31 August 2011: CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has reported results that will shake the foundation of the theory of man-made global warming that has been accepted by most of the world. Results from the CLOUD experiment show that cosmic rays boost formation of aerosols in the atmosphere. Since aerosols are critical to cloud formation and clouds are key to the amount of solar radiation that reaches Earth's surface, cosmic rays, a natural effect, are therefore a key component of climate change. This finding counters the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the primary driver of global warming.
Researchers at CERN bombarded a chamber of gas with a stream of high-energy ions, simulating Earth's atmosphere under bombardment from cosmic rays. They then studied the new particles formed during the experiment.
In a press release on August 25, CERN announced that "We found that cosmic rays significantly enhance the formation of aerosol particles in the mid-troposphere and above. These aerosols can eventually grow into the seeds for clouds." See the press release here. The CERN announcement is a confirmation of a theory by Dr. Henrik Svensmark and other researchers at the Danish Space Research Institute that was proposed in the 1990s.
It had been known for many years that the level of cosmic rays reaching Earth's surface was inversely related to the level of sunspot activity on the sun. Svensmark noted also that recent satellite data showed that low-level cloudiness varied with the level of cosmic rays measured at Earth's surface. Svensmark hypothesized that cosmic rays collided with aerosols in our atmosphere, forming ions that then served as cloud condensation nuclei, stimulating the formation of clouds. He then concluded that solar sunspot activity was affecting the level of cloudiness on Earth. Therefore, a higher level of sunspots could be the cause of global warming.
When first announced, Svensmark's theory was heavily criticized by the IPCC and the climate science community. Bert Bolin, former chairman of the IPCC, pronounced Svensmark's theory "extremely naive and irresponsible." But now, CERN has confirmed that sunspot activity may indeed be a significant factor in climate change.
See further excellent commentary by Lawrence Solomon here.
More Sunspots Cause Global Warming. The diagram shows the mechanism for global warming from increased sunspot activity. More sunspots increase the solar wind, reduce cosmic rays, and reduce low-level cloudiness, which reflects less sunlight, causing Earth to warm. Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century's Hottest Topic