CERN’s Jasper Kirkby On The Newest Unpublished Results Of CLOUD: “The Results Are Very Interesting”

NASA Image_of_Earth's_Interrelated_Systems_and_Climate_-_GPN-2002-000121The Latest On The CLOUD Experiment at CERN
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt

On May 10, 2013, at the online Austrian ORF, there was a rare interview with the CLOUD Experiment director of the European European Organization for Nuclear Research, Jasper Kirkby. Within the scope of the CLOUD project, it is being investigated to what extent solar activity has on cloud formation via the mechanism of cosmic radiation and the impact this could have on the Earth’s climate (see Chapter 6 of our book “Die kalte Sonne“). Here’s an excerpt of the worthwhile interview:

ORF: What is the relationship between solar activity and cosmic radiation?

Kirkby: Cosmic radiation consists of high energy, charged particles. When they reach our solar system, they are deflected away by the magnetic field of the sun. Foremost by the magnetic field of the solar plasma. When the sun is active, less cosmic radiation reaches the Earth. The relationship to the solar cycle: When there are many sunspots, the Earth receives 10 – 30% less cosmic radiation.

Is this relationship sure?

Yes, it is solidly confirmed. We also know that cosmic radiation ionizes every cubic centimeter of the Earth’s atmosphere. Unsure so far is whether or not this also could have a climatic impact. Clouds are extremely important for the Earth’s climate. If I could magically eliminate all clouds from the atmosphere, then 30 watts of additional heat energy would reach every square meter of the Earth.

To put this number into context: The warming of the atmosphere through the impacts of man is currently pegged at 1.5 watts per square meter. Small variations in cloud cover could have large impacts.

What do your experiments show?

At this point in time we cannot say if cosmic radiation impacts the climate. So far up to now we have investigated the production of condensation nuclei for cloud droplets – particularly those that are formed from gas, i.e. gas-to-particle-conversion”. They represent about half of the condensation nuclei in the atmosphere. The remaining nuclei come from soot and dust.

What gases are involved in this process?

We have looked at sulfuric acid and ammonia. The results of the first trials: Cosmic radiation enhances the formation of condensation nuclei from gases by a factor of 10. But that alone is too little to have a significant impact on cloud formation. According to our latest experiments, there has to be another gas or vapor involved that enhances this process. We suspect organic substances.

Which ones?

The results are currently being reviewed by a journal. Unfortunately I can’t tell you more. Only this much: The results are very interesting. Over the course of the year there are going to be some publications on the subject.

Let’s assume that you are able to show that cosmic radiation indeed does contribute a lot to cloud formation. What would that mean?

I think that the experiments are important in two ways. Firstly, they would show that there is a natural source to climate change. And the other point is that it would change our understanding of anthropogenic climate change. We know quite a bit about greenhouse gases. What we know little about are aerosols. These are particles that come from industry floating in the atmosphere. They surely have a cooling effect. However, we have no idea just how great this effect is. It may be small, but it may be very big. Maybe it is even big enough to offset the additional CO2 in the atmosphere.. We don’t know.

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Image source: NASA, public domain image.


13 responses to “CERN’s Jasper Kirkby On The Newest Unpublished Results Of CLOUD: “The Results Are Very Interesting””

  1. Edward.

    Interesting stuff, inference being: it’s all about NATURAL variability and solar influence, and the best answer is – “we just don’t know”.

    Consensus – gentlemen?

    “When the sun is active, less cosmic radiation reaches the Earth. The relationship to the solar cycle: When there are many sunspots, the Earth receives 10 – 30% less cosmic radiation.”

    Forget about Man Made CO2=Global Warming [our puny input – it never was a factor] but the above paragraph is a ‘chilling’ warning.

    As the sun goes quiescent, dig out your warm clothes AGAIN this winter and for the foreseeable future [and how long is a piece of string?] – because NH Temp’s are set to ‘go south’.

    Are you listening in Brussels?

    1. alex

      >>Are you listening in Brussels?<<

      The Bureaucrats in Brussels are only interested in banning olive oil jugs from restaurants.

      How many freezing winters in a row make a LIA?

  2. mwhite

    “According to our latest experiments, there has to be another gas or vapor involved that enhances this process. We suspect organic substances.”

