CERN’s CLOUD experiment shines new light on climate change

CERN Press Release:

Geneva, 6 October 2013. In a paper published today in the journal Nature, the CLOUD experiment at CERN1 reports a major advance towards solving a long-standing enigma in climate science: how do aerosols – tiny solid or liquid particles suspended in the air – form in the atmosphere, and which gases are responsible? This is a key question in understanding the climate, since aerosols cause a cooling effect by reflecting sunlight and by seeding cloud droplets.

The CLOUD researchers made two key discoveries. Firstly, they found that minute concentrations of amine vapours combine with sulphuric acid to form aerosol particles at rates similar to those observed in the atmosphere. Then, using a pion beam from the CERN Proton Synchrotron, they found that ionising radiation such as the cosmic radiation that bombards the atmosphere from space has negligible influence on the formation rates of these particular aerosols.

“Thanks to CERN’s expertise in materials, gas systems and ultra-high vacuum technologies,” said CLOUD spokesperson Jasper Kirkby, “we were able to build a chamber with unprecedented cleanliness, allowing us to simulate the atmosphere and introduce minute amounts of various atmospheric vapours under carefully controlled conditions – in this case amines and sulphuric acid.”

Amines are atmospheric vapours closely related to ammonia, and are emitted both from human activities such as animal husbandry, and from natural sources. Amines are responsible for odours emanating from the decomposition of organic matter that contains proteins. For example, the smell of rotten fish is due to trimethylamine. The CLOUD experiment’s unique ultra-clean chamber allowed the collaboration to demonstrate that the extremely low concentrations of amines typically found in the atmosphere – a few parts per trillion by volume – are sufficient to combine with sulphuric acid to form highly stable aerosol particles at high rates.

The measured sensitivity of aerosol formation to amines came as a surprise, and points to a potentially significant climate cooling mechanism. Moreover, since amine scrubbing is likely to become an important technology for capturing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuelled power plants, this effect is likely to rise in future.

The CLOUD result adds another significant measurement in understanding the climate. But it does not rule out a role for cosmic radiation, nor does it offer a quick fix for global warming.

“This is the first time that atmospheric particle formation has been reproduced with complete knowledge of the participating molecules”, said Kirkby. “However our measurements leave open the possibility that the formation of aerosols in the atmosphere may also proceed with other vapours, for which the effect of cosmic rays may be different. This is an important step forward, but we still have a long way to go before we fully understand the processes of aerosol formation and their effects on clouds and climate.”

One step forward in the process of understanding cloud formation and the impact of cosmic rays. Stay Tuned. More to Come!!!


What Do Repeating Solar Cycles Tell Us?

Russ Steele

In 2006 I wrote about the Return of the Dalton Minimum in this paper:  dalton_minimum

The main focus of the paper was on solar cycles that are about 200 +/- 10 year long. Below is a chart that compare the solar activity during the Maunder Minimum and Dalton Minimum and the current chain of cycles with a projection of future temperatures. We are continuing down the slope of cooling according to satellite temperatures shown HERE.

Source for the data is listed in the graphic. More in the Maunder Minimum in a future post.

Hiding The Inconvenient Satellite Sea Levels | Where is the water going?

Russ Steele

Steven Goddard has a very interesting post at Real Science on the lack of sea level rise since 2002.  Is this decline a pending ice age indicator?

The most sophisticated sea level satellite is Envisat. It doesn’t show any sea level rise since it was launched in 2002, so our friends in the sea level community tried to hide it by painting it almost invisible yellow and not normalising the data properly.

Steve has an animation that shows the corrections and shows how completely bogus the claimed sea level rise trend is.

via Hiding The Inconvenient Satellite | Real Science.

My question is where is the water going?  It is no longer filling the ocean basins.  Where is the ice building up?  Could the continuing lowering of sea levels be an ice age indicator?

Is Climate Change Bringing an Early Winter?

Russ Steele

I was watching Channel 13 weather last night and the weatherman said that the emerging west coast weather pattern was more like November, rather than October. This morning an interesting graphic showed up in my e-mail box.  Every month in 2011 so far has been colder than 2010.

H/T to Real Science for this graphic.

Here is larger view of climate change.

As you can see the longer term trend is cooler, and could be bring us an early winter.

Can we really trust government scientists to deal with a cooling world?

Russ Steele

A long string of current events are beginning raise questions about the ability of government scientist to deal effectively with the facts. In the past I have questioned the ability of CARB and EPA scientist to present global warming facts truthfully, but now I will have to add the Interior Department.  This is another agency that is twisted the facts to meet their agendas. Now Congressman Tom McClintock and U. S. District Court Judge Oliver Wagner are questing the ability of the Interior Department to deal with the facts.

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CIA Says Global-Warming Intelligence Is ‘Classified’

Russ Steele

Why are the results of a CIA’s Global-Warming study secret? Wired has this story:

Two years ago, the Central Intelligence Agency announced it was creating a center to analyze the geopolitical ramifications of “phenomena such as desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts and heightened competition for natural resources.”

But whatever work the Center on Climate Change and National Security has done remains secret.

In response to National Security Archive scholar Jeffrey Richelson’s Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA said all of its work is “classified.”

“We completed a thorough search for records responsive to your request and located material that we determined is currently and properly classified and must be denied in its entirety,”

What could be so classified, that is has to be a secert. Could it be the report says that there is no global warming, and that would be counter to the current policy of the Obama administration. I wonder if this is while it is still classified?

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