Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"It's the Sun, Stupid"

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which operates the Hadron nuclear accelerator, has published in the scientific journal Nature the findings from an experiment ongoing since 2009, conducted by 63 scientists from 17 institutes in Europe and the United States, on the factors that determine global temperatures. It turns out that the action of the sun's magnetic field on cosmic rays is the major determining factor. When the sun's magnetic field readily allows cosmic rays to reach the earth, those rays seed cloud cloud cover, resulting in precipitation and cooler temperatures. However, when the magnetic field deflects cosmic rays away from the earth, cloud formation is restricted, and temperatures rise. According to this model, CO2 emissions from human activity has an insignificant effect.

The report is getting very little media coverage. I wonder why. One can imagine how the mainstream media would be trumpeting this report it if it bolstered global warming orthodoxy.

I do not want to oversell the significance of this report. As near as I can tell, the study raises more questions than it answers, and merely furthers a promising line of inquiry into the effect of the sun's magnetic field and cosmic rays on global temperatures. It by no means settles the issue of what are the primary causes of climate change. But, at the very least, this is a setback to those who argue that the cause of global warming is beyond legitimate scientific debate.

In any event, those who wish to know more would do well to start with this report by British science writer Nigel Calder.


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