[opendtv] Re: What does it take to convince

  • From: "John Willkie" <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 13:21:51 -0800

Kind of "funny" isn't it, that none of the models used by the IPCC "process"
take into account dynamic solar conditions?

 

By the way, the number one greenhouse gas is water vapor - we really need to
control that one.  Maybe drying up the seas and all bodies of water will
help.  Another significant greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide.  Limiting that
will lead to fewer humans and fewer trees.  

 

John Willkie

 

  _____  

De: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] En
nombre de Mark A. Aitken
Enviado el: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 1:02 PM
Para: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Asunto: [opendtv] Re: What does it take to convince

 

MAA - Sorry, missed most of the article in my copy/paste...


Sun's Shifts May Cause Global Warming


06.25.2007 

His studies show that natural variations in the sun plays a major role in
global warming. So are humans off the hook? And if so, why does he use
compact fluorescent lightbulbs?

by Marion Long 

Most leading climate experts don't agree with Henrik Svensmark, the
49-year-old director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish
National Space Center in Copenhagen. In fact, he has taken a lot of blows
for proposing that solar activity and cosmic rays are instrumental in
determining the warming (and cooling) of Earth. His studies show that cosmic
rays trigger cloud formation, suggesting that a high level of solar
activity-which suppresses the flow of cosmic rays striking the
atmosphere-could result in fewer clouds and a warmer planet. This, Svensmark
contends, could account for most of the warming during the last century.
Does this mean that carbon dioxide is less important than we've been led to
believe? Yes, he says, but how much less is impossible to know because
climate models are so limited.

There is probably no greater scientific heresy today than questioning the
warming role of CO2, especially in the wake of the report issued by the
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That report
warned that nations must cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, and insisted
that "unless drastic action is taken . . . millions of poor people will
suffer from hunger, thirst, floods, and disease." As astrophysicist ?Eugene
Parker, the discoverer of solar wind, writes in the foreword to Svensmark's
new book, The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change, "Global
warming has become a political issue both in government and in the
scientific community. The scientific lines have been drawn by 'eminent'
scientists, and an important new idea is an unwelcome intruder. It upsets
the established orthodoxy."

We talked with the unexpectedly modest and soft-spoken Henrik Svensmark
about his work, the criticism it has received, and truth versus hype in
climate science.

 

Was there something in the Danish weather when you were growing up that
inspired you to study clouds and climate?

I remember being fascinated by clouds when I was young, but I never
suspected that I would one day be working on these problems, trying to solve
the puzzle of how clouds are actually formed. My background is in physics,
not in atmospheric science. At the time when I left school and began
working, it was almost impossible to get any permanent work whatsoever in
science. That was why, after doing a lot of physics on short-term things at
various places, I took a job at the Meteorological Society. And once I was
there I thought, "Well, I had better start doing something." So I started
thinking about problems that were relevant in that field, and that was how I
started thinking about the sun and how it might affect Earth.

It was a purely scientific impulse. With my background in theoretical
physics, I had no-well, certainly not very much-knowledge about global
warming. I simply thought that if there is a connection to the sun, that
would be very interesting, and I certainly had no idea it would be viewed as
so controversial.

 

In 1996, when you reported that changes in the sun's activity could explain
most or all of the recent rise in Earth's temperature, the chairman of the
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel called your announcement "extremely
naive and irresponsible." How did you react?

I was just stunned. I remember being shocked by how many thought what I was
doing was terrible. I couldn't understand it because when you are a
physicist, you are trained that when you find something that cannot be
explained, something that doesn't fit, that is what you are excited about.
If there is a possibility that you might have an explanation, that is
something that everybody thinks is what you should pursue. Here was exactly
the opposite reaction. It was as though people were saying to me, "This is
something that you should not have done." That was very strange for me, and
it has been more or less like that ever since.

 

So it's difficult to do climate research without being suspected of having a
hidden agenda? 

