CERN experiment confirms cosmic ray action

Climate Change – News and Comments

The global warmists’ dam breaks

A graph they'd prefer you not to notice. Tucked away near the end of online supplementary material, and omitted from the printed CLOUD paper in Nature, it clearly shows how cosmic rays promote the formation of clusters of molecules (“particles”) that in the real atmosphere can grow and seed clouds. In an early-morning experimental run at CERN, starting at 03.45, ultraviolet light began making sulphuric acid molecules in the chamber, while a strong electric field cleansed the air of ions. It also tended to remove molecular clusters made in the neutral environment (n) but some of these accumulated at a low rate. As soon as the electric field was switched off at 04.33, natural cosmic rays (gcr) raining down through the roof of the experimental hall in Geneva helped to build clusters at a higher rate. How do we know they were contributing? Because when, at 04.58, CLOUD simulated stronger cosmic rays with a beam of charged pion particles (ch) from the accelerator, the rate of cluster production became faster still. The various colours are for clusters of different diameters (in nanometres) as recorded by various instruments. The largest (black) took longer to grow than the smallest (blue). This is Fig. S2c from supplementary online material for J. Kirkby et al., Nature, 476, 429-433, © Nature 2011

Long-anticipated results of the CLOUD experiment at CERN in Geneva appear in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Nature (25 August). The Director General of CERN stirred controversy last month, by saying that the CLOUD team’s report should be politically correct about climate change (see my 17 July post below). The implication was that they should on no account endorse the Danish heresy – Henrik Svensmark’s hypothesis that most of the global warming of the 20th Century can be explained by the reduction in cosmic rays due to livelier solar activity, resulting in less low cloud cover and warmer surface temperatures.

Willy-nilly the results speak for themselves, and it’s no wonder the Director General was fretful.

Jasper Kirkby

Jasper Kirkby of CERN and his 62 co-authors, from 17 institutes in Europe and the USA, announce big effects of pions from an accelerator, which simulate the cosmic rays and ionize the air in the experimental chamber. The pions strongly promote the formation of clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules – aerosols of the kind that may grow into cloud condensation nuclei on which cloud droplets form. What’s more, there’s a very important clarification of the chemistry involved.

A breach of etiquette

My interest in CLOUD goes back nearly 14 years, to a lecture I gave at CERN about Svensmark’s discovery of the link between cosmic rays and cloudiness. It piqued Kirkby’s curiosity, and both Svensmark and I were among those who helped him to prepare his proposal for CLOUD.

By an unpleasant irony, the only Svensmark contribution acknowledged in the Nature report is the 1997 paper (Svensmark and Friis-Christensen) on which I based my CERN lecture. There’s no mention of the successful experiments in ion chemistry and molecular cluster formation by the Danish team in Copenhagen, Boulby and latterly in Aarhus where they beat CLOUD to the first results obtained using a particle beam (instead of gamma rays and natural cosmic rays) to ionize the air in the experimental chamber – see

What will historians of science make of this breach of scientific etiquette? That Kirkby was cross because Svensmark, losing patience with the long delay in getting approval and funding for CLOUD, took matters into his own hands? Or because Svensmark’s candour about cosmic rays casting doubt on catastrophic man-made global warming frightened the national funding agencies? Or was Kirkby simply doing his best (despite the results) to obey his Director General by slighting all things Danish?

Personal rivalries aside, the important question is what the new CLOUD paper means for the Svensmark hypothesis. Pick your way through the cautious prose and you’ll find this:

Ion-induced nucleation [cosmic ray action] will manifest itself as a steady production of new particles [molecular clusters] that is difficult to isolate in atmospheric observations because of other sources of variability but is nevertheless taking place and could be quite large when averaged globally over the troposphere [the lower atmosphere].”

It’s so transparently favourable to what the Danes have said all along that I’m surprised the warmists’ house magazine Nature is able to publish it, even omitting the telltale graph shown at the start of this post. Added to the already favourable Danish experimental findings, the more detailed CERN result is excellent. Thanks a million, Jasper.

Enlightening chemistry

And in friendlier times we’d be sharing champagne for a fine discovery with CLOUD, that traces of ammonia can increase the production of the sulphuric clusters a thousandfold. It’s highlighted in the report’s title: “Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric aerosol nucleation” and it was made possible by the more elaborate chemical analysis in the big-team set-up in Geneva. In essence, the ammonia helps to stabilize the molecular clusters.

Although not saying it openly, the CLOUD team implies a put-down for the Danes with this result, repeatedly declaring that without ammonia there’d be little cluster production at low altitudes. But although the Aarhus experimenters did indeed assume the simpler reaction (H2SO4 + H2O), differing results in successive experimental runs made them suspect that varying amounts of trace impurities were present in the air cylinders used to fill their chamber. Now it looks as if a key impurity may have been ammonia. But some members of the CLOUD consortium also favoured (H2SO4 + H2O) and early runs in Geneva used no intentional ammonia. So they’ve little reason to scoff.

In any case, whether the basic chemistry is (H2SO4 + H2O) or (H2SO4 + H2O + NH3) is an academic rather than a practical point. There are always traces of ammonia in the real air, and according to the CLOUD report you need only one molecule in 30 billion. If that helps to oil Svensmark’s climatic motor, it’s good to know, but it calls for no apologies and alters the climatic implications not a jot.

The experiment's logo. The acronym “Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets” always implied strong interest in Svensmark's hypothesis. And the roles of the Galaxy and the Sun are acknowledged.

Technically, CLOUD is a welcome advance on the Danish experiments. Not only is the chemistry wider ranging but molecular clusters as small as 1.7 nanometres in diameter are detectable, compared with 4 nm in Denmark. And the set-up enables the scientists to study the ion chemistry at lower temperatures, corresponding to increasing altitudes in the atmosphere. Cluster production soars as the temperature goes down, until “almost every negative ion gives rise to a new particle” [i.e. molecular cluster]. The lowest temperature reported in the paper is -25 oC. That corresponds to an altitude of 6000 metres, so unless you wish to visualize a rain of cloud-seeding aerosols from on high, it’s not very relevant to Svensmark’s interest in the lowest 3000 metres.

