People are discussing the instructions made by CERN Head Rolf-Dieter Heuer not to interpret the results of the CLOUD experiment on cloud formation, read here.
What follows is a translation of the relevant text in the article that appeared in DIE WELT here.
Welt Online: Also the results of the so-called Cloud experiment are being awaited with much excitement, where cloud formation is being researched. These results could indeed be important for understanding global climate change?
Heuer: Indeed this is about better understanding cloud formation. In nature there are many parameters that influence this, among them temperature, air humidity, aerosols and cosmic rays. The Cloud experiment examines the effects of cosmic rays on cloud formation. The rays for studying this come from the accelerator. And inside the experimentation chamber it can be examined under controlled conditions how the formation of droplets depends on radiation and floating particles. The results will be published soon. I’ve requested my colleagues to clearly present the results, but not to interpret them. That would mean immediately entering the highly political arena of climate change discussion. You have to be clear that concerning cosmic rays it is only one parameter of many.”
Personally I agree with Dr. Heuer. CERN is not a climate research institute, and so the interpretation of results (with regards to impact on climate) ought to be left to experts of atmospheric and climate sciences. Last I heard is that CERN is a research institute for particle physics, and not climate. And we’ve all seen what happens when other kinds of physicists start acting like climate experts and start modelling future climates.
If they do not wish to interpret the results, other scientists from the appropriate fields certainly will. And if they don’t, the bloggers will.
Heuer also admits that climate science is highly politicized, and so one can’t blame them for not entering this poisoned arena. After all, telling the truth would mean a cut-off in funding. Finally it doesn’t hurt to remind some us that a vast number of parameters are involved in cloud formation and climate change, and that it doesn’t all get boiled down to a single dominant factor (like CO2).
Thanks for reminding us of that, CERN.