Cosmic Rays Increasing for the 4th Year in a Row

Posted: February 22, 2019 by oldbrew in climate, cosmic rays, Natural Variation, solar system dynamics
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What effects might this have on so-called ‘climate change’? The next few years could be interesting as lower solar activity displaces the higher activity of the 1990s and early 2000s.

Feb. 21, 2019:Cosmic rays in the stratosphere are intensifying for the 4th year in a row. This finding comes from a campaign of almost weekly high-altitude balloon launches conducted by the students of Earth to Sky Calculus. Since March 2015, there has been a ~13% increase in X-rays and gamma-rays over central California, where the students have launched hundreds of balloons.


The grey points in the graph are Earth to Sky balloon data. Overlaid on that time series is a record of neutron monitor data from the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland. The correlation between the two data sets is impressive, especially considering their wide geographic separation and differing methodologies. Neutron monitors have long been considered a “gold standard” for monitoring cosmic rays on Earth. This shows that our student-built balloons are gathering data of similar quality.

Why are cosmic rays increasing? The short answer is “Solar…

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  1. Richard111 says:

    Interesting that there is no mention of 14CO2.

  2. oldbrew says:

    There are also controversial studies that suggest cosmic rays promote the formation of clouds in the atmosphere; if so, increasing cosmic rays could affect weather and climate.

    That would be every solar minimum, i.e. once per solar cycle. See this post a few days ago:

    Scientist finds an influence of solar activity on European rainfall

  3. oldbrew says:

    Snow in L.A./Hollywood, first since 1962.

    Parts of Southern California are having a snow day — or at least a few snow minutes — as a cold storm dropped snow levels unusually low.

    Communities including Malibu, West Hollywood, Pasadena and Northridge got hit with a bit of snow Thursday. But very little of it was sticking to the ground.

    The last time it snowed in Los Angeles was in January 1962, according to Los Angeles Public Library archives.

  4. Curious George says:

    The increase in the headline is based on a straight line approximation to data which is clearly not a straight line. Looking at Oulu data, the last year looks flat.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Maybe it (monthly averages, below) can’t go much higher?

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    I know very little about this, but first I don’t think the Finnush numbers show no increase for 12 months but a decline since perhaps summer, and second wouldn’t Finnish measurements show some variation between high summer winter?

  7. oldbrew says:

    No more increase may just mean the end of solar cycle 24 is imminent.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Solar cycle 25 sunspots getting more regular this month, suggesting SC minimum is very near.