Yet another take on climate change
Climate change is always a touchy subject. I have been advocating the position that it’s real, but a natural cycle. Others argue that it’s man made. However, there’s another theory that hasn’t been getting much play,and it probably should. That theory is that climate change may be the result of subatomic particles hitting the Earth.
In April 1990, Al Gore published an open letter in the New York Times “To Skeptics on Global Warming” in which he compared them to medieval flat-Earthers. He soon became vice president and his conviction that climate change was dominated by man-made emissions went mainstream. Western governments embarked on a new era of anti-emission regulation and poured billions into research that might justify it. As far as the average Western politician was concerned, the debate was over.
But a few physicists weren’t worrying about Al Gore in the 1990s. They were theorizing about another possible factor in climate change: charged subatomic particles from outer space, or “cosmic rays,” whose atmospheric levels appear to rise and fall with the weakness or strength of solar winds that deflect them from the earth. These shifts might significantly impact the type and quantity of clouds covering the earth, providing a clue to one of the least-understood but most important questions about climate. Heavenly bodies might be driving long-term weather trends.
The theory has now moved from the corners of climate skepticism to the center of the physical-science universe: the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. At the Franco-Swiss home of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, scientists have been shooting simulated cosmic rays into a cloud chamber to isolate and measure their contribution to cloud formation. CERN’s researchers reported last month that in the conditions they’ve observed so far, these rays appear to be enhancing the formation rates of pre-cloud seeds by up to a factor of 10. Current climate models do not consider any impact of cosmic rays on clouds.
I’ve pointed out before how the climate models predicated on anthropogenic causes for climate change are almost universally wrong. This theory may well account for just that. It also ties into evidence of climate change in eras where human causes would have been practically non-existent.
If solar winds cycle, and these subatomic particles are the cause for a shifting climate, then we’ve got our evidence and our culprit. How long has this theory been floating around?
Scientists have been speculating on the relationship among cosmic rays, solar activity and clouds since at least the 1970s. But the notion didn’t get a workout until 1995, when Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark came across a 1991 paper by Eigil Friis-Christensen and Knud Lassen, who had charted a close relationship between solar variations and changes in the earth’s surface temperature since 1860.
Of course, Svensmark has had to deal with backlash from his research which built upon that done by Friis-Christensen and Lassen. Why? Because it’s unpopular to discuss causes of climate change that don’t deal with people. However, if we are to understand climate change, we must understand what may have caused climate change in the past, back before people were driving SUVs and the industrial revolution. These period really happened, there’s little doubt about it, but little is known about why they happened.
This other concept would explain why it’s happened in the past, and why it happened to peoples who had no significant pollution in their culture. So far, most climate science reports seem to ignore these past episodes as if they just didn’t happen. They may even use them as evidence of what we will experience if we don’t follow their advice, but I have yet to see a concerted effort to actually explain why it happened then.
For the record though, the scientists currently looking at this aren’t making the claims I am about climate change. They seem inclined to accept climatologists’ arguments, at least more than I am. However, they also believe that these particles are having an impact and question which is having the greater impact, man’s activities or these cosmic rays.
Changing climates can be scary, and it’s human nature to want to do something. However, to “do something” may be a costly matter that will yield no results. After all, everyone driving electric cars won’t do squat about subatomic particles.