    Methane perhaps? That would be ironic

    1. DirkH

      Algae produce DMS, Dimethyl sulfide when they feel the water is getting too warm – this is something that Lovelock found out and it lead him to his original Gaia theory, not as a mysthical godhead but as a self stabilizing feedback loop characterized by the involvement of life forms – ; trees produce VOC’s; maybe with the same purpose.

      It is ironic that Lovelock has on the one hand found evidence for self stabilization in nature, yet he was at the same time through all the decades heavily involved with the CO2 alarmists and profited big time by selling hyper alarmist books (“the last humans will be a few breeding pairs in the arctis”).

      A good salesman.

      1. mwhite

        “One of country’s leading environmentalists has described wind turbines as “monuments of a failed civilisation”.”

        He’s all in favour of fracking by the way

        1. DirkH

          Yeah that might be so, and Lovelock might actually be an intelligent fellow. My problem with him his that he plays the catastrophist alarmist when he needs to sell books. So when is he acting and when is he honest. I tend to register such people but wouldn’t ever trust them.

  3. Inge

    Remember: The southern hemisphere has less aerosols but, as far as I know, the same climate reactions!

    1. DirkH

      If the missing substance is the DMS produced by algae, the SH has an abundance of that.

  4. Juergen Uhlemann

    I’m quite sure that the water vapor is forming more clouds through more cosmic rays.
    Clouds have a cooling factor, as more sun light is reflected back and the resulting rain will cool the ground and air below the clouds, too.

    I’ve seen quite a lot of cloud cover last year over Ireland. Last year was quite wet and cold, even if the annual average it hides. But that’s average and you can hide the Titanic for example in a lake that is in average only 10 cm deep.

    The potato harvest last year and other factors show the impact better.
    The winter was quite cold and long into the spring that the farmers had not enough hay and it had to import it. Again, the cloud cover was noticeable.

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  7. Gail Combs

    “….He’s all in favour of fracking by the way….”
    Of course he is that was the whole point of CAGW!

    Enron And BP Invented The Global Warming Industry
    Enron, joined by BP, invented the global warming industry. I know because I was in the room. This was during my storied three-week or so stint as Director of Federal Government Relations for Enron in the spring of 1997, back when Enron was everyone’s darling in Washington. It proved to be an eye-opening experience that didn’t last much beyond my expressing concern about this agenda of using the state to rob Peter, paying Paul, drawing Paul’s enthusiastic support.

    In fact, this case was not entirely uncommon in that the entire enterprise was Paul’s idea to begin with. Which left me as the guy on the street corner muttering about this evil company cooking up money-making charades, to nothing but rolled eyes until the, ah, unpleasantness and the opportunity it afforded to take a few gratuitous swings at George W. Bush. Buy me a beer and I will regale you with tales of reporters from Newsweek and the Washington Post desperately seeking assistance to spin, respectively, Enron as having urged Bush away from the Kyoto agenda as opposed to having crafted it, and Enron’s global warming activism as its one redeeming feature.

    The basic truth is that Enron, joined by other “rent-seeking” industries — making one’s fortune from policy favors from buddies in government, the cultivation of whom was a key business strategy — cobbled their business plan around “global warming.” Enron bought, on the cheap of course, the world’s largest windmill company (now GE Wind) and the world’s second-largest solar panel interest (now BP) to join Enron’s natural gas pipeline network, which was the second largest in the world. The former two can only make money under a system of massive mandates and subsidies (and taxes to pay for them); the latter would prosper spectacularly if the war on coal… succeeded.

    Enron then engaged green groups to scare people toward accepting those policies. That is what is known as a Baptist and bootlegger coalition. I sat in on such meetings. Disgraceful….
    Chris Horner

    As Obama Promised: Energy Prices to Soon Skyrocket

    Obama’s war on coal hits your electric bill
    The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt. In the mid-Atlantic area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is $167 per megawatt. For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt…. These are not computer models or projections or estimates. These are the actual prices that electric distributors have agreed to pay for new capacity. The costs will be passed on to consumers at the retail level.

    Obama Pushes Natural-Gas Fracking to Create 600,000 U.S. Jobs

    The whole CAGW – War on Coal is what is know as a Broken Window Fallacy It is a method for transferring wealth from the poor to the rich with no real benefit to society.

    Too bad the rank and file socialists/environmentalists can’t see they have been used to benefit the 1% they are always screaming about.

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