Isn't Science Great!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by chieftiff, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    A week after the worlds greatest Scientific minds declare that we are all "doomed" by self induced climate change another expert steps into the fore:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...CFF4AVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/02/11/warm11.xml

    Cosmic rays blamed for global warming
    By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph
    Last Updated: 1:08am GMT 11/02/2007



    Man-made climate change may be happening at a far slower rate than has been claimed, according to controversial new research.

    Scientists say that cosmic rays from outer space play a far greater role in changing the Earth's climate than global warming experts previously thought.

    In a book, to be published this week, they claim that fluctuations in the number of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere directly alter the amount of cloud covering the planet.


    High levels of cloud cover blankets the Earth and reflects radiated heat from the Sun back out into space, causing the planet to cool.

    Henrik Svensmark, a weather scientist at the Danish National Space Centre who led the team behind the research, believes that the planet is experiencing a natural period of low cloud cover due to fewer cosmic rays entering the atmosphere.

    This, he says, is responsible for much of the global warming we are experiencing.

    He claims carbon dioxide emissions due to human activity are having a smaller impact on climate change than scientists think. If he is correct, it could mean that mankind has more time to reduce our effect on the climate.

    The controversial theory comes one week after 2,500 scientists who make up the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change published their fourth report stating that human carbon dioxide emissions would cause temperature rises of up to 4.5 C by the end of the century.

    Mr Svensmark claims that the calculations used to make this prediction largely overlooked the effect of cosmic rays on cloud cover and the temperature rise due to human activity may be much smaller.

    He said: "It was long thought that clouds were caused by climate change, but now we see that climate change is driven by clouds.

    "This has not been taken into account in the models used to work out the effect carbon dioxide has had.

    advertisement"We may see CO2 is responsible for much less warming than we thought and if this is the case the predictions of warming due to human activity will need to be adjusted."

    Mr Svensmark last week published the first experimental evidence from five years' research on the influence that cosmic rays have on cloud production in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Journal A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. This week he will also publish a fuller account of his work in a book entitled The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change.

    A team of more than 60 scientists from around the world are preparing to conduct a large-scale experiment using a particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland, to replicate the effect of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere.

    They hope this will prove whether this deep space radiation is responsible for changing cloud cover. If so, it could force climate scientists to re-evaluate their ideas about how global warming occurs.

    Mr Svensmark's results show that the rays produce electrically charged particles when they hit the atmosphere. He said: "These particles attract water molecules from the air and cause them to clump together until they condense into clouds."

    Mr Svensmark claims that the number of cosmic rays hitting the Earth changes with the magnetic activity around the Sun. During high periods of activity, fewer cosmic rays hit the Earth and so there are less clouds formed, resulting in warming.

    Low activity causes more clouds and cools the Earth.

    He said: "Evidence from ice cores show this happening long into the past. We have the highest solar activity we have had in at least 1,000 years.

    "Humans are having an effect on climate change, but by not including the cosmic ray effect in models it means the results are inaccurate.The size of man's impact may be much smaller and so the man-made change is happening slower than predicted."

    Some climate change experts have dismissed the claims as "tenuous".

    Giles Harrison, a cloud specialist at Reading University said that he had carried out research on cosmic rays and their effect on clouds, but believed the impact on climate is much smaller than Mr Svensmark claims.

    Mr Harrison said: "I have been looking at cloud data going back 50 years over the UK and found there was a small relationship with cosmic rays. It looks like it creates some additional variability in a natural climate system but this is small."

    But there is a growing number of scientists who believe that the effect may be genuine.

    Among them is Prof Bob Bingham, a clouds expert from the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils in Rutherford.

    He said: "It is a relatively new idea, but there is some evidence there for this effect on clouds."


    It worries me that we are constantly being convinced by "experts" that their theory is the right one, I don't doubt the conviction of these scientists but I do doubt their motives. They often publish their work in a bid to compete for funds resulting in us, the general public, left in total confusion.
     
  2. The fact is that climate change is a reality; it's the speed of that change which is open to debate. Whilst the experts sit around arguing about how fast they seem to forget that time is being wasted. It may not happen in our lifetime or that of our kids but it is inevitable unless we begin to take the issue seriously and take steps to slow, then stop the pace of that change.

    Personally I think it's a no-brainer but then I am not a politician or a captain of industry who is worried about my voters or shareholders profits.

