Friday, August 26, 2011

CERN Experiment Confirms Cosmic Rays Can Influence Climate Change

Despite the caution of the CERN Director General

Long-anticipated results of the CLOUD experiment at CERN in Geneva appear in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Nature (25 August). The Director General of CERN stirred controversy last month, by saying that the CLOUD team’s report should be politically correct about climate change (see my 17 July post below). The implication was that they should on no account endorse the Danish heresy – Henrik Svensmark’s hypothesis that most of the global warming of the 20th Century can be explained by the reduction in cosmic rays due to livelier solar activity, resulting in less low cloud cover and warmer surface temperatures.

Willy-nilly the results speak for themselves, and it’s no wonder the Director General was fretful.

Jasper Kirkby of CERN and his 62 co-authors, from 17 institutes in Europe and the USA, announce big effects of pions from an accelerator, which simulate the cosmic rays and ionize the air in the experimental chamber. The pions strongly promote the formation of clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules – aerosols of the kind that may grow into cloud condensation nuclei on which cloud droplets form. What’s more, there’s a very important clarification of the chemistry involved.

A breach of etiquette

My interest in CLOUD goes back nearly 14 years, to a lecture I gave at CERN about Svensmark’s discovery of the link between cosmic rays and cloudiness. It piqued Kirkby’s curiosity, and both Svensmark and I were among those who helped him to prepare his proposal for CLOUD.

By an unpleasant irony, the only Svensmark contribution acknowledged in theNature report is the 1997 paper (Svensmark and Friis-Christensen) on which I based my CERN lecture. There’s no mention of the successful experiments in ion chemistry and molecular cluster formation by the Danish team in Copenhagen, Boulby and latterly in Aarhus where they beat CLOUD to the first results obtained using a particle beam (instead of gamma rays and natural cosmic rays) to ionize the air in the experimental chamber – see here

What will historians of science make of this breach of scientific etiquette? That Kirkby was cross because Svensmark, losing patience with the long delay in getting approval and funding for CLOUD, took matters into his own hands? Or because Svensmark’s candour about cosmic rays casting doubt on catastrophic man-made global warming frightened the national funding agencies? Or was Kirkby simply doing his best (despite the results) to obey his Director General by slighting all things Danish?

Personal rivalries aside, the important question is what the new CLOUD paper means for the Svensmark hypothesis. Pick your way through the cautious prose and you’ll find this:

“Ion-induced nucleation [cosmic ray action] will manifest itself as a steady production of new particles [molecular clusters] that is difficult to isolate in atmospheric observations because of other sources of variability but is nevertheless taking place and could be quite large when averaged globally over the troposphere [the lower atmosphere].”

It’s so transparently favourable to what the Danes have said all along that I’m surprised the warmists’ house magazine Nature is able to publish it, even omitting the telltale graph.

A graph they'd prefer you not to notice. Tucked away near the end of online supplementary material, and omitted from the printed CLOUD paper in Nature, it clearly shows how cosmic rays promote the formation of clusters of molecules (“particles”) that in the real atmosphere can grow and seed clouds. In an early-morning experimental run at CERN, starting at 03.45, ultraviolet light began making sulphuric acid molecules in the chamber, while a strong electric field cleansed the air of ions. It also tended to remove molecular clusters made in the neutral environment (n) but some of these accumulated at a low rate. As soon as the electric field was switched off at 04.33, natural cosmic rays (gcr) raining down through the roof of the experimental hall in Geneva helped to build clusters at a higher rate.

How do we know they were contributing? Because when, at 04.58, CLOUD simulated stronger cosmic rays with a beam of charged pion particles (ch) from the accelerator, the rate of cluster production became faster still. The various colours are for clusters of different diameters (in nanometres) as recorded by various instruments. The largest (black) took longer to grow than the smallest (blue). This is Fig. S2c from supplementary online material for J. Kirkby et al., Nature, 476, 429-433, © Nature 2011

Added to the already favourable Danish experimental findings, the more detailed CERN result is excellent. Thanks a million, Jasper.