Yes, it is frustrating. People can use this however they want, and I can't
stop them. Some are accusing me of doing it for political reasons; some are
saying I'm doing it for the oil companies. This is just ridiculous. I think
there's a huge interest in discrediting what I'm doing, but I've sort of
gotten used to this. I've convinced myself the only thing I can do is just
to continue doing good science. And I think time will show that we are on
the right track.

 

+++

Do you ever worry that people will take your findings and use them to
support unwarranted or even harmful conclusions?

I would be happy to kill the project if I could find out that there was
something that didn't fit or that I no longer believed in it. When we
started, it was just a simple hypothesis based on a correlation, and
correlations are, of course, something that could be quite dubious, and they
could go away if you get better data. But this work has only strengthened
itself over the years.

 

What first made you suspect that changes in the sun are having a significant
impact on global warming?

I began my investigations by studying work done in 1991 by Eigil
Fiin-Christensen and Knud Lassen Fiin-Christensen. They had looked at solar
activity over the last 100 years and found a remarkable correlation to
temperatures. I knew that many people dismissed that result, but I thought
the correlation was so good that I could not help but start speculating-what
could be the relation? Then I heard a suggestion that it might be cosmic
rays, changing the chemistry high up in the atmosphere. I immediately
thought, "Well, if that is going to work, it has to be through the clouds."

That was the initial idea. Then I remembered seeing a science experiment at
my high school in Elsinore, in which our teacher showed us what is called a
cloud chamber, and seeing tracks of radioactive particles, which look like
small droplets. So I thought to myself, "That would be the way to do it." I
started to obtain data from satellites, which actually was quite a detective
work at that time, but I did start to find data, and to my surprise there
seems to be a correlation between changes in cosmic rays and changes in
clouds. And I think in early January 1996, I finally got a curve, which was
very impressive with respect to the correlation. It was only over a short
period of time, because the data were covering just seven years or something
like that. So it was almost nothing, but it was a nice correlation.

 

How exactly does the mechanism work, linking changes in the sun with climate
change on Earth?

The basic idea is that solar activity can turn the cloudiness up and down,
which has an effect on the warming or cooling of Earth's surface
temperature. The key agents in this are cosmic rays, which are energetic
particles coming from the interstellar media-they come from remnants of
supernova explosions mainly. These energetic particles have to enter into
what we call the heliosphere, which is the large volume of space that is
dominated by our sun, through the solar wind, which is a plasma of
electrons, atomic nuclei, and associated magnetic fields that are streaming
nonstop from the sun. Cosmic-ray particles have to penetrate the sun's
magnetic field. And if the sun and the solar wind are very active-as they
are right now-they will not allow so many cosmic rays to reach Earth. Fewer
cosmic rays mean fewer clouds will be formed, and so there will be a warmer
Earth. If the sun and the solar wind are not so active, then more cosmic
rays can come in. That means more clouds [reflecting away more sunlight] and
a cooler Earth.

Now it's well known that solar activity can turn up and down the amount of
cosmic rays that come to Earth. But the next question was a complete
unknown: Why should cosmic rays affect clouds? Because at that time, when we
began this work, there was no mechanism that could explain this.
Meteorologists denied that cosmic rays could be involved in cloud formation.

 

You and a half-dozen colleagues carried out a landmark study of cosmic rays
and clouds while working in the basement of the Danish National Space
Center. How did you do it?

We spent five or six years building an experiment here in Copenhagen, to see
if we could find a connection. We named the experiment SKY, which means
"cloud" in Danish. Natural cosmic rays came through the ceiling, and
ultraviolet lamps played the part of the sun. We had a huge chamber, with
about eight cubic meters of air, and the whole idea was to have air that is
as clean as you have over the Pacific, and then of course, to be able to
control what's in the chamber. So we had minute trace gases as you have in
the real atmosphere, of sulfur dioxide and ozone and water vapor, and then
by keeping these things constant and just changing the ionization [the
abundance of electrically charged atoms] in the chamber a little bit, we
could see that we could produce these small aerosols, which are the basic
building blocks for cloud condensation nuclei.

