Danish physicist, Henrik Svensmark, is a bit different from your average climate change skeptics. He has an alternative theory of climate change and he has just written a book about it.
Published this week by Icon books, but not yet available at Amazons, it is called ‘The Chilling Stars – A New Theory of Climate Change’ and its apparently all about cosmic rays.
According to the book’s co-author and former editor of New Scientist, Nigel Calder, the new theory can explain why Antarctica is not warming. Indeed the most recent ‘summary’ from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that while temperatures have increased by almost twice the global average at the Arctic, there has been no warming at the Antarctic.
I’ve always been fascinated by bits of information that don’t fit neatly within an accepted theory, i.e. no warming trend at the Antarctic, and I’m always intrigued when there is a new theory to explain the apparent anomaly.
Anyway, along with the book there is a new journal paper by Dr Svensmark ‘Cosmoclimatology: A New Theory Emerges’ in Astronomy & Geophysics, Volume 48 Issue 1, February 2007.
The abstract states: Changes in the intensity of galactic cosmic rays alter the Earth’s cloudiness. A recent experiment has shown how electrons liberated by cosmic rays assist in making aerosols, the building blocks of cloud condensation nuclei, while anomalous climatic trends in Antarctica confirm the role of clouds in helping to drive climate change. Variations in the cosmic-ray influx due to solar magnetic activity account well for climatic fluctuations on decadal, centennial and millennial timescales. Over longer intervals, the changing galactic environment of the solar system has had dramatic consequences, including Snowball Earth episodes. A new contribution to the faint young Sun paradox is also on offer.
Here’s an opinion piece from the Sunday Times Online entitled ‘An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change’ by Nigel Calder which includes comment that:
“Disdain for the sun goes with a failure by the self-appointed greenhouse experts to keep up with inconvenient discoveries about how the solar variations control the climate. The sun’s brightness may change too little to account for the big swings in the climate. But more than 10 years have passed since Henrik Svensmark in Copenhagen first pointed out a much more powerful mechanism.
He saw from compilations of weather satellite data that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds. The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier.”
Read the complete article here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1363818.ece.
The issue was previously discussed at this blog here: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/001674.html