climate warming control measures.

This is an idea that might better help us understand how the climate works, and as such should be considered by all concerned. While it may or may not be significant, studying it may lead to truly innovative thinking and understanding of the planets climate.

Re:Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979706)

>Logic and temperate thinking is the only way to achieve buy-in by those with power and money

I want to live in a world where that works. Meanwhile, you're right that we need all the data we can get.

Re:Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (2, Informative)

BigPaise (1037782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979546)

Actually we perhaps do have a pretty good record of cosmic ray activity from the C14 levels in tree rings. This is because it is cosmic rays that convert nitrogen into C14 making the radioactive CO2 that plants (trees) ingest and incorporate into their growth rings. Some trees are hundreds if not over 1000 years old.

Re:Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (1)

Kalle Barfot (147248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979696)

You say "how big this effect is is very hard to say" -- and THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!

There is no evidence that current climate changes are DRIVEN by human activity. There is on the other hand AMPLE evidence that CO2 levels have wildly fluctuated in the past 500 My (3-5 times higher than today) and that temperatures have wildly fluctuated over even the last 400,000 years (much of the Northern Hemisphere was covered with 3-4km-thick ice sheets about 12,000 years ago).

We live in an interglacial period and should be grateful about the greenhouse effect! is there any evidence of "global warming" in the past that may have hurt life on Earth? there have been long periods without ice sheets in the past, i.e. the warm periods between ice ages.

Re:Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (3, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979828)

There is no evidence that current climate changes are DRIVEN by human activity.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [www.ipcc.ch]

Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations 12 . This is an advance since the TARs conclusion that most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. Discernible human influences now extend to other aspects of climate, including ocean warming, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns...

Re:Pretty much unknown how big an effect ths has (2, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979814)

Not taking this theory into account and then saying there is a 90% certainty that humans have caused global warming is not scientific.
I haven't read the draft of the latest report, but I did read the 2001 one.

There's a graph showing the effect they think various potential influences had, listed along with our scientific understanding of them. Solar influence was at the far right of the scale of our scientific understanding (at the lowest level), and was listed as having a comparatively small heating effect. Greenhouse gases were listed to the far left, and had a comparatively very high heating effect.
You can read this as "we're not sure what effect solar radiation has, but we're damn sure greenhouse gases have a large heating effect".

If they haven't taken it into account to the same degree as other influences it's because they don't fully understand it and don't have much to report, not because there's some conspiracy.
Just because we don't understand dark matter doesn't mean we don't know the direction a ball will fall in when we release it; solar radiation may or may not be having a impact, but what we do know is that the Earth is warming and humans are having a huge warming influence.

Does the editor of New Scientist might have a clue what he's talking about? Have you read New Scientist recently? Every time I see a copy in a waiting room I learn that there may be black holes everywhere, or how some scientist has come up with a theory of everything, or how the entire field of physics has just been turned on its head.
Most of the time it's just sensationalist rubbish to get sales. "A 1000 year old problem solved?" "Is N-theory the successor to M-theory?" "Are there millions of galaxies within every atom?" "Has time travel been achieved?". Then, in the list of extras "Are you more like Einstein or Newton? Take our test", etc, etc.
With all the recent reports of oil companies paying people to discredit the IPCC should we trust the editor of a magazine? Or a report compiled based on the cumulative efforts of thousands of climatologists?

Genesis (-1, Flamebait)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979242)

If global warming did not exist, leftists would have to invent it.

wait! (5, Funny)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979254)

I for one refuse to comment on this subject until Michael Crichton tells me what is right!

Re:wait! (2, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979596)

I prefer to wait for the movie to come out. I'd like to have Stephen Speilberg's opinion as well.

Seems familar... (3, Interesting)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979276)

Also, pretty much summed up in a recent Mark Steyn [suntimes.com] commentary.

Other predictions (0, Flamebait)

grouchyDude (322842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979292)

Interestingly enough, his theory does even more! It predicts the
substantial positive change to his bank balance due to a payment from
an oil cartel discussed here last week.

Re:Other predictions (2, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979366)

unlikely since this is a 5 year long research project recently completed. even less likely since it's nothing to do with oil.