So the idea is that in the atmosphere, the ionization is helping produce
cloud condensation nuclei, and that changes the amount and type of clouds.
If you change the clouds, of course, you change the amount of energy that
reaches Earth's surface. So it's a very effective way, with almost no energy
input, to change the energy balance of Earth and therefore the temperature.

+++

There were so many strange surprises, and many times we were busy just
trying to understand what was going on. The mechanism we seemed to be
finding was very different from any theoretical ideas about how it should
work. It seemed to be much more effective than we had ever imagined. It
seems as if an electron is able to help form a small particle-a molecular
cluster, as we call it-and then the electron can jump off and help another
one. So it's like a catalytic process. It was a big surprise that it is so
effective.

These types of experiments had not really been done before, and we had to
find new techniques in order to do them. Once we had the results, it was
necessary to understand completely what was going on. So it was a very
intense period of work, almost hypnotic.

 

Now there are other experiments, like the CLOUD project, also designed to
investigate the effects of cosmic rays. How will this build on your work?

CLOUD is an international collaboration [sponsored by the European
Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN] that is taking place in Geneva,
but it's going to take a while before any results come out of that. It was
approved last year, and building the machine will take at least three years.
That's a problem with science: You have to have a lot of patience because
results are very slow to come.

 

If the scientists at CLOUD are able to prove that cosmic rays can change
Earth's cloud cover, would that force climate scientists to reevaluate their
ideas about global warming?

Definitely, because in the standard view of climate change, you think of
clouds as a result of the climate that you have. Our idea reverses that,
turns things completely upside down, saying that the climate is a result of
how the clouds are.

 

How do you see your work fitting into the grand debates about the causes of
global warming and the considerations of what ought to be done about it?

I think-no, I believe-that the sun has had an influence in the past and is
changing climate at the present, and it most certainly will do so in the
future. We live in a unique time in history, because this period has the
highest solar activity we have had in 1,000 years, and maybe even in 8,000
years. And we know that changes in solar activity have made significant
changes in climate. For instance, we had the little ice age about 300 years
ago. You had very few sunspots [markings on the face of the sun that
indicate heightened solar activity] between 1650 and 1715, and for example,
in Sweden in 1696, it caused the harvest to go wrong. People were
starving-100,000 people died-and it was very desperate times, all coinciding
with this very low solar activity. The last time we had high solar activity
was during the medieval warming, which was when all of the cathedrals were
built in Europe. And if you go 1,000 years back, you also had high solar
activity, and that was when Rome was at its height. So I think there's good
evidence that these are significant changes that are happening naturally. If
we are talking about the next century, there might be a human effect on
climate change on top of that, but the natural effect from solar effect will
be important. This should be recognized in the models and calculations that
are being used to make predictions.

 

Why is there such resistance to doing that? Is the science that conflicted
or confusing? Or is politics intervening?

I think it's the latter, and I think it's both. And I think there's a fear
that it will turn out, or that it would be suggested, that the man-made
contribution is smaller than what you would expect if you look at CO2 alone.


 

Have you had a hard time getting funding?

For an eternity, I would say. But there are no oil companies funding my
work, not at all. It sounds funny, but the Danish Carlsberg Foundation-you
know, the one who makes beer-they have been of real support to me. They have
a big foundation; in Denmark it's one of the biggest resources for science.
It's because the founder of Carlsberg wanted to use scientific methods to
make the best beer. It's probably the best beer in the world, because of
science.

 

If cosmic radiation is in fact the principal cause of global warming, is
that good or bad news for human beings?

That's a good question because you would have to say that we cannot predict
the sun. And, of course, that would mean that we couldn't do anything about
it.

 

+++

But if humans, through carbon dioxide emissions, are affecting climate less
than we think, would that mean we may have more time to reduce the harmful
effects?

Yes, that could of course be a consequence. But I don't know how to get to
such a conclusion because right now everything is set up that CO2 is a major
disaster in society.

 

Do you agree that carbon dioxide is having at least some impact on Earth's
current warming?

