Thursday, September 1, 2011

Climate Science - Do The Right-Wing Reporters At Fox Have a Reading Comprehension Problem

Climate Science - Do The Right-Wing Reporters At Fox Have a Reading Comprehension Problem

Fox and other conservative media claim that CERN's study of cosmic rays "concluded that it's the sun, not human activity," causing global warming. In fact, at this point the research "actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate," according to the lead author, and it certainly doesn't refute human-induced global warming.

Findings Say "Nothing" About Effect Of Cosmic Rays On Climate

CERN Studied Effects Of Cosmic Rays On Aerosols, Which Contribute To Clouds. From the press release about the study by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research:

    In a paper published in the journal Nature today, the CLOUD experiment at CERN has reported its first results. The CLOUD experiment has been designed to study the effect of cosmic rays on the formation of atmospheric aerosols - tiny liquid or solid particles suspended in the atmosphere - under controlled laboratory conditions. Atmospheric aerosols are thought to be responsible for a large fraction of the seeds that form cloud droplets. Understanding the process of aerosol formation is therefore important for understanding the climate.

    The CLOUD results show that trace vapours assumed until now to account for aerosol formation in the lower atmosphere can explain only a tiny fraction of the observed atmospheric aerosol production. The results also show that ionisation from cosmic rays significantly enhances aerosol formation. Precise measurements such as these are important in achieving a quantitative understanding of cloud formation, and will contribute to a better assessment of the effects of clouds in climate models. [CERN, 8/25/11]

Lead Author: Paper "Says Nothing About" Effect Of Cosmic Rays On "Clouds And Climate." Nature reported:

    For a century, scientists have known that charged particles from space constantly bombard Earth. Known as cosmic rays, the particles are mostly protons blasted out of supernovae. As the protons crash through the planet's atmosphere, they can ionize volatile compounds, causing them to condense into airborne droplets, or aerosols. Clouds might then build up around the droplets.

    The number of cosmic rays that reach Earth depends on the Sun. When the Sun is emitting lots of radiation, its magnetic field shields the planet from cosmic rays. During periods of low solar activity, more cosmic rays reach Earth.

    Scientists agree on these basic facts, but there is far less agreement on whether cosmic rays can have a large role in cloud formation and climate change. Since the late 1990s, some have suggested that when high solar activity lowers levels of cosmic rays, that in turn reduces cloud cover and warms the planet. Others say that there is no statistical evidence for such an effect.


    Early results seem to indicate that cosmic rays do cause a change. The high-energy protons seemed to enhance the production of nanometre-sized particles from the gaseous atmosphere by more than a factor of ten. But, [Physicist Jasper] Kirkby adds, those particles are far too small to serve as seeds for clouds. "At the moment, it actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate, but it's a very important first step," he says. [Nature, 8/24/11, emphasis added]

Kirkby: The Study Adds A Piece To The Big Picture, "But In No Way Disproves The Other Pieces." Live Science reported:

    The research doesn't call into question the basic science of greenhouse gas warming, Kirkby emphasized, but rather refines one facet of the research. Climate models currently predict an average global temperature increase of 3 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

    The data generated by the CLOUD experiment (CLOUD stands for "Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets") will feed into global models of aerosol formation, Kirkby said, which in turn will carry into global climate models.

    "It's part of the jigsaw puzzle, and you could say it adds to the understanding of the big picture," he said. "But it in no way disproves the other pieces." [Live Science, 8/24/11]

Rupert Murdoch's 24/7 America hating Fox News could at least try and sound like they know what they're talking about. No wait, they don't care if they spew a bunch of junk science because their viewers are science illiterates who swallows every piece of right-wing propaganda that Rupert Murdoch's fascist-lite network puts out.