How the warmists built their dam

Shifting from my insider’s perspective on the CLOUD experiment, to see it on the broader canvas of the politicized climate science of the early 21st Century, the chief reaction becomes a weary sigh of relief. Although they never said so, the High Priests of the Inconvenient Truth – in such temples as NASA-GISS, Penn State and the University of East Anglia – always knew that Svensmark’s cosmic ray hypothesis was the principal threat to their sketchy and poorly modelled notions of self-amplifying action of greenhouse gases.

In telling how the obviously large influences of the Sun in previous centuries and millennia could be explained, and in applying the same mechanism to the 20th warming, Svensmark put the alarmist predictions at risk – and with them the billions of dollars flowing from anxious governments into the global warming enterprise.

For the dam that was meant to ward off a growing stream of discoveries coming from the spring in Copenhagen, the foundation was laid on the day after the Danes first announced the link between cosmic rays and clouds at a space conference in Birmingham, England, in 1996. “Scientifically extremely naïve and irresponsible,” Bert Bolin declared, as Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

As several journalists misbehaved by reporting the story from Birmingham, the top priority was to tame the media. The first courses of masonry ensured that anything that Svensmark and his colleagues might say would be ignored or, failing that, be promptly rubbished by a warmist scientist. Posh papers like The Times of London and the New York Times, and posh TV channels like the BBC’s, readily fell into line. Enthusiastically warmist magazines like New Scientist and Scientific American needed no coaching.

Similarly the journals Nature and Science, which in my youth prided themselves on reports that challenged prevailing paradigms, gladly provided cement for higher masonry, to hold the wicked hypothesis in check at the scientific level. Starve Svensmark of funding. Reject his scientific papers but give free rein to anyone who criticizes him. Trivialize the findings in the Holy Writ of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. None of this is paranoia on my part, but a matter of close personal observation since 1996.

It’s the Sun, stupid!” The story isn’t really about a bunch of naughty Danish physicists. They are just spokesmen for the most luminous agent of climate change. As the Sun was what the warmists really wanted to tame with their dam, they couldn’t do it. And coming to the Danes’ aid, by briefly blasting away many cosmic rays with great puffs of gas, the Sun enabled the team to trace in detail the consequent reduction in cloud seeding and liquid water in clouds. See my post By the way, that research also disposes of a morsel of doubt in the new CLOUD paper, about whether the small specks made by cosmic rays really grow sufficiently to seed cloud droplets.

As knowledge accumulated behind their dam and threatened to overtop it, the warmists had one last course to lay. Paradoxically it was CLOUD. Long delays with this experiment to explore the microchemical mechanism of the Svensmark effect became the chief excuse for deferring any re-evaluation of the Sun’s role in climate change. When the microchemical mechanism was revealed prematurely by the SKY experiment in Copenhagen and published in 2006, the warmists said, “No particle accelerator? That won’t do! Wait for CLOUD.” When the experiment in Aarhus confirmed the mechanism using a particle accelerator they said, “Oh that’s just the Danes again! Wait for CLOUD.”

Well they’ve waited and their dam has failed them.

Hall of Shame

Retracing those 14 years, what if physics had functioned as it is supposed to do? What if CLOUD, quickly approved and funded, had verified the Svensmark effect with all the authority of CERN, in the early 2000s. What if the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had done a responsible job, acknowledging the role of the Sun and curtailing the prophecies of catastrophic warming?

For a start there would have no surprise about the “travesty” that global warming has stopped since the mid-1990s, with the Sun becoming sulky. Vast sums might have been saved on misdirected research and technology, and on climate change fests and wheezes of every kind. The world’s poor and their fragile living environment could have had far more useful help than precautions against warming.

And there would have been less time for so many eminent folk from science, politics, industry, finance, the media and the arts to be taken in by man-made climate catastrophe. (In London, for example, from the Royal Society to the National Theatre.) Sadly for them, in the past ten years they’ve crowded with their warmist badges into a Hall of Shame, like bankers before the crash.


J. Kirkby et al., Nature, 476, 429-433, 2011. The authors list and abstract are available at


H. Svensmark & E. Friis-Christensen, E., J. Atmos. Sol. Terr. Phys., 59, 1225–1232, 1997

Relevant Danish experimental reports since 2006, not cited in the new CLOUD paper

Henrik Svensmark, Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen, Nigel Marsh, Martin Enghoff and Ulrik Uggerhøj, ‘Experimental Evidence for the Role of Ions in Particle Nucleation under Atmospheric Conditions’, Proceedings of the Royal Society A, Vol. 463, pp. 385–96, 2007 (online release 2006). This was the SKY experiment in a basement in Copenhagen.

Martin Andreas Bødker Enghoff; Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen; Torsten Bondo, Matthew S. Johnson, Sean Paling and Henrik Svensmark, ‘Evidence for the Role of Ions in Aerosol Nucleation’, Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Vol: 112, pp. 10305-10309, 2008. Experiment in the Boulby deep mine in England.

M.B. Enghoff, J. O. Pepke Pedersen, U. I. Uggerhøj, S. M. Paling, and H. Svensmark, “Aerosol nucleation induced by a high energy particle beam,” Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L09805, 2011. Experiment with an accelerator in Aarhus.

110 Responses to CERN experiment confirms cosmic ray action

  1. alexjc38 says:

    Excellent news! Another very significant piece of the puzzle falls into place.

  2. sean2829 says:

    I am suprised that you did not include the Nobel committee in your Hall of Shame. It is perhaps the highest profile of them all.

    • John Silver says:

      The Oslo Nobel Committee, that is.

      Never, never, ever, ever confuse it with the Nobel committee in Stockholm!

  3. [...] they’ve crowded with their warmist badges into a Hall of Shame, like bankers before the crash. Calder’s Updates, 24 August 2011 Rate this: Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditTwitterFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe the first [...]

