The world’s climate scientists must now revise their computer models, and for reasons that cannot make global warming alarmists happy. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) now says that the sun has far more to do with the globe’s warmth than they suspected.
The CERN CLOUD experiment
LOGO of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research
CERN announced yesterday the results of its latest experiment, called CLOUD (for “Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets”). As The Register (London) reported, CERN found that cosmic rays actually cause clouds to form, at least in the high reaches of the troposphere. (See Kirkby et al., “Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric aerosol nucleation”, Nature, 476: 429–433, 25 August 2011, DOI 10.1038/nature10343.)
The two most important things that CERN has found are:
- Cosmic rays can make clouds form up to ten times faster, strictly by acting on sulfuric acid and ammonia vapor. This works most strongly at altitudes of five miles and higher, where the air is cool.
- Within a mile of the ground, something more must be happening. Sulfuric acid and water alone cannot account for all the cloud formation at this level.
On the second basis alone, the lead investigator, Jasper Kirkby, said that climate scientists would have to revise their models. At issue: these models assume that water, sulfuric acid, and ammonia vapors are the only vapors that form clouds. This is not correct. Other vapors take part—and whether they come from the wild or from human activity, even CERN does not know yet. (See this video interview with Dr. Kirkby.)
What this means for global warming
These findings mean that everything that everyone ever thought about global warming needs a second look. The cosmic-ray finding especially says that the sun has far more influence on the earth’s temperature than any activity of man. The Register knows this, and so does the head of CERN:
CERN’s director-general Rolf-Dieter Heuer warned his scientists “to present the results clearly but not interpret them”. Readers can judge whether CLOUD’s lead physicist Jasper Kirkby has followed his boss’s warning.
Paul Joseph Watson at Infowars.com put it more bluntly:
In a shocking illustration of how the man-made climate change establishment has seized control of the scientific process, physicists at the CERN lab in Geneva were gagged from drawing conclusions about data that seeks to replicate studies which prove the sun is the main driver of climate change, after their boss told them that such heresy was politically incorrect.
This refers to an earlier report about the CLOUD findings from The Register. In it, Andrew Orlowski makes a serious charge: that CERN deliberately sought to suppress a finding unfriendly to the consensus of progressive politicians and the United Nations. That consensus is: that governments need to tax carbon dioxide, cap it, trade it, and do everything possible to limit it. And if they don’t, global warming will go on without stopping, until the earth turns into a desert.
Is global warming real or unreal?
That question is more than academic. The man now holding office as President, Barack H. Obama, campaigned on that issue. The question is more than political, too: it has provoked at least one major lawsuit. (Connecticut et al. v. American Electric Power et al.)
At least one frequenter of the comment space of this site suggests that 98 percent of all climate scientists believe that:
- Global warming is happening,
- Man is to blame for it,
- Man can stop it, if he adopts a “sustainable lifestyle.”
If these three points look familiar to frequent readers, they should. They look like the elements of standing in a court of law:
- Injury in fact,
- A connection between the injury and something that someone did,
- A way that a court can relieve the injury.
The CERN findings go directly, not only to whether global warming is happening, but also to whether man is to blame. This is the second part of standing: a connection between an injury in fact (in this case, global warming) and the conduct of the defendant (in this case, man’s industrial activity). Consider the implications: a scientist finds something to suggest that man is not to blame. And his boss doesn’t want him to talk. But of course, now that Nature has published the article, Kirkby must talk. The press expects him to talk.
The larger question
Whether CERN’s higher-ups tried to cover up this finding is less important than the finding itself. Usually the cover-up is worse than the embarrassment that one tries to avoid by covering up. This time the first embarrassment is far greater, greater even than the Climate-gate scandal of two years ago. That earlier scandal showed that the world’s climate scientists loved their global warming theory too much to let dissent get in the way. We see now that those scientists don’t have the facts they thought they had. Worse, they love their theory too much even to let facts get in the way.