Nigel Calder on CERN CLOUD experiment.

Posted: July 5, 2010 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

This from Nigel Calder, co-author of ‘The Chilling Stars’ along with Henrik Svensmark:

Svensmark - Forbush data

At issue are the Svensmark team’s results on aerosols (see right). These show fine aerosols disappearing from the sky, because the shortage of cosmic rays lessens the chemical production of the  clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules that seed the aerosols.

According to the people in Leeds, that can’t be right because they have a computer model that contradicts it.

The GLOMAP model was developed by Ken Carslaw, and the unlucky person named as lead author is a graduate student, Eimear Dunne.

An open letter to the lead author

Dear Eimear,

In any other branch of physics, if a model and observations are at odds, there’s almost certainly something wrong with the model. But you’ve evidently been encouraged to think that doesn’t apply in climate research.

I must admit that you have a dreadful role model in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It keeps shrugging off glaring mismatches between real-world data and the models used to predict man-made global warming.

As for your new association with the CLOUD experiment at CERN, you may not know that the project was conceived as a direct result of a lecture that I gave at CERN in December 1997, reporting Henrik Svensmark’s discovery of the influence of cosmic rays on cloud cover.

But you should also be aware that, although Henrik inspired the project, some people in CLOUD team now try to disparage his research whenever they can.

Why? Because Henrik keeps insisting, in a politically incorrect manner, that the Svensmark effect is important. Crucial, in fact, for understanding past, present and future climate change.

Fainter hearts would like the link between cosmic rays and clouds to be just a technical footnote to the climate debate. Not so trivial, mind you, as to undermine the case for spending public money on CLOUD. But not so significant, either, as to alarm the politically correct funding agencies.

It grieves me, Eimear, that your mentors have launched you into such a difficult balancing act. It’s bound to produce wobbly results.

But in any case I know that you, together with Prof. Carslaw, signed a declaration in December saying, ‘As professional scientists, from students to senior professors, we uphold the findings of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, which concludes that “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and that “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations’.

So you’re not exactly open-minded about the Svensmark hypothesis. You really don’t want to find an important effect of cosmic rays, do you?

Best wishes

Nigel Calder

See the rest of the post here:

H/T to Kenneth Wikeroy

  1. Tenuc says:

    I think the Svensmark hypothesis could explain how a low energy event, (small change to the number of high energy cosmic rays hitting the earth), could effect how much of the suns energy hits the Earth by the modulation of cloud cover. Here’s hoping the CLOUD experiment is positive as it would start to explain the ling between solar activity and Climate.

    Perhaps there are other similar relatively low energy ‘control mechanisms’ awaiting discovery, for example magnetic field effects.

  2. tallbloke says:

    There is so much we don’t know. I really appreciate your contribution to this blog Tenuc, always well measured and upbeat. I think Jasper Kirby is determined to see this through, so hopefully principled science work will win the day.

  3. dramcam says:

    The Svensmark hypothesis is no longer just a theory. It has just been verified:

    Fancy that … the sun IS the major factor in warming/cooling us after all !!!

  4. dramcam says:
    November 26, 2010 at 12:47 am
    The trouble with that Sun guy is that he is like an Eagle, like a God, an individuality….some do not like that 🙂

  5. […] inom CERN är testningen av hypoteserna politiskt kontroversiella, som Calder skriver på bloggen Tallbloke’s Talkshop, och CERN-chefen Rolf-Dieter Heuer har dekreterat att inga resultat får presenteras som bevis för […]

    [“CERN is in the testing of hypotheses politically controversial, as Calder writes on the blog Tallbloke’s Talk Shop, and CERN Director Rolf-Dieter Heuer has decreed that no results may be presented as evidence of” — google translate from Swedish, Tim]

  6. kwik says:

    Can you imagine how much of this political nonsense that is going on everywere? It is like beiing put into a time machine, and transported back into the dark ages.

    And I suspect the reason is that the 68 generation are now leading figures in the state-departments of all the western world. And they control who will get the grants.