Re:Other predictions (2, Informative)

3p1ph4ny (835701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979412)

From TFA:

The only trouble with Svensmark's idea -- apart from its being politically incorrect -- was that meteorologists denied that cosmic rays could be involved in cloud formation. After long delays in scraping together the funds for an experiment, Svensmark and his small team at the Danish National Space Center hit the jackpot in the summer of 2005.

Why didn't the oil cartel fund his experiment if they were so interested in it? Or did you just choose to assume, without actually reading the article?

Re:Other predictions (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979670)

I get something else out of your comment too.

If you are not pro-GW, you may have greater difficulty finding funding.

Re:Other predictions (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979416)

I, personally, believe that there is some global warming, and that yes, it must have been caused, at least in some degree by human activities. But, I am no climate scientist, and for what I have seen so far, there's still not a complete theory, unchallenged that is able to quantify the warming, and the role of human effects on it.
I was trained as a economist (as a result of a silly familiar pressure on programming not being a respectable profession), and because of that, I've seen the stupidity that can happens when models are taken as more important than reality itself. Because of that, I get very worried when I see people trying to interdict scientific debate using moral, and utterly politically loaded statements to discredit everyone that holds a theory that contradict his/her particular view.

Re:Other predictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979694)

Because of that, I get very worried when I see people trying to interdict scientific debate using moral, and utterly politically loaded statements to discredit everyone that holds a theory that contradict his/her particular view.

I haven't read every paper ever published on GW in the last 20 years, but in the few dozens I have, I've nerver come across "moral and utterly political statements" to discredit anyone in any of them. So I can't see that you get that in the scientific debate. However, once you step out of the purely scientific debate, (and I would not count even a scientifically informed blog such as Real Climate [realclimate.org] as part of the scientific debate), you seem to hear little else. You, yourself don't seem to be immune from this.

Cosmic rays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979348)

Oh, no it's not the billions of cars and factories spewing out humongous amounts of CO2 and CH4, no, no, its COSMIC RAYS!

It's very much like my four-year old girl insisting on that it was some stranger who used permanent markers on the wallpaper in her room.

Here we go again.... (4, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979390)

All those crazy "climate change has nothing to do with carbon levels" crackpots are going to have a field day. And all the "Yes it bloody well does!!" crackpots are going to get all defensive and who's going to win in the end? The trolls. That's who. The trolls.

In all this I'm reminded of a mock argument I heard on the radio between a geologist and a biologist about the source of oxygen in out atmosphere. Both "experts" were convinced that it was largely due to some effect described in their field of study and dismissed the other.

What I'm trying to say is that there is solid evidence that carbon in the atmosphere can trap heat. If we now discover that cosmic rays are warming the planet, that doesn't exclude the effect of carbon as an insulator from the equation. Now if both theories are true we have a serious problem. Cosmic radiation is warming the planet at a higher rate and carbon is preventing it from cooling.

What do we do about it?

1. Reduce carbon emissions.
2. reduce Earth's exposure to cosmic rays

If reducing cosmic rays can be done along the lines of Mr. Burns blocking out the sun with his big dish, I'm all for it, as long as I'm the one who owns the dish. Otherwise, with sincere apologies all the "I'm gonna fcsking well drive my big Ford SUV 2 blocks to buy my cheese in a can" crackpots, but it has to be option 1.

Re:Here we go again.... (-1, Troll)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979508)

Maybe we trolls are sick and tired of none of you Global Warming nuts being unable to explain how Venus got an atmosphere of 96.5% co2 without the benefit of man, or our big fat SUVs?

You cant prove a thing.

Fuck you, I've got karma to burn, bitch.

Mod parent up. (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979568)

Nothing like a good belly laugh
"Elvis Presley is dead, but not all of the class of dead people is Elvis Presley"

Re:Here we go again.... (1)

stormj (1059002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979582)

Thanks. Up until I read this insight, I was a full believe in this hoax called global warming. But the sheer force of this comment changed my mind. None of these scientists ever thought about VENUS before. Only people on this site who maybe had an intro astronomy class in college and think they're smarter than everyone could have caught that one. .... oh wait, Carl Sagan discussed this 30 years ago in Cosmos. Next.

Re:Here we go again.... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979662)

Does that mean that you actually would like to live on Venus?

