Monday, August 2, 2010

Paper: Cosmoclimatology is Real

A paper published online today in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres lends credence to the cosmoclimatology theory of Svensmark et al, finding that increases in galactic cosmic ray counts (GCRs) have a statistically significant correlation to increased cloud formation. 
The theory of cosmoclimatology explains why small changes in total solar irradiance (TSI) during solar cycles may be amplified due to secondary effects on galactic cosmic rays and cloud formation:
Even though solar irradiance only changes about .1% during a solar cycle, the secondary effects of changes in the solar magnetic field on GCRs can be up to 25% or more:
As proven empirically by the study published today, increases in GCRs seed more clouds which reflect more sunlight back into space ("albedo") and result in cooling of the earth. The study published today finds that a 15% increase in GCRs resulted in up to a 9% change in the "cloud index" which corresponds to an increase in cloud opacity. Dr. Roy Spencer illustrates the magnitude of poorly-understood cloud effects on the global climate system in his new book,
The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling. 
Given the potential magnitude of these effects, there is no reason to infer that changes in trace "greenhouse" gases such as CO2 have had any effect on the climate.


A correlation study of high-altitude and midaltitude clouds and galactic cosmic rays by MIPAS-Envisat by Susanne Rohs, Reinhold Spang, Franz Rohrer, Cornelius Schiller and Heinz Vos
Abstract: The cloud index (CI), the cloud occurrence frequency (Occ), and the extinction data (Ext) of the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding instrument on board Envisat (MIPAS-E) from July 2002 to March 2004 are used to investigate a possible link between galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and midaltitude and high-altitude clouds (CI, Occ: 9–18 km, Ext: 12–24 km). The zonally averaged data with 3 km vertical resolution are averaged over six major Forbush decrease (FD) events and subsequently correlated with the Climax neutron monitor data (CNM). In order to allow for nucleation and growth of ice particles, time lags from 0 to 5 days are applied. We find several weak but statistically significant correlations with an excess of positive cloud-GCR correlations. Introducing a time lag does not enhance the correlations significantly. Subdividing the data in a global grid with 30° × 90° × 3 km resolution shows higher correlations in some regions. The investigation of the individual FD events yields a heterogeneous picture. Overall, there is a weak tendency toward a positive cloud-CNM correlation. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test shows that for time shifts from 0 to +5 days a weak GCR-cloud effect is evident in the MIPAS-E measurements. An estimation of the impact of this effect delivers that a 15% increase in CNM would result in a small decrease in CI (corresponding to an increase in cloud opacity) which is most pronounced at 9 km altitude (−9% to +0.5%). For log(Ext) a decrease of −5 to 0% is calculated at 12 km altitude which shifts toward weak positive values at higher altitudes.
Related: Svensmark's latest paper and accompanying article
article noting how feedbacks amplify solar variation and high variability of UV up to 8%


  1. Hot diggety dawg! Climate SCIENCE for a change.

  2. Everyone, who is interested in the role of the sun as a major player in our climate should take a serious look at this excellent lecture by the CERN scientist Jasper Kirby:

  3. You might consider the height of the clouds, the sign of the correlation and what follows for the energy balance of the planet.
    Actually if these results are confirmed a weaker sun heats the planet.

  4. Anonymous,
    1. The abstract says they only looked at mid and high altitude clouds, so nothing can be concluded from this study about low altitude clouds & GCRs
    2. The abstract says "a 15% increase in CNM would result in ... an increase in cloud opacity," so unless the abstract is worded incorrectly, there is no problem with the sign of the correlation. This would also be consistent with earlier statement of a "positive cloud-CNM correlation."
    3. The claim that high altitude clouds warm the planet because they "absorb more IR and reflect less sunlight" seems tenuous at best. Incoming solar energy is 45% IR, so these clouds absorb significant amounts of solar energy BEFORE it reaches the earth, thus acting as a sunshade. Furthermore, high altitude clouds at -18C or less are not capable of heating the earth at 15C because "a cold body cannot heat a warm body" from the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

  5. 1) Exactly. And this study looked in lower cloud layers.

    2) Correct. More opacity means mor cirrus means more warming. Correlation thus is: More cosmic rays, more warming.

    3) There is plein evidence for the radiative behaviour of different cloud types. Check for yourself:
    "Effective CRE (i.e., CRE cloud amount) is
    dominated by Ci2 and Ci3 (i.e., 1 t < 9) as compared
    to the other categories. DA[Ci2] and DA[Ci3] are also very
    high in the Tropics, thereby resulting in large DF[Ci2] and
    DF[Ci3]. On the other hand, the impact on SW is larger
    than that on LW for middle and low clouds. Since the results
    in this study are contaminated by the effects of middle and
    low clouds, the actual cirrus net warming effect should be
    even larger than what is presented."

  6. "Furthermore, high altitude clouds at -18C or less are not capable of heating the earth at 15C because "a cold body cannot heat a warm body" from the 2nd law of thermodynamics. "

    Sorry. I took you serious for a moment. Havent seen this sentence.

  7. Anonymous,
    1. Fine, and here is one of several papers that does find positive correlation for low clouds:

    2. Wrong... more opacity means more of the 45% IR in incoming solar radiation is absorbed BEFORE heating the Earth's surface and 1/2 re-radiated back into space BEFORE heating the Earth. The correlation is thus: more cosmic rays, more cooling

    3. The 'radiative behavior' of different cloud types is irrelevant because all types of clouds radiate at a temperature lower than the Earth. Per the Clausius formulation of the second law of thermodynamics, a colder body cannot heat a warmer body. You don't have to take me "serious," just Google 'Clausius formulation 2nd law' for thousands of references. Then read the G&T paper, Thieme paper, Chilingar paper, etc. and many other references on this blog e.g.

    and at Claes Johnson's blog (author of several textbooks on thermodynamics)

  8. 1) I know. It's discussed in the Calogovic paper
    2) Well the Choi Paper says not and he shows it with observations.
    3) I read them already.

  9. 2. Lindzen & Choi measure RADIATION - no doubt clouds and 'greenhouse gases' radiate. Unfortunately, like most climate scientists they assume that means that any colder body which radiates can heat a warmer body, but this is clearly false unless you overturn the basic laws of 19th century thermodynamics.
    3. Boy, you're quick. Also have a look at the presentation posted today here, which finds strong observational evidence for the cosmic ray theory: