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Aug 31 2011

Kirkby on cosmic rays and climate change

I’m posting this specifically for Klem, if he’s still reading. He asked that the cosmic ray forcing hypothesis be convincingly rebutted before he’d start taking the science proving climate change seriously. Well, since the hypothesis is predicated on Jasper Kirkby’s work, perhaps his words will help tip the scales. Kirkby built a damn fine experiment to try to measure how cosmic rays help create ionizing particles. Too bad it’s been misconstrued as feeding the denialists’ anti-reality predilections.

“People are far too polarized”, he says. No kidding. They’re polarized enough to completely get the results wrong. Climate Crock of the Week explains the study and how it pretty much shows that cosmic rays don’t account for the amount of forcing we see.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Jerrald Hayes

    For Klem? (Sigh) I think Klem is far too polarized to accept any evidence or reasoning that might change his world views and mental models.

    I appreciate your pointing out the Climate Crock of the Week – From the Horse’s Mouth. The New Study on Cosmic Rays and Climate story on this though.

  2. 2
    klem

    Thanks for this video, it cleared my questions about what the CLOUD study implied.

    What makes this a relatively important result is that cosmic rays are now shown to have an influence on cloud formation, and since clouds are the most important greenhouse component, climate. Before this, the influence was ZERO, now its not zero anymore. Yes, the lab results show that molecular clusters are down around the 2nm size, too small to form clouds, but that’s only in the lab, there is no reason to believe that larger size clusters do not occur in the real world.

    The point is that cosmic rays, those spooky invisible thingies which the climate alarmists have laughed off as voodoo science, suddenly must be included in the equation. It’s not just the devil CO2 anymore. Remember how often alarmists would say that Cosmic Rays theory has no peer reviewed papers to back it up? I also thought the Cosmic ray theory was voodoo science until now. That bizarre denialist’s claim that ‘it’s the Sun stupid’ now has peer reviewed legs to stand on. Something it didn’t have in the 2007 IPCC Ar4 report.

    Thanks for this.

  3. 3
    Jason Thibeault

    If that’s your take-away from the article, and from Kirkby saying “people are far too polarized”, then you really are a lost cause. I really wish you’d read what it is you’re saying is peer-reviewed “backup” for your cosmic ray theory.

  4. 4
    klem

    “I really wish you’d read what it is you’re saying is peer-reviewed “backup” for your cosmic ray theory.”

    It cost $30 to access the Nature report but this is what the CERN folks published at the press release back in late July:

    “we have found that natural rates of atmospheric ionisation caused by cosmic rays can substantially enhance nucleation under the conditions we studied – by up to a factor of 10. Ion‐enhancement is particularly pronounced in the cool temperatures of the mid‐troposphere and above, where CLOUD has found that sulphuric acid and water vapour can nucleate without the need for additional vapours. This result leaves open the possibility that cosmic rays could also influence climate. However, it is premature to conclude that cosmic
    rays have a significant influence on climate until the additional nucleating vapours have been identified, their
    ion enhancement measured, and the ultimate effects on clouds have been confirmed.”

    Note the opening sentence “we have found that natural rates of atmospheric ionisation caused by cosmic rays can substantially enhance nucleation under the conditions we studied – by up to a factor of 10.” I realize that they also state that “it is premature to conclude that cosmic rays have a significant influence on climate until…” but like I said above, cosmic rays were laughed off by almost everyone until now, they can’t be laughed off anymore.

    Here’s something else that CERN wrote “we have shown that the most likely nucleating vapours, sulphuric acid and ammonia, cannot account for nucleation that is observed in the lower atmosphere. The nucleation observed in the chamber occurs at only one‐tenth to one‐thousandth of the rate observed in the lower atmosphere. Based on the first results from CLOUD, it is clear that the treatment of aerosol formation in
    climate models will need to be substantially revised”

    That’s right, climate models will need to be substantially revised. This is what must be done when climate models do not match observation. I can’t wait to see how the IPCC handles this.

    So now I’m going to ask you this: tell me what, exactly, would convince you that the scientific evidence for anthropogenic global warming is false?

    If you can’t answer perhaps it is you who “really are a lost cause”.

    Cheers

  5. 5
    Jason Thibeault

    Well, Klem, you’d have to find a peer-reviewed paper that actually explains a) the current warming trend that we’re seeing without invoking anything that humans have control over; b) how the increase in CO2 (which correlates directly with the increase in temperature) is actually baffled by some other phenomenon we haven’t accounted for yet, or c) how some aspect of the phenomenon of the greenhouse effect, which we’ve pretty much understood since the 1800s, has been incorrect this whole time.

    Basically, I’m willing to go where the evidence leads. The problem now is that we have such a mountain of it that I’m willing to accept it as fact and move on. Most people were even as long ago as the 1950s, but it’s only recently that oil companies have managed to build their tiny brush fires into one larger sweeping inferno of “grassroots” anti-AGW activism. There are direct parallels between how evolution was understood to be the best model of how all the species got here, but only recently has a creationist movement gained any traction in the US government and in wedging their religious doctrines into the scientific curriculum. This despite us having 150 years of new evidence proving (and refining) the original hypothesis, elevating it to a theory of evolution to explain the fact of evolution, rather than a mere unevidenced postulate.

    The parallels are distinct here. Show me that all the data we’ve already collected is somehow wrong. Even if cosmic rays serve as a confound, if you’d click on the link and look at those graphs, you’d see that they do not explain the rise in temperature — the amounts of cosmic rays do not correlate in any way with either cloud cover or measured temperature.

  6. 6
    Jerrald Hayes

    Hello Jason if you think the Jasper Kirkby et al paper has been misconstrued and misused by denialists already just wait to you read this. According to Breitbart’s Big Government website:

    Nature Journal of Science Discredits Man-made Global Warming
    by Chriss W. Street
    "Nature Journal of Science, ranked as the world’s most cited scientific periodical, has just published the definitive study on Global Warming that proves the dominant controller of temperatures in the Earth’s atmosphere is due to galactic cosmic rays and the sun, rather than by man. One of the report’s authors, Professor Jyrki Kauppinen, summed up his conclusions regarding the potential for man-made Global Warming: “I think it is such a blatant falsification.”
    [...]"

    I found three major lies in just that first paragraph alone and detailed them here: Pure Fabrication, Lies and Global Warming Denial Propaganda from Non-other Than Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government
    I plan a more complete fisking of the whole article later this week.

  7. 7
    Rover

    It’s funny how some people will deride the scientific community as fraudulent and their studies false when scientific theories run counter to their religious or political ideologies. Yet those same individuals will take the slightest sliver, the most measly of morsels the scientific community offers them, then twist and distort the information and subsequently shout from the roof tops that science has finally validated their beliefs. I’ve seen many a fan of pseudo-science do it, be it creationists, alt med quacks and climate change denialists. Even though the study and the study’s lead author say their results in no way invalidate any aspect of the theory of AGW the denialists attach a quote from someone who wasn’t even involved in the study and just run with it, spreading their nonsense as far and wide as they can so that no matter how many times you debunk it, it’ll keep coming back.

  8. 8
    klem

    “individuals will take the slightest sliver, the most measly of morsels the scientific community offers them, then twist and distort the information and subsequently shout from the roof tops that science has finally validated their beliefs.”

    Exactly, like the hockey stick graph for example, or the famous “97% of climate scientists agree” canard. You hit the nail on the head.

    cheers

  9. 9
    Composer99

    klem’s lack of self-awareness is stupendous.

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