  4. nycoordinator says:

    Excellent news, Nigel!
    p.s. I read your book “The Chilling Stars” and was mightily impressed with Svensmark’s theory and your presentation of it.
    I think you might want to ask your publisher to print more copies!

  5. [...] We have all be waiting for the CERN Results, even though early experiments confirmed that Svensmark’s hypothesis had merit —  cosmic rays cause clouds to form. The wamers kept say wait for the CLOUD results. Well the results are in and cosmic rays cause clouds and clouds cool the earth.  Nigel Calder has the details at Calder’s Updates. [...]

  6. Max_b says:

    I don’t really understand the papers full significance until I read it…

    The last I heard, the team hadn’t yet found the specific compounds which are responsible for an ion-induced mechanism at the boundary layer.

    Last December at the AGU they seemed to indicate it would take another 2-3 years of experiments to discover the ion-induced mechanism at this level.

    Their abstract from last Decembers AGU seemed more punchy to me “…We find that cosmic ray ionisation substantially increases the nucleation rate of sulphuric acid particles…”, the Nature abstract seems really toned down.

  7. me says:


    Good luck getting published in Nature by not toning down claims that undermine the “settled” science.

    • Colin Henderson says:

      Nature use to be a gold standard science journal, now they are in the same trash can as the UN, IPCC, Nobel Committee etc.

  8. [...] Nigel Calder: The global warmists’ dam breaks [...]

  9. Richard J says:

    I am confident that, given the passage of time, the tireless efforts of the key players in this epic story will be immortalised. Svensmark, Kirkby, yourself, and there are others finding supporting conclusions in the face of considerable opposition. You have taught science, and those who would try to manipulate it to political advantage, an object lesson in humility. The flak will go up of course in the near term, and the inertia of climate related legislation, public indoctrination and political ambition will persist as an albatross for several more painful years, but let us hope that the experiment of politically driven post-normal science will ultimately be seen by all for the Lysenkoism that the traditionally educated scientically literate community instinctively knew that it always was.

  10. simith says:

    “it clearly shows how cosmic rays promote the formation of clusters of molecules (“particles”) that in the real atmosphere can grow and seed clouds”

    Sorry where does that graph show that the clusters of molecules will grow and seed clouds in the real atmosphere?

    Here’s a wild thought. Perhaps the conspiracy theory you are pushing that the graph has been “hidden” in the supplementary info is actually more realistically explained by it not in fact showing the revelation you claim it does.

  11. [...] the meantime, Nigel Calder posts CERN experiment confirms cosmic ray action, nailing confirmation of such a “connection” to the scientific [...]

  12. [...] experimental test.) Well–surprise–we figured correctly. Nigel Calder has the lowdown here, as well as some choice comments… The High Priests of the Inconvenient Truth – in such [...]

  13. David Archibald says:

    The supplemental graph included the effects of UV. Can you recommend a source of UV data for this solar cycle and the last one please?

  14. timetochooseagain says:

    I would seem that New Scientist is engaging in some strange spin control: write up an article about the paper, but somehow miss the main “new” finding of the paper in favoring of making “news” about the very general “findings” about characteristics of atmospheric CCNs, and say that the most important finding of the paper is that it shows another source of anthropogenic climate change:

    Huh? Now where does one get this nonsense from?

  15. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    I like the parallel. One way to make highly effective light scattering particles is to seed a supersaturated mixture with nanometre sized seed particles.

  16. [...] gepubliceerd in de vandaag verschijnende nieuwe uitgave van Nature. Nigel Calder wijdt er al een uitgebreid zeer informatief artikel (tot onderaan doorlezen!) aan dat hij de titel meegeeft:CERN experiment confirms cosmic ray action [...]

  17. [...] CERN experiment confirms cosmic ray action – The global warmists’ dam breaks Share: [...]

  18. Philip says:

    I’m so pleased to hear this news. Sincere congratulations not only to Jasper Kirkby and his team, but most especially to the Danes and to Shaviv for their pivotal contributions, and to YOU for making sure that no one could ignore them.

  19. [...] And there would have been less time for so many eminent folk from science, politics, industry, finance, the media and the arts to be taken in by man-made climate catastrophe. (In London, for example, from the Royal Society to the National Theatre.) Sadly for them, in the past ten years they’ve crowded with their warmist badges into a Hall of Shame, like bankers before the crash. Calder’s Updates, 24 August 2011 [...]

  20. sepepper says:

    Anybody got a headshot portrait of Svensmark? Add “Svensmark Was Right!” and you got yourself the perfect T Shirt! Or say, several “heads” of famous scientists who have all been poo-poo’d at one time or another in their lives but eventually vindicated– Galileo, Copernicus, Einstein, etc— then put “Was Right!” down at the bottom– Svensmark certainly should belong in that very small but significant group…..

  21. [...] Although they never said so, the High Priests of the Inconvenient Truth – in such temples as NASA-GISS, Penn State and the University of East Anglia – always knew that Svensmark’s cosmic ray hypothesis was the principal threat to their sketchy and poorly modelled notions of self-amplifying action of greenhouse gases. In telling how the obviously large influences of the Sun in previous centuries and millennia could be explained, and in applying the same mechanism to the 20th warming, Svensmark put the alarmist predictions at risk – and with them the billions of dollars flowing from anxious governments into the global warming enterprise. –-Nigel Calder, 24 August 2011 [...]

  22. [...] the particle that says everything you ever heard about CO2 and climate was wrong, and it IS the Sun, stupid. So far, almost 24 hours after the news broke, crickets are chirping at Climate [...]

  23. We hear there is no proof that it actually does but only that it can. The other side was using that it couldn’t as proof that it didn’t. The sun’s strength correlates to temperature but was dismissed because it can’t. It can no longer be dismissed. The correlation now is a strong indication that it not only can but does.

  24. What would Tesla say if he were alive today?

  25. Dan says:

    It’s not just one factor.

