Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

11 May 2009

Computer Model Fails to See Cosmic Ray Climate Effect

Jeffrey Pierce and Peter Adams of Carnegie Mellon University published a paper on a computer model they constructed which failed to show a cosmic ray effect strong enough to effectively produce the low altitude clouds required by the 1997 theory of physicists Henrik Svensmark and Eigel Friis-Christensen of the Technical University of Denmark as a cloud nucleation response caused by cosmic ray flux. Svensmark and Friis-Christensen showed data offering an excellent correlation of this low cloud cover and the cosmic ray flux. This has come under scrutiny because it is a contender as an alternative theory to man-made CO2 in the atmosphere causing global warming. A review in Science called "Study Challenges Cosmic Ray - Climate Link" of the Pierce and Adams paper is being used to cast doubts on the cosmic ray effect on cloud cover and hence on the climate. Doug Hoffman at puts the computer model paper and the review in Science in context here.

A paper by Vieira and da Silva in 2006 showed that there was a similar high correlation of southern hemisphere cosmic ray flux with cloud cover.

Hoffman's comments on the SKY Experiment and the upcoming CLOUD Project to test and measure the effect of cosmic rays on cloud formation using aerosol and cloud chambers are most interesting. These experiments are real attempts by physicists in CERN projects to actually study the relation of cosmic rays to cloud nucleation effects. The SKY Experiment has produced preliminary verification of the effect and the bigger CLOUD Project is now underway with widespread backing and involvement. Meanwhile, Pierce and Adams have fed numbers into a computer program where the physics is not yet known and concluded that there is no relation between low altitude clouds and cosmic rays! When the physics is understood, it will make sense to construct and use computer models to try to see what the effects on climate will be. But, how can you do this and expect meaningful results before the physics is known? Apparently in the church of radical environmentalism this can be done.

This failure to understand that getting the physics right is essential to getting meaningful computer modeling results, should cause the rational reader to hold these climate models in low esteem.

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