Climate Change News and Comments
The dawn of the cosmic ray era in climate science?
Roy Spencer, formerly of NASA, is an outstanding investigator of climate change using satellites. Yesterday he posted on his website this article about cosmic rays: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/05/indirect-solar-forcing-of-climate-by-galactic-cosmic-rays-an-observational-estimate/ It starts:
“While I have been skeptical of Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory up until now, it looks like the evidence is becoming too strong for me to ignore.” And he concludes:
“The results, I must admit, are enough for me to now place at least one foot solidly in the cosmic ray theory camp.”
One swallow doesn’t make a summer, nor one Spencer a scientific revolution. But as I recall real revolutions during my lifetime as a science reporter – black holes, plate tectonics, etc, etc. — I recognise this as a sample of what a paradigm shift looks like. One by one, prominent experts and daring young researchers begin to join a new club. At first they’re counted on fingers, but eventually by faculties.
“Consensus” is a dirty word for climate sceptics, because of its misuse for 20 years by warmist scientists and their political and journalistic chums to try to stifle research and public debate. In that regard, the lack of agreement among sceptical physicists about what’s really going on has been virtuous. But the time for free-ranging and competitive hypotheses about natural climate change is drawing to an end. Some widely accepted theory of the mechanisms has to replace the computer games of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Since Henrik Svensmark explained his hypothesis concerning cosmic rays and clouds, over a lunch of marinated herrings and lager in Copenhagen in 1996, I’ve written two books about it and helped Lars Oxfeldt Mortensen with TV films featuring Henrik. But the three of us have now waited 15 years for some kind of denouement. Ten to twenty years is a typical timescale for a paradigm shift, so maybe Henrik’s breakthrough is coming at last.