    Sulfur clouds and dust from volcanos create “shade” – cooling.

    Carbon Dioxide blocks heat loss – heating

    Cosmic rays accelerate cloud formation (upper level cools and lower level heats)


    You shouldn’t look at just one factor and ignore the rest. Just because one factor causes heating or cooling doesn’t mean you ignore all the other factors that cause heating or cooling.

  26. [...] That’s the particle that says everything you ever heard about CO2 and climate was wrong, and it IS the Sun, stupid. So far, almost 24 hours after the news broke, crickets are chirping at the warmist’s [...]

  27. [...] hävdar att CLOUD-experimentet är en klar konfirmation av Henrik Svensmarks teorier är Nigel Calder, som tillsammans med Svensmark skrivit boken The Chilling Stars (Sv De kylande stjärnorna). Calder [...]

  28. Yes Me says:

    Oh, so it’s all settled is it? We have a nice piece of science that appears to convincingly confirm, describe and explain a mechanism that forms part of the *highly* non-linear climate system. That’s good and no doubt will lead to quite a bit of rethinking; it would be a brave person who would immediately draw conclusions about the changed *output* of the non-linear system to this newly documented input mechanism. I am very shocked by the undignified, sarcastic, triumphalist and destructive tone of Nigel’s article – I expect better of him. Also, of course I hope that the IPCC responds with dignity *and* scientific integrity by encouraging work on the implications.

    Nice to see that the old PS, which started up in 1959, is still good for something. This is all to CERN’s credit, so stop the sneering at their wise caution.

    • Pete H says:

      Oh please! You really should go back over the years to read the insults that have been thrown at the host of the blog, Svensmark etc. Personally I think a little gloating is well in order, there has been enough from the “gang” over the years!

      You said “This is all to CERN’s credit”!

      I simply cannot follow your line of thinking for you to arrive at that statement, considering Svensmark and his teams previous work! The undignified, sarcastic tone appears to come from your post rather than the blog!

  29. As a retired aerosol scientist, I am not at all surprised by the formation of aerosol particles due to cosmic rays. The Wilson cloud chamber has been used for decades to detect such interactions.The tracks are formed by the condensation of water vapor in the super-saturated environment.

  30. Maurice J says:

    When all the Watermelon Warmers admit their Lie
    We will raise a Monument into the Sky
    A Monument of solid Carbon
    To commemorate their Bogus Bargain.

  31. [...] further discussion click here and click here. Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed [...]

  32. [...] Here’s more: Jasper Kirkby of CERN and his 62 co-authors, from 17 institutes in Europe and the USA, announce big effects of pions from an accelerator, which simulate the cosmic rays and ionize the air in the experimental chamber. The pions strongly promote the formation of clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules – aerosols of the kind that may grow into cloud condensation nuclei on which cloud droplets form. What’s more, there’s a very important clarification of the chemistry involved. [...]

  33. Pascvaks says:

    Only the Pros know the significance of this experiment’s findings and which doors have been closed, and opened, by it. And ‘The Beat” goes on!

    PS: However, Taxpayers should be strongly cautioned not to support any political or economic programs based upon theories of catastrophic Manmade Global Warming; this and other scientific evidence suggests that they’re an unwarrented waste of treasure and time.

  34. Jim Spice says:

    So WHEN can we expect that return to the Ice Age? Heh heh.

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  36. cleanwater says:

    While this reseach has added a lot of information to the fact that “MAnn-made global warming does not exists” the work of Dr. Nahle that proves the work of Robert W. Wood in 1909 is far more meaningful. The greenhouse gas effect does not exist.
    Wood is correct: There is no Greenhouse Effect
    Posted on July 19, 2011 by Dr. Ed
    Repeatability of Professor Robert W. Wood’s 1909 experiment on the Theory of the Greenhouse (Summary by Ed Berry. Full report here or here. & PolyMontana.)
    by Nasif S. Nahle, June 12, 2011
    University Professor, Scientific Research Director at Biology Cabinet® San Nicolas de los Garza, N. L., Mexico.

  37. Lisa G in NZ says:

    great post, thanks for this important information … the battle of fighting the warmist religion, however, still continues

  38. ez says:

    Let me thank you for posting this info.

    I am disheartened by the corruption of the scientific community when dollars come into play. Maybe I just never really paid much attention to this but it seems that scientists today will say almost anything to either be politically correct or take in more grant money.

    Why would anyone not look at the sun as the primary source of warming on the planet. To think that mans influence is anything but tiny is exagerating our presence here.

  39. [...] And indeed they appear to be just that. In a paper to be released today in Nature, the data tells a clear story.  Scientists found that when shielding was removed and natural cosmic rays allowed to hit the chamber, cloud seeding increased dramatically, and it increased substantially again when additional artificial cosmic rays were added.  Svensmark appears to have gotten it right. [...]

  40. The pillars of the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis are falling like dominos.

    Here is some recent, though as yet unpublished, evidence that
    man-made emissions don’t even control the global CO2 levels, let alone the climate so that –
    increased temperature causes increased atmospheric concentration of carbon containing greenhouse gases // not the other way round.
    Murry Salby, Chair of Climate Science at Australia’s Macquarie University, has been looking at C12 to C13 ratios and CO2 levels around the world and has concluded that man-made emissions don’t even control the global CO2 levels, let alone the climate. Normally, atmospheric CO2 contains C13 and C12 isotopes in about a 1/99 ratio, which has been falling. Both fossil fuels and plants contain more C12 than the atmosphere. Humans emit 5 Gt/a of CO2 (which is reasonably well known), but natural emissions of CO2 are an order or magnitude greater and less well determined. These are approximately 150 Gt/a (~90 from the ocean and ~60 from land plants.) Photosynthesis and ocean absorption nearly balance the total emissions of CO2 thus completing the carbon cycle.

