I have been an unabashed skeptic of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) for years. It was so obviously nothing more than a political power and money grab, especially when you look at who was behind it; the likes of Al Gore and the UN. It was obviously about global government and taxation and a massive transfer of wealth from the developed nations to the third world nations. (Which means a transfer of wealth from productive societies and people to tin pot dictators, since very little of the money that gets funneled into third world hell holes actually makes it down to the people who it is argued need the money.) Personally, I think it is time that the governments of the world stop wasting money on global warming research, and put that money to better use. ($79 billion wasted, so far.)
Then, at a critical time, the climate gate scandal became news. The released e-mails showed a very clear collusion among the global warmingistas to suppress any real science that did not follow the party line. Al Gore famously stated that the “science is settled.” That statement, alone, told you that it was a fraud, since science is never settled. And, of course, the global warmingistas famously stated that there was a “scientific consensus” that man was responsible for catastrophic global warming. This ignores the fact that science is not about “consensus”; politics is about “consensus”. Science is about the truth. Global warming is a religion, based on faith in models that are consistently proven wrong!
Some people were claiming that the sun was responsible, in large measure, for the temperature variability on the earth. Imagine that; what a concept! Of course, the AGW faithful derided this idea. They said that the sun does not vary enough in energy output to control the changes in temperature that we are seeing. And, of course, they kept falsely claiming that global temperatures had never been higher, in spite of the “Medieval Warm Period”, and the “Climate Optimum” which were well known to have been times when the temperature was at, or higher than, current levels. And, just like they ignored warm periods, they took maximum advantage of cool periods. For example, the earth experienced the “little ice age” between 1550 and 1850. Of course, after the “little ice age”, it got warmer! DUH! But, that is where they concentrated their tirade, by saying how much warmer it has gotten since the “little ice age”. (Except they did not say it that way. They just said “look how much warmer it has gotten since the middle of the 1800’s.”) They also conveniently ignored that much of that warming occurred in the early 1900’s, clearly before man could have been causing global warming. Also, of course, their arguments totally ignored the fact that climate has always changed. If climate has always changed, and it is not significantly warmer (or not even as warm) as it has been in the past, why should we believe that today’s climate is extraordinary?
But then, scientists at CERN, led by Jasper Kirkby, proposed that galactic cosmic rays may be responsible, in large part, for climate change. They proposed, specifically, that the formation of cloud droplets could be influenced by GCRs, which would, in turn, mean that climate change was strongly influenced by the sun. While this may sound strange to some people, when you get into the physics, and also realize that most, if not all, of the climate computer models used by the global warmingistas do not take account of cloud cover, it begins to sound like a reasonable theory. If they don’t include the effects of cloud cover, and cloud cover is influenced by the activity of the sun, it could help to explain why the computer models fail so miserably. And, of course, it would explain how the sun influences climate change with its relatively small, but known, changes in energy output.
The way it works, while complicated, is simple in principle. We know that the sun goes though a sun spot cycle every 11 years. There are also other longer solar cycles. The actual energy output of the sun also varies over time. (Eventually, in a few billion years, the sun will actually expand to the size where it its outer limits almost reach the orbit of the earth. Obviously, long before that happens the earth will be burned into nothingness. But, we’re not talking about that level of change at this time.) Anyway, the earth is constantly bombarded by cosmic rays. The background level of cosmic rays is quite low, but it does vary as the solar system moves around among the arms of the milky way galaxy over a period of millions and billions of years, as shown in the figure below. (1)
While correlation is not causation, you can see several things very clearly from this graph. First of all, there is an obvious correlation between GCRs and temperature. Specifically, after GCRs increase, temperature decreases. (The temperature graph is a bit confusing, in that higher temperature is down, while lower temperature is up.) Also, it is clear that contrary to what you have heard spouted by Al Gore and others, CO2 is almost zero, today, compared to what it has been in the past. Furthermore, there is obviously no meaningful correlation between temperature and CO2. If temperature was controlled by CO2, then temperature would have been astronomical in the past, when CO2 levels were as high as 4000 parts per million, compared to the present level of about 392 ppm. No matter what CO2 has done, temperature has ranged from about 12 to 22 degrees Centigrade.
As I pointed out in an earlier article, Al Gore proudly touted the Vostok ice core data, falsely stating that the data shows that as CO2 goes up, so goes the temperature. But, if you actually look at the data honestly, with the two graphs overlapping so that you can see the fine details, it clearly shows that CO2 level increase AFTER temperature goes up. And, even more obviously, CO2 decreases long after temperature goes down. So, contrary to what the global warmingistas want you to believe, CO2 levels follow temperature, not the other way around.
As pointed out here, it was not easy to get funding and approval for the CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) project. It was fought tooth and nail by the global warmingistas, probably because they knew that the CO2 argument was a fraud, and GCRs might actually hold the key to climate change. But, of course, there is no way that the globalists and the UN could tax GCRs. Everyone would know that the whole “cap and trade” (better called “cap and tax”) and other similar frauds were nothing more than a wealth transfer. In reality, it was the UN saying, you will pay us this money because we want it. Just shut up and pay us! But, of course, they could not come and and put it that way, so they created the global warming scam.
I wrote an article over a year ago that showed the promise of the GCR theory. Now, the initial results are in and they have been reported in the journal Nature. (Another article went into some of the supplementary material published only in the online version of Nature, and it shows how the CLOUD experiment is even more convincing in showing the relationship between GCRs and cloud droplet nucleation.) You knew they had a bombshell when the head of CERN requested that the scientists not “interpret” their results, and the simple fact that the mainstream media, that is in collusion with the global warmingistas, has been very silent about this story. But, the story is out, and the results confirm the hypotheses. The results show that levels of galactic cosmic rays do influence the formation of cloud site nucleation, or water dropletss. Thus, if you have more GCRs, you will tend to get more and larger water droplets, and thus more clouds. If you have reduced levels of GCRs, you will get fewer and smaller nucleation sites, and thus less cloudiness.
Why is this important? Well, even the village idiot knows that if it is cloudy, it will be cooler compared to when the sun is out, all other things being equal. Thus, more clouds lead to cooler temperatures. Also, clouds tend to reflect sunlight back into space. Thus, again, more clouds tends to equal cooler temperatures. Thus, now we have a theory that GCRs can impact cloud formation, and thus can impact temperature. This lends further credence to the data presented in the first figure. That is the way science works. You make a hypothesis, and then you test it. If your data confirms your hypothesis, you have an indication that your hypothesis may have some validity. If your experiments do not confirm your hypothesis, then you know that either your hypothesis is wrong or your data is bad. So far, the hypotheses of the warmists are often not confirmed by experiment, and they always blame the data, even though in many cases they have multiple data sets that are consistent, which should lead them to re-evaluate their hypotheses.
Now, if GCRs do influence cloud formation, and thus could be a significant contributor to global climate, how does the sun fit in? We saw in figure 1 how there is a definite correlation (although not necessarily causation) between GCRs and global temperature, but the level of the GCRs is modulated by the position of the solar system in the milky way galaxy, not solar output. The way it is believed that the solar output comes into play is that as solar activity increases, the electromagnetic field around the earth is strengthened. As that happens, fewer GCRs reach the earth. If fewer GCRs reach the earth, and they have a strong effect on cloud formation, then as solar activity goes up, cloud formation goes down, and global temperatures go up. As solar activity goes down, cloud formation goes up, and temperature goes down. We know that we have had periods where the solar activity has been very low, such as the Maunder minimum, between about 1625 and 1725, which corresponded to the middle, and coldest portion, of the little ice age.