Pesky! Global Coal Consumption Jumps Almost 50% – Yet Global Temps Drop!

A recently released BP report here shows that global coal consumption has risen over the last 10 years by almost 50%. So wouldn’t you think that all those millions of tons of emitted CO2 (food for plants) as a result would drive the global temperatures up? Have temperatures risen along with all that extra coal burning?

No they haven’t. In fact they’ve dropped slightly over the same period. So go figure!

The blue line shows skyrocketing global coal use, yet global temperatures have fallen

In the above chart the blue line shows global coal consumption, data taken here, Review of World Energy. According to the report, India and China alone are responsible for 90% of the world’s coal consumption increase, while renewable energy in the 2 countries plays nary a role. According to BP figures, global CO2 emissions rose 5.8% in the year 2010.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that China will add a whopping 600 gigawatts of coal power plant capacity by the year 2035, equivalent to the current capacity of the USA, EU and Japan – combined! So as China adds one coal power plant each week, Europe and the USA are lucky to get a single one approved during an entire year.

Demand for coal is not about to change directions any time soon. The IEA estimates that the global population will climb to 8.5 billion people by the year 2035. That means a huge growth in demand for power. Already today the sad truth is that 20% of the global population still has no access to electricity. Forcing the prices up with CO2 emission trading schemes and carbon taxes will only make the situation worse for the very poor.

But now that we know burning coal has hardly a noticeable impact on temperature and climate (zero-correlation), it’s high time to double our efforts in producing more coal so that the world’s demand can be satisfied so that bitter poverty may be alleviated once and for all.


Healing the planet: Greenpeace to spend five weeks ramming through "fragile/critical" Arctic ice with a 163-foot diesel-powered steel luxury yacht that can carry 111,744 gallons of fossil fuel

Into thin ice and heading back to the Arctic... Greenpeace UK

It’s been two weeks since our icebreaker the Arctic Sunrise left a busy Amsterdam for the Arctic Ocean....

At Greenpeace, one of the reasons we use the phrase 'climate change' and try to stay away from 'global warming' is that the changes are not happening in unison across the world. Climate change can mean colder winters in parts of Europe...

The ship and its crew will spend five weeks in the Arctic, and we will spend most of that time inside the Arctic sea ice

The 49.62m Motor Yacht ARCTIC SUNRISE by Vaagen Verft A/S - Charter World Luxury Yacht Charters on Superyachts

The motor yacht ARCTIC SUNRISE is a 50 metre 163 (foot) large steel ship which was created by Vaagen Verft A/S and devised by Vaagen Verft. A generous research boat ARCTIC SUNRISE is a particularily well designed Norway built superyacht which was launched to accolade in 1975.

...The motor yacht superstructure is made mostly from steel. With a width of 11.49 m / 37.7 feet ARCTIC SUNRISE has spacious room....

Installed with one MAK diesel-electric engines, ARCTIC SUNRISE is able to reach a maximum speed of 14 knots. She is driven by a single screw propeller. Her total HP is 2495 HP and her total Kilowatts are 1836. Concerning bow thruster maneuverability she was fitted with / Stern.

... Number of Crew Members: 30

Her Engine(s) is one 2495 Horse Power or 1836 Kilowatts Mak. Engine Model: 9M452AK diesel-electric. - Overall output: 2495 HP /1836 KW. - Approximate Cruise Speed is 13 nautical miles per hour. - Her top Speed is around 14 knots. - Fuel Capacity: 508000 L.


Your Belief In God Is Causing Your Denial Of AGW

Pesky that I am an atheist. And what the heck is a geographer doing talking psychology in a meteorology journal? Irrelevant expertise, it would seem -- JR

The title of this paper should have been, “They Won’t Believe Us Because They Believe In God.”

In his upcoming, peer-reviewed Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society paper “Making the climate a part of the human world” University of British Columbia geographer Simon Donner argues that religion is the cause of global warming denial.

Donner says that there is an “overwhelming consensus in the scientific community about the human influence on the climate system.” So his mind boggled that “Doubts about the scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change persist among the general public.”