Yes, but you have to give the sun a role. If you include the sun in the
right way, the effect of CO2 must be smaller. The question is, how much
smaller? All we know about the effect of CO2 is really based on climate
models that predict how climate should be in 50 to 100 years, and these
climate models cannot actually model clouds at all, so they are really poor.
When you look at them, the models are off by many hundreds percent. It's a
well-known fact that clouds are the major uncertainty in any climate model.
So the tools that we are using to make these predictions are not actually
very good.

 

What do you hope to do next in pursuit of your theory?

I'm extremely excited about our next experiment, which will happen in the
next couple months. We are planning to go one kilometer below Earth's
surface because when we do an experiment in the basement we cannot get rid
of the radiation. Cosmic rays are so penetrating that there's always
ionization in our chamber and we cannot get to zero ionization. I think it
will be the first time that people are attempting an experiment where there
is no ionization present. I think it will be quite fascinating because it
will tell us something about the details in the mechanism.

 

Do you think then that individuals and societies as a whole need to try to
conserve energy? Do you use compact fluorescent lightbulbs, for instance?

Yes, yes, we use those. And I ride a bicycle. There are good reasons to
conserve our resources and find a more economical way of using energy, but
the argumentation is not linked necessarily to climate.

 

At this stage in your work, how confident are you that your basic theories
are correct?

I think it is almost certain that cosmic rays are responsible for changes in
climate. I think now I have very good evidence, and I think I've come up
with some very good evidence that it is clouds. Of course, we cannot discuss
the exact mechanism, but I think we have some very important fragments of
these ideas. One extrapolation we could make, for instance: Would this
mechanism work in an ancient atmosphere? Would these processes still happen?
That is something I don't know.

 

You discuss your work as part of an emerging field that you call
"cosmoclimatology." What is that?

It is the idea that processes in space and what is happening here on Earth
are connected. It is this idea that when Earth is in a certain spiral arm of
the Milky Way, you can associate that with a certain geological period.
Previously, the idea was of Earth as a sort of isolated system on which
processes evolved. Now all of a sudden it seems as if our position in the
galaxy is important for what has happened and is happening here on Earth. It
is this connection between Earth and space that's exciting and why I have
given it this name. Most of this research has taken place just within the
last 10 years, and it is truly multidisciplinary, ranging from solar physics
and atmospheric chemistry to geology and meteorology-even high-particle
physicists are involved. The people who are doing space-related observations
are very happy that there could be a connection from space to Earth because
it makes a good argumentation for understanding processes out there.

These connections, which combine such a variety of disciplines and create
opportunities for many lines of work, are surprising and wonderful. It has
been a real challenge for me, though, because I have to look at so many
different fields in order to work.

 

You've faced more than a few hard knocks in pursuing your scientific career.
What keeps you going?

From the beginning, I have found this to be a really interesting problem,
and now, I think, it is the potential of it that draws me on. It is
something which started as a simple idea and seems to be continually
extending, or expanding. That has really been the most important thing. I
mean, for instance, I would never have thought that we would find these
correlations between the cosmic rays and the evolution of the Milky Way and
life on Earth. I never expected that all of these things are connected in a
beautiful way.



On 11/18/2008 3:55 PM, Mark A. Aitken wrote: 

http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/the-discover-interview-henrik-svensmark


Discover Interview <http://discovermagazine.com/columns/discover-interview>
Sun's Shifts May Cause Global Warming 


His studies show that natural variations in the sun plays a major role in
global warming. So are humans off the hook? And if so, why does he use
compact fluorescent lightbulbs?

by Marion Long 

published online June 25, 2007 

Most leading climate experts don't agree with Henrik Svensmark, the
49-year-old director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish
National Space Center in Copenhagen. In fact, he has taken a lot of blows
for proposing that solar activity and cosmic rays are instrumental in
determining the warming (and cooling) of Earth. His studies show that cosmic
rays trigger cloud formation, suggesting that a high level of solar
activity-which suppresses the flow of cosmic rays striking the
atmosphere-could result in fewer clouds and a warmer planet. This, Svensmark
contends, could account for most of the warming during the last century.
Does this mean that carbon dioxide is less important than we've been led to
believe? Yes, he says, but how much less is impossible to know because
climate models are so limited.