    Recently-available global distributions of CO2 from satellites, and C12-C13 analyses, show that more net CO2 is being produced in the Amazon basin, tropical Africa and southeast Asia than in industrialized areas. Over the past 30 years, CO2 in the atmosphere has been growing by an average of 1.5 ppmv/a, but this has varied between 0 and 3 ppmv/a, far greater than could be accounted for from variations in human emissions. Low rates of increase correspond to cool years and high rates to warm years. According to Dr. Salby, temperature accounts for about 80% of the variation in CO2 levels. That is, natural sources – not human – are the biggest drivers of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.

    There is a 32-minute audio podcast (plus 25 minutes of Q&A) of Dr. Salby’s speech ‘Global Emissions of Carbon Dioxide: The Contribution from Natural Sources’ given to the Sydney Institute. He makes frequent references to graphs, which are not available now, but should be included in his new paper, which has been peer-reviewed and is due to come out in about six months.

    If Salby’s analysis holds up, it will demolish the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis that has been promulgated by each successive version of the IPCC’s Summary for Policy Makers, and it will necessitate a dismantling of regulations and subsidy programs that have been designed to curb emissions of carbon containing greenhouse gas emissions. You can hear Salby’s recent 32 minute speech at:


    Salonius Notes: I first started to question IPCC ‘climate science’ upon re-reading older papers in NATURE and SCIENCE that showed historical increases in atmospheric
    carbon dioxide concentration were PRECEDED (as much as several centuries) by increases in atmospheric temperature. It has been apparent for some time that increased temperature causes increased concentration of carbon containing greenhouse gases // not the other way round.

    Peter Salonius

    • Kuta says:

      It has been apparent for some time that increased temperature causes increased concentration of carbon containing greenhouse gases // not the other way round.

      Where is there any data confirming this hypothesis? Where does it show our current trend of increasing CO2 has been preceded by rising temperatures?

      • Max_b says:

        There are plenty of papers which show that this is almost certainly the case for deglacial CO2 increases. Whether this does/does not apply to recent CO2 increases is unknown.

        However, if you plot monthly HadCRUT3 temperatures against monthly Mauna Loa CO2 values since records began in 1958 to the present day, it’s very difficult to give recent atmospheric CO2 increases anything more than a contributory role to global temperature, rather than the dominating factor indicated in the IPCC 4th AR.

        I think it’s reasonable to say that the influence of atmospheric CO2 is almost certainly subordinate to other factors influencing global temperatures, such as Svensmark’s hypothesis.

  41. Acorn1 says:

    Now that CERN has produced something useful after 14 years in the wilderness, we should expect additiional work. It should flow under pressure…now, because they have the equipment. Give them CREDIT after the next big, big, report….GO..!
    They have the equipment, they have the scientists..

  42. [...] Calder’s Updates has more details. So does The Global Warming Policy Foundation. follow-up reactions from WUWT. The [...]

  43. [...] Calder’s Updates has more details. So does The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Follow-up reactions from WUWT. The [...]

  44. Samedi says:

    There’s something else which seems very strange with that paper.

    As a matter of fact, Kirkby and colleagues did obtain aerosols much bigger than 2,5 nm in the CLOUD chamber: they measured particles of diameters up to ~85 nm, with very great concentration for diameters up to ~70 nm!

    Moreover, this was reported and illustrated with measurement graphs by Kirkby in a sort of pre-press article, entitled ‘The CLOUD project: Climate research with accelerators’, referenced at Proceedings of IPAC’10, Kyoto, Japan (pages 4774-4778).

    The figures (5 & 6), explanations and conclusion given in page 4777 are perfectly clear: in a chamber initially deprived of particles above ~1 nm large, after the beam is turned on one measures increasingly large particles, with the highest concentrations for diameters reaching ~15 nm after ~15 minutes and ~25 to 70 nm after ~30 minutes.

    Kirkby concluded: “Shortly after the start of the run, a clear ion-enhancement of the nucleation rate was established by the reproducible observation of a sharp increase of the nucleation rate when the beam was turned on (examples are shown in Figs. 5 and 6). The detector showed excellent technical performance, and a large amount of high quality data were recorded during the two-week run” and added: “The data from the first run are currently being analysed and a journal paper on the key new results is in preparation, for expected publication later this year.

    Of course, we can always imagine that further experiment led them to invalidate those results. As a French retired researcher – a sceptic (there are so rare, here…) – put it on his blog : “one should be aware that CLOUD-type experiments are much difficultly reproducible and verifiable by other teams like are, for example, the experiments of lighter physics. It is thus fundamental that the results published are irreproachable, which requires a great number of tests and checks to make sure that the results correspond well to reality and do not result from artifacts which are relatively frequent and often difficult to detect and eliminate. All this takes time, much time… In this kind of experimentation, we need to be patient, especially as the progress made by the scientists of the CERN remains generally very confidential… until the publication (generally co-signed by several tens of authors).

    However, that sort of pre-press article was put (and is still…) on the CERN server

    … and most strikingly, those pictures enclosed in that written version of the article submitted to the IPAC conference were not included in Kirkby’s talk!

    Which cast doubt on the hypothesis that the choice to remove them from the Nature paper derive from further analysis invalidating those first results.

    • Samedi says:

      Sorry, the pictures were indead included in his talk (see pages 34-35). Now, this doesn’t explain why there are not in the Nature paper.

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  46. Plato says:

    Carbon Foot printing……..any thoughts?

  47. Derek says:

    Sorry, I do not know how to “ping back”, so a link to where I posted a link to this article.

  48. [...] Este artículo no trata la teología propia, pero sí se dirige a uno de los dogmas más sagrados de la nueva religión pagana global: el cambio climático provocado por el hombre. Este dogma se predica aquí en Costa Rica (y a lo largo del mundo) como si fuera una verdad que decendió del Monte con Moisés, con el imprimátur de Dios mismo. Lo que explica este artículo es que la ciencia dura no apoya la ficción (léase la estafa) del calentamiento global provocado por el hombre. Gracias a por hacer el trabajo de traducir una parte del artículo completo en inglés. [...]

