Svensmark claims carbon dioxide emissions due to human activity are having a smaller impact on climate change than scientists think. If he is correct, it could mean that mankind has more time to reduce our effect on the climate.
Svensmark published the first experimental evidence from five years' research on the influence that cosmic rays have on cloud production in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Journal A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences.
Svensmark claims that the number of cosmic rays hitting the Earth changes with the magnetic activity around the Sun. During high periods of activity, fewer cosmic rays hit the Earth and so there are less clouds formed, resulting in warming. "Evidence from ice cores," he said, "show this happening long into the past. We have the highest solar activity we have had in at least 1,000 years."
Humans are having an effect on climate change, but by not including the cosmic ray effect in models it means the results are inaccurate.The size of man's impact may be much smaller and so the man-made change is happening slower than predicted.
Some climate change experts have dismissed the claims as "tenuous". But there is a growing number of scientists who believe that the effect may be genuine.
Posted by Jason McManus.
In his book, The Chilling Stars -A New Theory of Climate Change, Svensmark details his theory that sub-atomic particles from exploded stars have more effect on the climate than manmade CO2. His conclusion stems from research which has shown the previously unsuspected role that cosmic rays play in creating clouds. During the last 100 years cosmic rays became scarcer because unusually vigorous action by the Sun batted away many of them. Fewer cosmic rays meant fewer clouds--and a warmer world.
Svensmark's theory is that cosmic rays which originate from collapsing stars (novas) are the primary cause of cloud formation, in particular the formation of low level clouds, those 3,000 meters above the ground and lower. Muons, basically very dense electrons, which are among the few cosmic particles to survive the solar winds and contact with the earth's atmosphere to sufficiently interact with with atoms near the surface, liberate electrons in the atmosphere which in turn join with molecules that form stable clusters. These clusters attract a small amount of sulpheric acid and then water molecules to ultimately generate water droplets, the basis of cloud cover. But how exactly does cloud cover affect climate? Most climate models simply see clouds as a byproduct of climate changes, but as Svensmark demonstrates, clouds themselves are the predominant factor in global cooling. Although they trap heat between the clouds and earth's surface, they also reflect radiant energy from the sun back into space. The net effect of low lying clouds is therefore a cooling one. And, as it happens, all periods of global cooling have coincided with increasing cosmic rays and cloud cover.
The new theory has startling implications, almost completely elimates increases and decreases of carbon dioxide and other so called green house gasses (GHG) from the equation of climate change.
Henrik Svensmark leads a group examining the Sun's effects on the climate, at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen. He has published 50 scientific papers on theoretical and experimental physics, including six landmark papers on climate physics.
Posted by Casey Kazan
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