There is probably no greater scientific heresy today than questioning the
warming role of CO2, especially in the wake of the report issued by the
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That report
warned that nations must cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, and insisted
that "unless drastic action is taken . . . millions of poor people will
suffer from hunger, thirst, floods, and disease." As astrophysicist ?Eugene
Parker, the discoverer of solar wind, writes in the foreword to Svensmark's
new book, The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change, "Global
warming has become a political issue both in government and in the
scientific community. The scientific lines have been drawn by 'eminent'
scientists, and an important new idea is an unwelcome intruder. It upsets
the established orthodoxy."

We talked with the unexpectedly modest and soft-spoken Henrik Svensmark
about his work, the criticism it has received, and truth versus hype in
climate science.



On 11/17/2008 9:18 AM, Mark A. Aitken wrote: 

Am I chicken little for saying "The ice is growing, the ice is growing!"...


 
<http://www.dailytech.com/Sea+Ice+Growing+at+Fastest+Pace+on+Record/article1
3385.htm>
<http://www.dailytech.com/Sea+Ice+Growing+at+Fastest+Pace+on+Record/article1
3385.htm>

Rapid Rebound Brings Ice Back to Levels from the 1980s.




An abnormally cool Arctic is seeing dramatic changes to ice levels.  In
sharp contrast to the rapid melting seen last year, the amount of global sea
ice has rebounded sharply and is now growing rapidly. The total amount of
ice, which set a record low value last year, grew in October at the fastest
pace since record-keeping began in 1979.

The actual amount of ice area varies seasonally from about 16 to 23 million
square kilometers. However, the mean anomaly-- defined as the difference
between the current area and the seasonally-adjusted average-- changes much
slower, and generally varies by only 2-3 million square kilometers. 

That anomaly had been negative, indicating ice loss, for most of the current
decade and reached a historic low in 2007. The current value is again zero,
indicating an amount of ice exactly equal to the global average from
1979-2000.

Bill Chapman, a researcher with the Arctic Climate Center at the University
of Illinois, says the rapid increase is "no big deal". He says that, while
the Arctic has certainly been colder in recent months, the long-term
decrease is still ongoing. Chapman, who predicts that sea ice will soon stop
growing, sees nothing in the recent data to contradict predictions of global
warming.

Others aren't quite so sure. Dr. Patrick Michaels, Professor of
Environmental
<http://www.dailytech.com/Sea+Ice+Growing+at+Fastest+Pace+on+Record/article1
3385.htm>  Science at the University of Virginia, says he sees some "very
odd" things occurring in recent years. Michaels, who is also a Senior Fellow
with the Cato Institute, tells DailyTech that, while the behavior of the
Arctic seems to agree with climate models predictions, the Southern
Hemisphere can't be explained by current theory. "The models predict a
warming ocean around Antarctica, so why would we see more sea ice?" Michaels
adds that large areas of the Southern Pacific are showing cooling
<http://www.dailytech.com/Sea+Ice+Growing+at+Fastest+Pace+on+Record/article1
3385.htm>  trends, an occurrence not anticipated by any current climate
model. 

On average, ice covers roughly 7% of the ocean surface of the planet. Sea
ice is floating and therefore doesn't affect sea level like the ice anchored
on bedrock in Antarctica or Greenland. However, research has indicated
<http://www.cpom.org/research/djw-ptrsa364.pdf> that the Antarctic continent
-- which is on a long-term cooling trend -- has also been gaining ice in
recent years.

The primary instrument for measuring sea ice today is the AMSR-E
<http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/AMSR/>  microwave radiometer, an instrument
package aboard NASA's AQUA satellite
<http://www.dailytech.com/Sea+Ice+Growing+at+Fastest+Pace+on+Record/article1
3385.htm> . AQUA was launched in 2002, as part of NASA's Earth Observing
System (EOS).



On 11/13/2008 9:14 AM, Craig Birkmaier wrote: 

At 1:55 PM -0800 11/12/08, Dale Kelly wrote: 



Yes, I read your postings with great interest. The Blogs have little or no 
veracity: their conclusions are not even substantiated by their posted data.