  49. [...] N.Calder: CERN experiment confirms cosmic ray action – 24.8.11 [...]

  50. Kuta says:

    More cloud cover makes the temperature cooler, doesn’t it?

    How do levels of cosmic rays correspond to the rise in Earth’s temperature?

    Forget the conspiracy claptrap. Just a simple explanation will suffice.

    • Max_b says:

      It’s important to destinguish between CR’s (which you mention above) and GCR’s (i.e. energy levels), and remember that Svensmarks hypothesis involves muon’s – which are the main source of ionisation in the atmosphere at the low cloud heights that he’s interested in. Counts of cosmic-ray muons at low altitudes were historically low when record keeping stopped in the early 90′s.

      Svensmark also apparently gets a pretty good fit over the last 20 odd years when he plots Huancayo/Haleakala Neutron data (as a proxy for muon’s), against tropospheric air temperature (HadAT2), or ocean sub-surface water temperature (SODA).

      There are also plenty of proxies for solar variability which show that solar activity has remained high throughout the 20th century. Usoskin seems pretty clear about this in Fig 4. from this paper showing Be10 abundance:

  51. [...] good news on manmade global warming climate change climate chaos climate confusion is that it is still not manmade attributable to the Sun.  Thanks to space science for showing the way blowing a gaping hole in the global warming [...]

  52. Planet Moron says:

    CONSENSUS WATCH – 8/30/2011…

    An ongoing series dedicated to vigorously monitoring emerging threats to The Consensus that global warming is real, caused by humans, and must be addressed at all costs. Because without consensus, scientific conclusions would remain vulnerable to new d…

  53. Iceni says:

    I was working at Nature in 1996… this article’s observations bring the nightmare of the office politics and spite I encountered on a daily basis back with a vengeance. There were, of course some exceptions to the rule, but it was the journal’s culture.

    Example: Of a contemporary British Nobel prize winner “Oh his best work was YEARS ago…” and “I was a fairly mediocre chemist, but when I go to Cambridge for Nature, they treat me like royalty.”

    Utterly pathetic.

  54. Harvey Birch says:

    Hello Mr. Calder + others–
    The following might be of some interest–a video report on CLOUD’s results:

  55. Bengt A says:

    Im a bit puzzeld by the same question as Samedi (29/08/2011 at 09:14)

    In figure S.4 (Supplementary material one can clearly see the build up of particles to the size of + 40 nm. Why don’t they comment on this? Is this some other irrelevant process going on or are they saving this finding for a later paper?

  56. [...] British science writer and proponent of the CLOUD project, Nigel Calder, has lots more details.   This is yet another one of the stories we can expect not to be [...]

  57. Samedi says:

    Harvey Birch,

    thanks a lot for the link to the online supplement. I didn’t know it was freely accessible.

    Looking at fig. S 4.:

    - it’s clear that after a few hours, most of the ions reach diameters above 20 nm, and a great proportion must be much more than that;

    - Why cut the graph above 40 nm then?

    - Why not publish it in the body of the paper with conclusions?

    - Those graphs clearly confirm those enclosed in the “pre-released” paper I indicated in my previous post, Proceedings of IPAC’10, Kyoto, Japan (pages 4774-4778);

    - Why not add the other figure I indicated, which vertical scale allows a representation of nuclei up to about 80 nm large?

    - Last but not least: under the same fig. S 4. of the online supplement, the authors said those results where obtain without additional NH3.

  58. dahuang says:

    The comparisons of Kirkby (2010, IPAC) and Kirkby (2011, Nature) are really impressive and revealing! Thank you Samedi and Bent A! I believe Fig.S 4 is more relevant than Nigel’s choice of Fig. S.2, especially when the MSM use the nuclei size problem as an excuse of denying the Svensmark theory.

    Btw, the Figure 3 in Kirkby (2010) is very informative for beginners.

  59. guest says:

    From the CERN press release:
 enhancement measured,
clouds have 

  60. [...] had not been blocked and frustrated,  if CLOUD had lofted ahead rather than held back. He writes, “Retracing those 14 years, what if physics had functioned as it is supposed to do? What if [...]

  61. Prime material for another case-study into the manufacturing of consent by suppression of dissent, this time among scientists and the media outlets feeding on science. Goes to show that there are some constants in which the collective consciousness functions. Once policies have been laid down, capital invested and jobs created, no one in those interested groups will re-look at the basis on which these policies rest and anything that does not conform will not be accounted but dismissed, suppressed. There’s some logic in it which has nothing to do with the nationality or race of the dissenter: which powerful groups wish to lose face?

    We thought contemporary science was different indeed from all other groups but this particular case seems to show that the business of science is like any other business. Dissent is a lonely place by definition, but persistent dissent draws attention, builds up a following and, with a bit of luck, can even turn into a majority. Good luck!

  62. bryan llewellyn says:

    I want to send this to friends. Can I email it?

  63. [...] and is filed underneath 3a) News and Comments. You can follow any responses to this entrance by a RSS 2.0 [...]

  64. Interesting. This does not, however, answer the critical question, which is that as CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere continue to increase if current consumption patterns of fossil fuel continue unabated, will this, or will this not, result in an increased warming trend of the global atmosphere?

  65. [...] – die de invloed van straling op wolkenvorming bevestigt zoals Svensmark al 15 jaar stelt- in Nature systematisch weigert Svensmark’s recente werk te citeren. Horen we hierover klachten? Nigel Calder bericht hierover. En wat de media-aandacht betreft: [...]

  66. Andrew McRae says:

    Hello Nigel,

    In Australia we have been having a rather bitter debate in television, radio, and web forums about the severity and urgency of the CAGW hypothesis over the last few years.

    There is a well-founded opinion that government funded scientists have been reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them, with predictable results such as this opinion piece by Michael Ashley on a CSIRO-sponsored web site:
    Event horizon: the black hole in The Australian’s climate change coverage

    Inspecting the above example, amongst many talking points is his opinion that research like Pearson 2009 has been misrepresented by sceptics (whom he calls “fools”) as being evidence CO2 is not a major driver of climate change.
    Pearson’s finding was that the greatest rate of Antarctic ice sheet growth occurred when CO2 fell to around 760ppm.

