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Why has there been almost nothing in the press about this global warming study?

If late novelist and screenwriter Michael Crichton had lived to write a follow-up to State of Fear, the plotline might well have gone like this: at a top-secret, state-of-the-art laboratory in Switzerland, scientists from 113 countries finally discover the true cause of “global warming.”

However, nobody wants to hear what they found.

But it’s not fiction and such a study exists — published by the prestigious Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire, which employs just under 2,400 full-time employees, as well as some 7,931 scientists and engineers representing 608 universities and research facilities and 113 nationalities — and runs the colossal Large Hadron Collider on the French-Swiss border. Odds are you’ve heard nothing about their study. What did these highly respected scientists find is causing global warming?

“It’s the sun, stupid,” writes James Delingpole in the British daily newspaper the Telegraph, one of the few media to publish the findings. “More specifically – as the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark has long postulated – it’s the result of cosmic rays which act as a seed for cloud formation.

“The scientists working on the project are naturally euphoric: this is a major breakthrough which will not only overturn decades of misguided conjecture on so-called Man Made Global Warming but will spare the global economy trillions of dollars which might otherwise have been squandered on utterly pointless efforts to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions.”

But if these findings are so monumental, why has the news media been silent about this discovery? 

Because the findings are profoundly politically incorrect. Delingpole finds it absolutely fascinating that such an important study has been so completely suppressed — but he can see the massive political forces at work. 

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Bob

posted September 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm


Maybe the reason, is that while it is interesting, it is far from what you blogosphere experts want to here. Regardless of the rhetorical titles you slap on loose understand of the science you “report” on. Let’s see what someone actually working in the climate science fields has to say about this paper:

this paper is only loosely related to the science that is actually being done. Rather, the excitement is based on the expectation that this work will provide some insight into the proposed cosmic ray/cloud/climate link that Svensmark (for instance) has claimed is the dominant driver of climate change (though note he is not an author on this paper, despite an earlier affiliation with the project). Indeed, the first justification for the CLOUD experiment was that: “The basic purpose of the CLOUD detector … is to confirm, or otherwise, a direct link between cosmic rays and cloud formation by measuring droplet formation in a controlled test-beam environment”. It is eminently predictable that the published results will be wildly misconstrued by the contrarian blogosphere as actually proving this link. However, that would be quite wrong.

We were clear in the 2006 post that establishing a significant GCR/cloud/climate link would require the following steps (given that we have known that ionisation plays a role in nucleation for decades). One would need to demonstrate:

… that increased nucleation gives rise to increased numbers of (much larger) cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)
… and that even in the presence of other CCN, ionisation changes can make a noticeable difference to total CCN
… and even if there were more CCN, you would need to show that this actually changed cloud properties significantly,
… and that given that change in cloud properties, you would need to show that it had a significant effect on radiative forcing.

Of course, to show that cosmic rays were actually responsible for some part of the recent warming, you would need to show that there was actually a decreasing trend in cosmic rays over recent decades – which is tricky, because there hasn’t been (see the figure).



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