We disagree, but we al;ready knew that. 




You simply can not make a valid case regarding climate change or most other 
natural phenomena, by cherry picking short term data*, which they do. 


Thanks you! Seems that this is exactly what the new religion of
environmentalism has been doing for several decades. Have you ever looked at
some of the analyses of the claims in Gore's movie? Talk about cherry
picking! 





 Yes, 
the arctic ice has thickened slightly in 2008, relative to 2007 (the lowest 
year in recent history), but it remains at a very low level compared to the 
charts base line level. How about inspecting your own data before attempting

to build a case. 


I was simply using these reports to corroborate the FACT that we are now
entering a period of cooling... 

By the way, did you see any of the Fox News Palin interview at her home in
Alaska - in particular the part where they were riding a snow mobile at
about 70 MPH on the bay behind here  home? 





*see Cliff's recent postings. 

Professor Easterbrook's study very graphically documents that warming and 
cooling cycle do occur naturally at an almost sinusoidal rate but then his 
study is incorrectly used in attempts to invalidate global warming concerns.



In your opinion. I believe his work fully demonstrates the absurdity of the
claims made by Gore, the IPCC and NASA. 




The irrefutable facts are: in concert with the natural warming and cooling 
cycles, the global mean temperature is steadily rising: Each high is warmer 
that the previous high and each low is warmer than the previous low and the 
past fifty years has seen rapid changes in the mean temperature baseline. 


Obviously you have not looked closely at this data. Please look at "chart b"
on the second page of the Easterbrook pdf that I posted yesterday. i do
agree that the trend line has been up, but even this should be placed in the
context of a 1000 year moving window, not a single century or just a few
decades. 

We have been through a significant cooling period in the last 50 years. In
fact the short term data was so "compelling" that the same folks warning us
about global warming were warning us about global cooling just a few decades
ago. 




This rapid temperature increase could at least partially be fueled by human 
activities and dozens of scientific agencies/universities and thousands of 
scientist's worldwide, believe this to be the case and Mr. Hansen of NASA 
cannot have corrupted them all. 


When i was a kid i had this wonderful naivety about science and engineering.
These were admirable professions since they are driven by the scientific
method and the need to apply physics, chemistry, et al to real world
problems. 

When i participated in the US DTV process, that childhood vision was
shattered. I learned that you can buy scientists and engineers quite easily
and that you can spin the facts, and the physics to your purpose. 

I shall never forget the NHK white papers in support of interlace... 

:-( 

Yes, global climate change "could" be related to human activity. It would be
absurd to think otherwise. In my lifetime I have seen the benefits of being
a good caretaker of our environment. We have cleaned up the air and rivers,
mitigated ground water contamination from those evil refineries, oil depots
and gas stations, and enriched the legal profession via the Superfund. 

Clearly, climate change is also related to MANY other things that are far
easier to substantiate. Funny what happens when politicians with an agenda
start throwing money at "scientists" to provide research to support their
agendas. 

Regards 
Craig 





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-- 
Regards,
Mark A. Aitken
Director, Advanced Technology
===================================
"What you see and hear depends a
good deal on where you are standing;
it also depends on what kind of a
person you are"
><>   ~ C. S. Lewis ~   <><
 
Things are only impossible until
they're not.
><>   ~ J. L. Picard ~   <><





-- 
Regards,
Mark A. Aitken
Director, Advanced Technology
===================================
"What you see and hear depends a
good deal on where you are standing;
it also depends on what kind of a
person you are"
><>   ~ C. S. Lewis ~   <><
 
Things are only impossible until
they're not.
><>   ~ J. L. Picard ~   <><





-- 
Regards,
Mark A. Aitken
Director, Advanced Technology
===================================
"What you see and hear depends a
good deal on where you are standing;
it also depends on what kind of a
person you are"
><>   ~ C. S. Lewis ~   <><
 
Things are only impossible until
they're not.
><>   ~ J. L. Picard ~   <><

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