He knows how smart he is, and he knows the vast brain power that lies behind the creation of general circulation models. A lot of—but not all —intelligent folks are telling the Great Unwashed the consequences of these models. Yet people don’t listen.

It does not make sense that the rabble should not heed their betters —worse, that these poor folks should directly challenge scientists!

It can only be, he attests, a deep-rooted belief in the “divine control of weather and climate” that causes the ordinary to reject the arguments of the extraordinary.

Donner acknowledges that other factors beside religion may cause the sheep to stray: there are organized efforts (read Big Oil) to promote skepticism, political pressures, and just plain stupidity (couched as “cognitive biases”).

But he ultimately blames those darned “hunter gatherers” and their lingering cultural belief that “the gods manage the weather.” In the battle for hearts and minds, climatologists always lose to the God of Thunder.

His evidence is built with faux-sophisticated, amateurish theology, for example in sentences like, “The weather god, who reigned supreme in early polytheistic belief systems, often emerged as the sole deity in later monotheistic religions; for example, the god ‘Yahweh’ of the Old Testament has been traced to a weather god from a particular region of ancient Palestine .”

In a table, the Book of Job is quoted, where Donner was surely delighted to find the words “clouds” and “lightning bolts.” Thank Yahweh for concordances!—tools which can be used by anybody to mine the depths of the mind of the Lord.

Donner’s suspicious that insurance companies used to blame “Acts of God” for disasters. Donner must therefore be pleased how far we’ve come when any maloccurrence is an act of (a rich) Man: even the 2004 Indonesian tsunami was blamed on human agents (specifically, George Bush).

Strangely, Donner sacrifices his main argument by admitting that in “secular communities, a broad sense that forces beyond humans control the climate may partly explain” denialism. He also negates his point by allowing that some religious groups “present climate change in apocalyptic frames.”

He is guilty of theory overreach when he ascribes religious motives to non-religious “‘radical’ environmental groups.” And then there’s his other counter-to-his-own-theory argument that “religious groups have expressed concern about the effects of human activity on the climate…. based on the Biblical concept of stewardship.” What makes these folks, whose minds are saturated with religious thought yet who do not deny, different than those who do?

Anyway, what’s the Solution? Why, education; what else? Fill the heads of the addled religious with cute, global-warming-is-true stories, because folks learn more “easily or more rapidly from personal or cultural experience than from numerical or statistical evidence, which require greater interpretative skills and effort.”

What Donner wants, though he does not use these words, is to Raise Awareness. There are sillier slogans of the modern world, but not many. Only those approaching zealotry are convinced that persuasion follows trivially from mere exposure to slogans, such as those provided at “interactive dialogues or forums.”

Yet once more our author sabotages himself when he suggests

"humility on the part of the scientists and educators. Climate scientists, for whom any inherent doubts about the possible extent of human influence on the climate were overcome by years of training in physics and chemistry of the climate system, need to accept that there are rational cultural, religious and historical reasons that the public may fail to believe that anthropogenic climate change is real, let alone that it warrants a policy response."

Donner’s main problem is to fail to acknowledge the complexity behind “belief” or “denial” in man-made global warming. Admitting that mankind influences climate is far different than agreeing that the effects of a changed climate are known with high certainty, that these effects will be universally deleterious, and that only the solutions offered by the left to “save the planet” are viable.

When a citizen is asked if he “believes” in AGW, it’s safer to say no, since it’s not clear what the question means, and since he won’t be certain the person who’s asking him isn’t using the question as an excuse to latch onto his wallet.


The latest moan: Cities are bad

The explosive growth of cities worldwide over the next two decades poses significant risks to people and the global environment. Researchers from Yale, Arizona State, Texas A&M and Stanford predict that by 2030 urban areas will expand by 590,000 square miles -- nearly the size of Mongolia -- to accommodate the needs of 1.47 billion more people living in urban areas.

"It is likely that these cities are going to be developed in places that are the most biologically diverse," said Karen Seto, the study's lead author and associate professor in the urban environment at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "They're going to be growing and expanding into forests, biological hotspots, savannas, coastlines -- sensitive and vulnerable places."