Re:Here we go again.... (1)

cats2ndlife (995125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979682)

LOL. Nice try. Nicely said Max Littlemore. Couldn't agree with you more. The fact is that it doesn't matter how our climate is affected by external factors because we have the ability to control it. If we want to maintain the stability of our climate since the last ice-age, we have to start reducing CO2 levels, if the cosmic ray theory turns out to be a big cause of global warming, doesn't that mean we have to start restriction carbon emission right away and may be even set the emission limit lower? Either way CO2 is still trapping heat in the atmosphere like a thick blanket under the sun. The question is by how much do we have to reduce CO2.

Re:Here we go again.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979746)

So... your problem is that all of the "Global Warming nuts" are able to explain how venus whatever-you-were-ranting-about?

I just wonder which teacher you are upset with most for failing you: your English teacher, your logic teacher, or your Science teacher, your Econ teacher, or your Humanities teacher. 'Cause from here it looks like it any one of those.

You fail it. The only question is which it.

Re:Here we go again.... (4, Informative)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979798)

Oh, hell, I'll bite. Venus was always slightly too close to the sun for it's atmospheric water to condense. As a result, no oceans. Without aqueous chemistry, carbon dioxide couldn't turn into carbonates and stayed in the atmosphere. With no water and no life to create an ozone layer, and all it's water stuck in the upper atmosphere, high-energy radiation dissocated the water into hydrogen and oxygen. As the hydrogen went into space, sulfur-containing compounds got oxidized and reacted with the remaining water to make sulfuric acid.

And to make this worthwhile, consider: Earth's ecosystem handles the increasing luminance of the Sun by reducing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere to reduce the warming effect. In 1 billion years, the concentration will hit zero and then earth fries. Cheers!

Re:Here we go again.... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979728)

If we now discover that cosmic rays are warming the planet, that doesn't exclude the effect of carbon as an insulator from the equation.

No, but HOW MUCH of an effect is up for unlimited debate.

What do we do about it?

1. Reduce carbon emissions.

Doing this is going to require a serious economic hit to pretty much every country around the world. IF Co2 is only responsible for 10% of global warming, then it's probably not worth the economic hit it will take to reduce our emissions of it.

People that say "do it anyways" must subscribe to the "broken window" theory of economics, which has been disproven time and time again.

I'm all for it, as long as I'm the one who owns the dish.

What? Why is that now a requirement? Just because you personally don't like an idea, doesn't preclude it from consideration.

I'll wait... (4, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979394)

... until the experiment has been independently reproduced and there is some more data on whether and how much cosmic radiation affects our climate. So far, there is one paper on this topic (July 2002 issue of Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics), and not much else. The experiment is interesting, but rather tenuous in its conclusions. We have a potential mechanism, along with some ways on testing the validity of its predictions. But it's far too early to make this anymore than it is - an idea that needs further exploring.

Besides, can we link to something more than someone's blog? Here's a link that has a lot more substance and not so much speculation: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/02073 1080631.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Re:I'll wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979452)

... until the experiment has been independently reproduced

FTA, Getting independent reviews is hard because if you don't support the official "Global Warming" theory, then you're in the pocket of the oil companies. And no one will touch you then for fear of a public backlash.

Since when has science been about not offending the public's sensibilities :-)

Re:I'll wait... (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979722)

The CERN results should be interesting, and with luck we'll get enough actual numbers to stir into the global circulation models.

Kill the bastard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979410)

How DARE he even challenge the rule of law placed down by the high priests of the UN? Surely he must be burned at the stake for speaking such heresy!

Remove his accreditation! Silence him! Denier, denier, denier!

Long live the Democratic Cause! Return the global environment to the masses!

same Nigel Calder? (3, Informative)

jonkster (929385) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979442)

This the same Calder often quoted derogatorily on certain websites with anti environmentalist leanings?
several quote an article "In the Grip of a New Ice Age?" in the National Wildlife Federation's journal, International Wildlife attributed to a "Nigel Calder" in 70's
the line they like to quote is: "the threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind."
eg http://www.ncpa.org/ba/ba337/ba337.html [ncpa.org]
http://www.mises.org/story/2119 [mises.org]
http://www.heritage.org/Research/PoliticalPhilosop hy/BG1143.cfm [heritage.org]

My own bias (5, Insightful)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979456)

You know what I hate most about these articles? My own bias is plainly obvious to me.