    SF
     
  3. That's a surprise! If the whole thing wasn't tenuous, all scientists would agree and they plainly don't!!

    Whilst it is inescapable that human activity affects the climate, the effects of myriad other things affect it more - volcanic activity, solar activity etc ad nauseam. The breathable atmosphere is probably better now than it has been since man discovered that burning coal could keep you warm, even if Saab can prove that in London their cars emit cleaner air post combustion than they take in!

    Climate change is an industry of its own that has made several millions for the biggest doom-mongers and how many of them don't use cars or swan around the world in jets to their next international conference? Hypocrites, the lot of 'em!
     
  4. If we have global warming, why is Antarctica getting colder?
     
  5. I agree climate change is inevitable but not that we are to blame or that we are clever enough to do anything about it. Oh, the hubris of mankind over Mother Nature! Anyone who doesnt reckon there will be an ice-age in another few thousand years is barking - that it will happen is a 'no-brainer'.
     
  6. I am no scientist so can't contribute from a real point of knowledge but there may still be some merit in this. A while ago I watched a programme (can't remember what it was called) in which it mentioned that straight after 911 all American flights were stopped. During this period the skys became a lot clearer and it was noted that the temperature increased. The point they made was that the cloud (including that caused by air pollution) was keeping the temperature down.

    This doesn't mean to say that we shouldn't try to do something about global warming but it needs to be done on a global scale. There's no real point in half the people in Britain turning their TVs off from standby and switching their mobile phone chargers off when not in use (even though it will cut a few quid off the bill), when emerging industrial nations such as India and China as well as other developing 3rd world countries are pumping out pollution at a great rate of knots.
     
  7. The worlds, reportedly, greatest emitter of carbon dioxide isn't an emerging Nation. It's already emerged as the World's greatest superpower.

    All this turning televisions, computers, radios etc on and off is good PR and makes people feel they are contributing to a better tomorrow. Aren't we shortening the lives of our kit, though, by the repeated thermal shock to the electrics? How often do ships have equipment failures when the kit is running continuously? Also, I would argue that the quiescent heat from my on standby television is making my central heating trip off that bit sooner.

    Swings and roundabouts.
     
  8. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I had the "good fortune" to do some mathematical work on climate change a few years ago, believe me the view expressed in both the media and popular science is at best simplistic at worst complete crap, unfortunately the Government have chosen to listen to the simple view, I wonder why?

    Consider the following image, this is a graphical interpretation of 10 reliable temperature records over the past 2000 years.
    [​IMG]

    Now put yourself at any point in time on any of the records, try a point in time just before a peak! Now tell me that you could have predicted the future climate, you can't. The reason you can't is that no-one can, we can put all the data in a nice computer program written by someone else who can't predict the future and hope that the past will tell us what may happen. We use an equation called the logistics equation to do this then we tweak it, I am serious we tweak it, we all sit around in a room and discuss what we think may happen, what may effect the weather and what we as "experts" think is and is not important. to a mathematician this is not real science!

    I am not saying climate change isn't happening, I know it is but the truth is it really is not as predictable as we are led to believe, the climate is truly chaotic. Whilst climate scientist, ecologists and environmental experts are receiving Millions of pounds in grants Chaos Mathematicians are getting very little- basically what they can scrounge from the climatologists. The hype surrounding this is a multi-billion pound industry!!!

    And I bet you all thought GWB was just being obstructive by refuting climate change until recently! The sad truth is he was just better informed than uncle Tony and less swayed by the alarmists.

    You can probably tell I get quite emotional about this subject.
     
  9. Just a quick point of interest for you all. An ice age is defined as a period of time in which the earth's poles are covered in ice. Taking this in mind, does the reducing ice caps signify golbal warming leading to an ice age? Or an ice age ending as geological trends could possibly indicate.

    Jock
     
  10. Of course this is all academic.IF the polar caps melt AND they do so at an uneven rate then the pole to pole axis will shift which will result i untold major climactic changes that so far are quite unpredictable.
     
  11. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Why? Too many movies Andy!
     
  12. Hang on did'nt Jimmy G say that after 9/11 planes stopped, clouds went away anf the temperature rose! So to ge the temperature down shouldn't we be flying bloody great panes all over the place and causing more pollution not less?
     
  13. I think you have to look at the bigger picture. Loko at the positives. Rotherham will be at the seaside and donny will be underwater. Cock on!
     
  14. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

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