Urban areas, they found, have been expanding more rapidly along coasts. "Of all the places for cities to grow, coasts are the most vulnerable. People and infrastructure are at risk to flooding, tsunamis, hurricanes and other environmental disasters," said Seto.

The study provides the first estimate of how fast urban areas globally are growing and how fast they may grow in the future. "We know a lot about global patterns of urban population growth, but we know significantly less about how urban areas are changing," she said. "Changes in land cover associated with urbanization drive many environmental changes, from habitat loss and agricultural land conversion to changes in local and regional climate."

The researchers examined peer-reviewed studies that used satellite data to map urban growth and found that from 1970 to 2000 the world's urban footprint had grown by at least 22,400 square miles -- half the size of Ohio.

"This number is enormous, but, in actuality, urban land expansion has been far greater than what our analysis shows because we only looked at published studies that used satellite data," said Seto. "We found that 48 of the most populated urban areas have been studied using satellite data, with findings in peer-reviewed journals. This means that we're not tracking the physical expansion of more than half of the world's largest cities."

Half of urban land expansion in China is driven by a rising middle class, whereas the size of cities in India and Africa is driven primarily by population growth. "Rising incomes translate into rising demand for bigger homes and more land for urban development, which has big implications for biodiversity conservation, loss of carbon sinks and energy use."


Mitt Romney Revises Climate Change Hoax View

Of course, the extreme left (which is most of them) will trot out their "anti-science" and "flat-earther" talking points: Mitt Romney tweaks climate stance
Hours after being called "mushy on environmental issues" by a Republican senator (it was Jim Inhofe), Mitt Romney has tweaked his position on global warming.

Asked Wednesday at a Lebanon, N.H., town hall meeting whether he believed in global warming and if humans contribute to rising temperatures, Romney said he doesn't know.

"Do I think the world's getting hotter? Yeah, I don't know that but I think that it is," Romney said, as reported by Reuters. "I don't know if it's mostly caused by humans."

So, he's gone from being a True Believer, to "I'm not sure." Personally, I could care less if someone is a Disciple of Gore. Sure, I'll attempt an intervention and get them to come back to reality and leave the cult, but, when it comes to a politician, the biggest thing to me when it comes to this, or any other issue, is what actions they will take
"What I'm not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don't know the answer to," he added.

THAT'S the part that I'm focused on when it comes to a person running for elected office: he won't actually Do Something about globull warming and will not act to Do Something to Someone Else.

Climate Depot's Marc Morano writes "Huntsman is the only candidate left who believes we can control the weather through taxes and regulation. The GOP is officially pro-science when it comes to man-made global warming."

And, for some comic relief, here are some Tweets from Alarmists on Hurricane Irene, which will be the first hurricane to his the US since Ike in September 2008, if it does, well over 1,000 days. Didn't alarmists say hurricanes would be more prevalent due to globull warming?

  • tatn Tuyet N. T. Hurricane Irene barrels toward US as Caribbean islands take stock of damage #Environment #Climate

  • andrew_leach Andrew Leach I've said for a long time that the road to aggressive US #climate policy might be a hurricane tracking up the Hudson. This w/e? #irene

  • LiberalPagan John Diffley Climate Change: Irene could become massive Cat 4 hurricane

  • michmess michelle @Thom_Hartmann #Weather Channel reporting Hurricane Irene could get to a Cat 5. Climate change is here.

  • lderezinski Linda Derezinski Earthquake yesterday, hurricane might be tonight/tomorrow ... yea no climate change here folks

  • adam_foley Adam Foley Where u at Conservatives? Earthquake & hurricane will hit Virginia n the same week. What u mean there is no climate change? #PissedOffEarth

Oh, sorry, those last two are about the Virginia earthquake. Anyhow, the eyewall of Irene is projected to stay offshore, which would mean that, technically, Irene did not make landfall.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


1 comment:

slktac said...

Cities are bad, urban sprawl is bad and rural development is bad. I guess that just leaves Mars for habitation......