    Firstly if the ice sheet was growing at 760ppm then alarm about Antarctica melting at 580ppm do not seem well justified, even if CO2 was a strong feedback on temperature change.

    For a long time in paleoclimatology it has been assumed CO2 was a primary driver of temperature mainly for the faulty logic that they couldn’t think of anything else to cause the reconstructed temperature swings.

    Now that the Svensmark hypothesis has been elevated to the Svensmark Theory by this year’s results, it provides exactly the missing mechanism for the cosmic ray climate link well established by Nir Shaviv.

    Just looking at Shaviv’s Fig 5 on that page provides a second great defence of alternative skeptical explanations for Pearson’s numbers. The climate transition Pearson was studying was the warm Eocene to ice-age Oligocene transition around 34 million years ago. This exactly co-incides with a gentle peak in cosmic ray flux into the Earth, as Shaviv’s data shows. Throw a bunch more cosmically-seeded clouds over the earth and there’s your new ice age, right on schedule. This forced chilling of the oceans would also absorb more CO2 out of the atmosphere, consistent with measurements and Le Chatelier’s principle.

    Yet warmist believers like Professor Ashely and his ilk continue to recite their CO2 mantra while ignoring a growing body of evidence.

    Would you say this is a fair criticism of the status quo?

    What is your advice to the public on how these misguided loyalties can be broken down and how we can restore the integrity of our science institutions?

    In your opinion, is the effect of Svensmark’s results on climate sensitivity being overhyped at all by sceptics?

    -Andrew McRae.

    • calderup says:

      Thanks, Andrew. Responses to your questions at the end.
      – Yes it’s a fair criticism.
      – As long as the mainstream media and most politiicans go along with the CAGW hypothesis, I fear that we may have to wait for Mother Nature to cool the world significantly — and that is worse for people than a warming.
      - Ahyone who writes or speaks in support of Svensmark will be accused by somebody of overhyping, but I’m not aware of any reckless exaggeration.

  67. Varco says:

    Will the newly detected supernova PTF 11kly provide an opportunity to verify the Svensmark theory in any way?

    • calderup says:

      Sorry Varco, I don’t think so.
      – PTF 11kly is the wrong type of supernova for much cosmic ray production (Ia not II)
      –even if it were the right kind, it would take thousands of years for the remnant to build up its cosmic ray production
      –it’s a long way away

  68. brandon says:

    I hope everyone realizes that the paper says nothing about global warming or cloud seeding. It only says that cosmic rays form nucleate. That’s it guys, nothing more. Maybe you should actually read the paper, Deniers never read it seems. BTW cosmic radiation has been stable for the last 50 years so how can it cause heating? And where is the evidence that higher lever cloud cover always causes heating?

    Read the paper please and maybe you guys wouldn’t look so stupid.

  69. Maybe you should read the theory instead, Brandon. We know what the results in the report state, precisely what they would if the theory is correct. Which makes it considerably more scientific than any existing CO2 theory.

    It also has the bonus of explaining historical climate change.

    The book is “The Chilling Stars” you can find it on Amazon.

    • brandon says:

      No, I am talking specifically about the paper that they sight which doesn’t go anywhere near disproving AGW. You can read the paper or not that’s up to you. It only says that cosmic rays can nucleate particles in the atmosphere. That’s all.

      But I guess facts can’t get in the way of a bad idea.

      • That would be called missing the forest for the tree, Brandon. The paper does not expound on the theory which their experiment was designed to prove/disprove, it only states the experimental results (as ordered by the Director at CERN). But anyone familiar with the theory knows what those results prove.

        The fact that galactic cosmic rays produce cloud nucleation fully supports the Cosmoclimatology basis of climate change.
        You can read more here:

  70. Samedi says:

    Brandon’s first statement is worrying: seems he doesn’t understand how scientific process works, or astonished by the fact that CLOUD first experiments don’t put a final dot to the climate theory… (I’ve read the Nature paper, having asked for it, and pre-press released as well, thanks).

    But his second statement is nearly as curious. He wrote:

    BTW cosmic radiation has been stable for the last 50 years so how can it cause heating?


    It’s worth noting that RealClimate author Gavin Schmidt, who, unlike Brandon, is supposedly a skilled ‘climatologist’, had the same ‘genial’ argument:

    Of course, to show that cosmic rays were actually responsible for some part of the recent warming, you would need to show that there was actually a decreasing trend in cosmic rays over recent decades – which is tricky, because there hasn’t been (see the figure).

    To me, the fact that such a ‘climatologist’ dared to use such an argument (matter-of-factly) is enough to prove he’s either highly dishonest or highly incompetent.

    I sent a post on Roy Spencer’s blog about this.

    In short, Brandon and Gavin mix heat transfer and temperature (and even radiative net flux and temperature). In other words: a function and its integral (if you allow me to use a simple picture).

    At best, they forget the huge thermal inertia of oceans and every non-linearity in the climate system.

    Then they completely missed the fact that in no way the fluctuations of ‘global temperature’ – if such a thing exists (indeed, this concept lacks physical sense) – or any regional temperature is expected to follow the variations of the radiative fluxes with a given (constant delay), not to mention a short one.

    Moreover, AGW ‘theory’ supporter Gavin Schmidt should know that replacing ‘cosmic rays’ (GCRs possible radiative effects via low cloud cover) by ‘CO2) in his same statement and considering, for example, the 1940-1970 period and numerous other ones (with or without man’s emissions) would lead him to the same disturbing and disappointing conclusion…

    Anyway, as a first step to their training, I’d strongly recommend them to have a look at this graph, showing the variations of 10Be during the last 6 centuries, as measured in the ice core from Dye-3, Greenland (Beer et al. [1994]). BTW they can compare them to the fluctuations of the spot number. It is well known that of 10Be is a good proxy to evaluate GCRs flux (and solar activity which modulates it).

