A paper published this week finds that cloudiness over Russia has increased during the period of 2001-2010 compared to 1991-2000. Interesting in light of the corresponding global cooling since 2001, Svensmark's cosmic ray theory of cloud formation, the rise of cosmic rays since 2001 to record levels, and the concomitant decrease in solar activity.
Recent variations of cloudiness over Russia from surface daytime observations
A V Chernokulsky et al
Changes of total and low cloud fraction and the occurrence of different cloud types over Russia were assessed. The analysis was based on visual observations from more than 1600 meteorological stations. Differences between the 2001–10 and 1991–2000 year ranges were evaluated. In general, cloud fraction has tended to increase during recent years. A major increase of total cloud fraction and a decrease of the number of days without clouds are revealed in spring and autumn mostly due to an increase of the occurrence of convective and non-precipitating stratiform clouds. In contrast, the occurrence of nimbostratus clouds has tended to decrease. In general, the ratio between the occurrence of cumulonimbus and nimbostratus clouds has increased for the period 2001–10 relative to 1991–2000. Over particular regions, a decrease of total cloud fraction and an increase of the number of days without clouds are noted.