When I read something that says global warming is wrong, I want to say yes! Brilliant! When something confirms it, I can't help but think 'alarmist fear-mongering can't-think-for-themeselves idiots.' But at the same time I know those thoughts are ridiculous, and that I don't really have the understanding of all the parameters to make an intelligent decision.

I guess that's what happens when you politicize a scientific topic. Or maybe I'm just an optimist.

Re:My own bias (0)

lionheart1327 (841404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979654)

I just think that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Anybody that claims "We're all gonna die!" has to back it up extremely well.
Quite simply because, first of all, every other person before them in the history of mankind who has said "We're all gonna die!" was wrong.

And I don't think that terminal global warming has enough evidence yet.

Is the earth warming? Yes.
Is human-caused carbon dioxide contributing? Yes, practically by definition.

Should we panic? Or spend trillions trying to "fix it"? Not yet.

Re:My own bias (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979716)

I must admit I often have similar feelings, only in reverse. It is sad, isn't it? At least when you realise what is going on in your head, you can try to account for it...

That's why we really need to get this whole issue out of politicking and into the hands of experts. General population - politicians and /. readers included - simply does not have enough understanding of the subject for any purposeful rationalising on it.

You're a nerd. Go detail-oriented. (4, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979800)

The term "global warming" conceals several completely different ideas with completely different levels of evidence and likelihood.

Only some of the following statements are true or even supported by evidence:
1. The average temperature of the Earth is going up.
2. It is likely to continue doing so.
3. The largest cause is CO2.
4. The rise in CO2 levels is human-caused.
5. The results will be catastropic.
6. The result will be a mass extinction event.
7. The result will wipe out the human race.
8. This is proof that our economic system is evil.
9. We must destroy or replace the foundation of our economic system.
10. The planet is in jeopardy.
11. The Kyoto accord should be ratified.

It's logically consistent to snort with contempt at 8 and 10 while accepting 1-4 pending further data.

What frosts me (sorry) is that the policy implications don't have to be this politicized. We need a malaria vaccine anyway, regardless of whether the mosquito habitat moves north. We benefit a zillion ways from replacing coal burning by almost anything else. Fuel efficient vehicles are great just in terms of national security alone. Bangladesh is in trouble no matter what we do about future CO2 emissions and we need to make decisions about that (seawall? Resettle? (WHERE?!)).

>I don't really have the understanding of all the parameters to make an intelligent decision.

No one person does, but judicious application of "How do you know?" will cut through a lot of garbage and allow intelligent decision though not certainty.

Ignorance of solar effects. (3, Interesting)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979470)

I think most of the global warming crowd conveniently forget that by far the biggest determinant of Earth's climate is this object about 150 million kilometers from us called the Sun.

If you look at our sunspot cycle (which has been recorded since the 1600's), it should be noted that Earth warms up every time we have many sunspots and cools down when we have few sunspots. The famous Maunder minimum that bridged the 17th and 18th Centuries with very little sunspot activity resulted in seriously cold winters at the higher latitudes, as noted by the Thames River through London freezing over in winter regularly during this period.

But getting back on topic, scientists have noted that almost every planet in our Solar System is experiencing a warmup during the last 4-5 years. Note that the Martian ice caps are getting smaller and smaller, the atmospheres on our "gas giant" planets are warming up quite a bit, and even Pluto's surface is experiencing warming. That tells us either the Sun is generating a lot of unusual radiation or our Solar System is going through an area of our Milky Way galaxy with higher than normal cosmic radiation.

Re:Ignorance of solar effects. (1)

stormj (1059002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979520)

Ugh. At least the cosmic ray "theory" is new. All of these the sun did it, its water vapor, but there's more ice in Antartica!, etc. etc. are old, tired, and only a google search away from dispatch.

Re:Ignorance of solar effects. (2, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979590)

I think most of the global warming crowd conveniently forget that by far the biggest determinant of Earth's climate is this object about 150 million kilometers from us called the Sun.


True. You remove the sun, and we turn into pluto. Now quantify that effect. Exactly how much does a change in the output of the sun affect the temperature on the earth? Note: correlation != causation.

But getting back on topic, scientists have noted that almost every planet in our Solar System is experiencing a warmup during the last 4-5 years.


Just flat out wrong. Find the research papers (not a blog) that demonstrate this. I hope that you'll learn in the process not to equate someone's opinion with science.

