Cosmic Rays, Solar Flux and Global Warming

A Danish scientist, Henrik Svensmark, Director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research of the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen, has conducted experiments and studies to validate his theory that interstellar galactic cosmic rays may have a considerable effect on global climate.

Right: Cosmic rays affect global cloud cover

The theory is that when cosmic rays hit the Earth’s atmosphere, they speed up the process where ions combine with sulphuric acid. These combine to form condensation nucleii, or tiny specs of matter that allow water droplets to form. The widespread condensation of water droplets accumulate to form lower-atmospheric clouds, which serve to reflect sunlight back into space and allow the Earth’s surface to cool off. In the absence of heavy cosmic radiation, fewer clouds form and the surface of the planet heats up again.

The Sun affects cosmic rays entering into the Earth’s atmosphere by virtue of particle emission (solar winds) and solar magnetic flux — when particle emission and the magnetic field is strong due to high solar activity, cosmic rays are deflected away and thus allow fewer clouds to form.

Svensmark concludes “it now seems clear that stellar winds and magnetism are crucial factors in the origin and viability of life on wet earth-like planets,” as are “ever-changing galactic environments and star-formation rates.” When you consider the context of this galactic radiation effect, the impact of CO2 emissions caused by humanity literally fade away into climatic insignificance.”

References:

CO2 ScienceCosmoclimatology: A New Perspective on Global Warming

Telegraph.co.ukCosmic rays blamed for global warming

Thanks to my colleague Rick for bringing this to my attention.

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