Global warming skeptics have for the past couple years argued that climate change is mostly due to cosmic rays and has little to do with the rise in man-made greenhouse gases around the world. The controversial TV program "The Great Global Warming Swindle", broadcast in 2007 popularized the idea that global warming stems from a decrease in cosmic rays over the last hundred years.
-In all fairness to the comic rays theorists, previous research had hinted at such a correlation, using the results of the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project. This suggestion was then used to propose that cosmic rays, rather than human activity, was at the heart of global warming. The idea was that decreasing cosmic rays was leading to a decrease in the production of low clouds, which would then in turn allow more heat from the sun to warm the Earth, hence global warming.
However, the latest evidence debunks this theory by showing that there is no noteworthy connection between the cosmic ray intensity and cloud cover to begin with. Recently published in the Institute of Physics' Environmental Research Letters, researchers from a Lancaster and Durham Universities were unable to correlate cosmic rays and the production of low cloud cover. Their research shows that change in cloud cover over the Earth does not correlate to changes in cosmic ray intensity. Neither does it show increases and decreases during the sporadic bursts and decreases in the cosmic ray intensity which occur regularly.
One such burst famously caused the magnetic storm which blacked out power in Quebec back in 1989. Professors Sloan from Lancaster University and Wolfendale from Durham University write, "No evidence could be found of changes in the low cloud cover from known changes in the cosmic ray ionization rate." But hey, there are a lot of other global warming and climate change theories out there waiting to be either proven or debunked. Just because this one didn’t pan out doesn’t necessarily prove or disprove any of the other dozens of speculations/theories floating around. But it does prove that you can’t believe everything you view on TV.
Posted by Rebecca Sato.
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