Climate, Sun, and Cosmic Rays

December 22, 2011

Been working on this for a while, and got the final piece in an interview with Gavin Schmidt at the American Geophysical Union convention early this month. (see that whole  – brief – interview on this page)

The “cosmic ray – climate” connection is a perrenial favorite on the denial circuit.  It sounds cool, and there is some effect at the tiny level, too tiny to matter.

As far as effects on climate – it’s probably more likely that cosmic rays will make you super-strong, invisible, or really, really stretchy – than it is that they have a ruling effect on climate.

See full Gavin Schmidt interview, and  Potholer’s Useful take below…

Gavin’s Realclimate post on what’s useful and what’s not in the research.

We were clear in the 2006 post that establishing a significant GCR/cloud/climate link would require the following steps (given that we have known that ionisation plays a role in nucleation for decades). One would need to demonstrate:

  1. … that increased nucleation gives rise to increased numbers of (much larger) cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)
  2. … and that even in the presence of other CCN, ionisation changes can make a noticeable difference to total CCN
  3. … and even if there were more CCN, you would need to show that this actually changed cloud properties significantly,
  4. … and that given that change in cloud properties, you would need to show that it had a significant effect on radiative forcing.

Of course, to show that cosmic rays were actually responsible for some part of the recent warming, you would need to show that there was actually a decreasing trend in cosmic rays over recent decades – which is tricky, because there hasn’t been (see the figure).


16 Responses to “Climate, Sun, and Cosmic Rays”

  1. […] Climate, Sun, and Cosmic Rays « Climate Denial Crock of the Week […]

  2. Scott Mandia Says:

    Another great one Peter!

  3. SJ Says:

    Peter- you’d probably be interested in a related paper I covered recently, in case you hadn’t seen it. (Ignore the general review stuff and skip to the last section.)

  4. I posted a link to your video on my home-town newspaper’s on-line message-board.

    Here are the insightful and incisive replies that I’ve gotten so far:

    “Does Sinclair ever say anything that makes sense? What an idiot.”

    “Get out your decoder rings, folks. When these threads are titled with superaltives such as “Most excellent”, “Reknowned”, and so forth regarding the presented chart, or rants about “climate deniers”, the meaning is clear- replace the words ‘hard physical science” with the phrase “Ideological crapology”. ”

    Linky here:

    So take *that*, Peter. The tinfoil-hatters are really on to you now!

  5. […] Posted by SirCharles For our conspiracy theorist, Cassandra Syndrome: Climate, Sun, and Cosmic Rays [ Hey, this one stars Alex Jones, King of the Conspiracy Theorists. One for Cassandra Syndrome, […]

  6. this is why I love what I do.

    Couldn’t resist giving the hometown tinfoil-hatters a nice poke in the eye — linky here:

  7. jpgreenword Says:

    I remember hearing about how the movie “The Great Global Warming Swindle” had been debunked, but I had never seen the actual details of how. Now I know!


  8. I’m sensing that you screen out all dissenting views in these comment threads. Is that a policy? (I’m not saying that’s wrong, since they’re usually mostly utterly without merit.)

    • greenman3610 Says:

      I only block comments that contain threats, tasteless obscenity or run-on screeds that don’t carry the conversation.

  9. […] the discussion, see full Gavin Schmidt (NASA scientist) interview at… Tony Jones Interview with Martin Durkin -ABC Australia TV debate 12 July […]

  10. […] the discussion, see full Gavin Schmidt (NASA scientist) interview at… Tony Jones Interview with Martin Durkin -ABC Australia TV debate 12 July […]

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