    Interestingly, they’ll note that the atmospheric 10Be concentration has been remarkably constant in the last 50 years… but changed a lot before: from ~11 000 atoms/g in 1900 to ~7 000 atoms/g since ~1960.

    Which should correspond to a 6% increase in cosmic ray induce ionization according to Shaviv [2005].

    So even for people confused to the point of mixing a function and its derivative, the choice of the last 3 or 5 decades is unfortunate (or especially convenient, depending on their wishes).

    Others won’t be shocked at all by the idea that a dramatic decrease of the GCRs flux in the last 3 centuries, followed by a plateau at a very low level (for historical ages) of 5 decades can induce a significant temperature increase having started 150 years or more ago and going on a few decades after…

  71. brandon says:

    I would just like to add this graph showing cosmic radiation over the last 50 years.

    If cosmic rays are effecting then weather in any significant way than why don’t we see it in the graph? Ether the evil cabal of climate scientists made it up or this whole spooky cosmic rays theory belongs in a the type of science book that has fiction at the end of it.

  72. Samedi says:


    maybe you haven’t read my previous post, which adressed your question, and explain why this argument, though it seems very trivial at first glance, entirely misses the point. Or perhaps was it a bit too complicated. No problem, here I’ll use a very simple image (now, I’m French, so, sorry if my language is a bit incorrect, but I’m sure it will be good enough for the message to pass).

    Imagine you’re having a bath. At any given moment, you adjust the tap so that the water flow is at a given level, which you maintain for 50 seconds. What you (and Gavin Schmidt) are saying is that, during this 50 s period, due to the fact that the flow is unchanged, obviously the water level in the bath won’t go on rising… See?

    Of course, here I’ve supposed the drain was closed, whereas we should reason with both tap and drain opened to give a better picture. Anyway, it’s the same reasonning: we just need to consider the difference between the flows in and out of the bath: if the flow is larger than the flow out, then the water level rises. Even if the net flow remains constant.

    Now, please read my previous post, especially the second half, sarting with this graph.

  73. George W Nixon as short bloke says:

    This article on the CERN experiment CLOUD is probably one of the many useful experiments that the large Hadron accelerator will be capable of performing, and I congratulate them on their success. I also thank you for the opportunity to read such an interesting article.
    Although I know that the moderator will not allow the following to appear on the blog, you may be interested to know that my book titled Matter and Associated Mysteries Explained is available at for small price. Besides an ability to logically explain physical anomalies such as the two Pioneer Spacecraft questions, It provides information regarding a presently unrecognised Gravitational Thermal Effect (either warming or cooling) that proportionally must occur following even a slight gravitational change due to changes to earth’s gravitational circumstances.
    With regards and best wishes from George W Nixon.

    • calderup says:

      I don’t mind you plugging your book, George, but I should point out that the CLOUD experiment doesn’t use the Large Hadron Collider but CERN’s ancient Proton Synchrotron (1959).

  74. Susan Fraser says:

    Dear Nigel,

    Thank you for helping disseminate the meaning of the CERN experiment. It encouraged me to search Henrick Svensmark’s ideas you mentioned. His documentary The Cloud Mystery is so simple to understand, I hope you will promote it.

    Susan Fraser

  75. [...] results from the CLOUD experiment at European nuclear research institute CERN seemed to show that warming was more likely the result of a sun that has been slightly more active in the past century. Cosmic rays cause clouds to form in the [...]

  76. mmakinson says:

    People like myself and Joe deleo have been working on the mechanics of low solar cycles and climate cooling. We have ascertained that indeed cosmic rays may have some influence this work you have provided is very important. My pet theroy is that the geomagnetic influences of low solar cycles lead to elavated volcanic activity wich now inturn is exasperated by cosmic rays and enhanced aeorosole production.

  77. global warming…

    [...]CERN experiment confirms cosmic ray action « Calder's Updates[...]…

  78. Dr Gustaf Anthony Keen says:

    Dear Nigel ,
    Thank you for the excellent review of the Kirkby Cloud Project paper in Nature Aug 2011, with comments . The video “Svensmark: The Cloud Mystery” on You Tube near the end of the comments is very humble and interesting and puts into better perspective the great mportance of the Kirkby paper . This would have made a superb ending to the video ! We have low speed internet so the video takes about 2 hours to staccato download/display and uses up so much of our capped bandwidth . I would like to show this to many colleagues . Is it available in say DVD format to acquire or purchase ?
    Thanks ,

  79. David F Pawlowski says:

    Good Day to the Readers of Nigel Calders site, My question for Mr. Calder and ultimately for the CERN/CLOUD group and Mr. Svensmark relates to the historic implications of previous anecdotal accounts weather changes with historic supernova events. It is worth considering given the future self destruction of Betelgeuse as a Type II supernova that plausibly result in prolonged bombardment of the earth by energetic heavy ion cosmic rays. The standard strawman argument by skeptics is a Type II beyond 25 light years will have no effect on earth. What if it triggers massive cloud cover and rainfall. Rather ironic if the Mayans and their magic mushrooms and dream quests saw something coming that big science dismisses with a wave of its arrogant hand.

    • calderup says:

      I’ve been slow to reply, David, because I’m not too sure what to say. The straightforward “cosmic rays – clouds – climate” story is that the explosion of Betelgeuse will certainly cool the Earth, but not for thousands of years after the visible supernova. It takes a long time for the cosmic-ray factories to develop in supernova remnants.
      You are suggesting “energetic heavy ion cosmic rays”. Perhaps you mean the heavy atomic nuclei manufactured during supernova explosions. They would not be travelling at near-light speed, and they would be widely scattered in all directions, with our planet as a very small target. The result would be at most a gentle rain of atoms of oxygen, iron, barium etc. etc. into the Earth’s atmosphere. I can’t visualise any drastic effect on the weather.

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