Re:Ignorance of solar effects. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979820)

"True. You remove the sun, and we turn into pluto. Now quantify that effect. Exactly how much does a change in the output of the sun affect the temperature on the earth? Note: correlation != causation."

Anyone with a little math skill can make up a crude model that can answer your question. The more energy the Earth is receiving from the Sun, the MORE energy it has to radiate out to space. Its always at equilibrium. The temperature has to go up in order to compensate, and thus more energy is radiated out.

Sadly, I think some people have just become so used to or accepting of the idea that manmade carbon dioxide emissions are the one and only cause of global warming that they will not consider anything else. Actually, too many people have their name, time, and money riding on CO2 being the root cause of it all. We wouldn't want to see some scientists ruin their precious careers, now would we?

"Just flat out wrong. Find the research papers (not a blog) that demonstrate this. I hope that you'll learn in the process not to equate someone's opinion with science."

But that's just what most of the people are doing these days. I grow increasingly tired of hearing people make claims that they have no real knowledge to back up, and that includes all those saying that sea levels are going to rise, temperatures are going to get so high in 100 years, and so on. They simply have no idea if they are right, and most of them are only trumpeting what someone else said, provided it fits their own agenda. I also grow tired of the increasing arrogance on the part of people...people who seem to think we have it all figured out and we know everything. We actually know very little about this planet we live on.

BTW, I am sure that we as humans are having some sort of influence on our planet. The question is how much of an influence. Anyone claiming to know for sure it just mouthing off some BS.

Re:Ignorance of solar effects. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979848)

"But getting back on topic, scientists have noted that almost every planet in our Solar System is experiencing a warmup during the last 4-5 years."

Wow. The use of SUVs as a source of global warming has been seriously underestimated....

Eugenics anyone? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979476)

The whole Global Warming / Environmental movement is starting to sound more and more like a religion, based on a faith rather than any real science.

There was a time when there was a "science" that was hyped up by the media, supported by America, Canada, UK, Germany, Russia, Australia and many other countries. It was embraced and scientists everywhere confirmed it to be true.. Reputable scientists.. That "science" was called Eugenics. Basically saying that there were inferior races that should not be allowed to breed. The President of the USA said that almost word for word.

Environmentalism is a religion, not a science. Evolution is one of their doctrines.

Re:Eugenics anyone? (1)

stormj (1059002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979552)

Lol. You're parroting Crichton's book exactly. Polly wanna cracker? These terrible terrible people trying to stop mankind from messing something up, they might have exagerated a little bit. Let's ignore them and just keep doing what we're doing. lol.

Re:Eugenics anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979604)

So you actually believe there are no genetic differences between the races and that we're all equal?

You also mis characterized eugenics. Eugenics was about improving the quality of members of a particular group. What you are referring to are the anti-miscegenation laws.

Who is the deluded religious fanatic here exactly?

Re:Eugenics anyone? (0, Offtopic)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979618)

The President of the USA said that almost word for word.

....then he discovered he could encourage them to join the army and send them to Iraq

failzOrs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979500)

reciprOcating which gathers centralized Reciprocating bad

We only have one earth (3, Insightful)

Bootle (816136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979554)

It's too risky to not ALWAYS be looking at worst-case scenarios. For our very survival, we need to assume things are our fault and we must be willing to change, even if it may not be our fault.

Re:We only have one earth (1)

lionheart1327 (841404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979614)

How can you not realize how idiotic that is?

By ALWAYS assuming the worst-case scenario every single time some guy yells "we're all gonna die" you end up shooting yourself in the head.

Re:We only have one earth (1)

Bootle (816136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979660)

I said looking at worst-case scenarios. Do you realize how idiotic it is to not read?

So... (4, Funny)

Geeselegs (905363) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979678)

infrared radiation from the sun causes global warming... Who'd have guessed

I, for one, welcome the cosmic rays... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17979796)

as long as it gives me the powers of the Fantastic Four.

It used to be worse. (1)

Rothron the Wise (171030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17979802)

At least the global warming skeptics have become "global warming is man made"-skeptics. During the 90ies, the dispute was about weither there actually was any warming going on at all.

No matter what the contributing causes for global warming is, it is very real, and we're going to have to deal with it one way or another or suffer massive global consequences. Now that we have consensus on that global warming is happening, the naysayers should find another strategy than "business as ususal", or else making money may become really difficult in the future.
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