Roll up, roll up, for the paradigm shift

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: 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.


16 Responses to Roll up, roll up, for the paradigm shift

  1. Pascvaks says:

    “There Can Be Only One!” eventually. As much as we fight it, we are bound by truth. Eventually.

  2. Henk Kraa says:

    Piers Corbyn is convinced weather (and climate) -at least at a decade scale – is caused by shifting jet stream patterns caused by changes in the solar wind ALONE (see his comment on his website). How do thee four phenomena (cosmic rays, solar wind, cloud formation and shifting jet stream patterns) relate to each other, has this already been part of any investigation?

    • calderup says:

      Piers Corbyn’s is one of the “free-ranging and competitive hypotheses about natural climate change ” that I had in mind, Henk. It’s one of a sub-class of ideas that invoke direct effects of the solar wind on the atmosphere. Other hypotheses favour total solar irradiance, or ultraviolet from the Sun, which contribute some effect — though much less, I’d say, than cosmic rays. Even within the cosmic-ray camp, Brian Tinsley cites electrricsl effects in the atmosphere instead of Henrik’s cloud-seeding.
      How to sort the sheep and goats, concerning the solar impacts? The strongest reason for favouring cosmic rays comes from changes in cosmic ray intensities due, not to solar activity, but to changes in the location of the Solar System in the Galaxy, over geological time. Intense cosmic rays caused glacial epochs, while times of weak cosmic rays were very warm. Corbyn’s jet stream effect, for example, wouldn’t explain that link, so if his effect is real it will have to be fitted, along with solar irradiance, within the overarching cosmic ray story.
      Also in the eventual ensemble of natural climate influences will be internal regime changes in the weather machine, plus volcanoes and El Nino.

  3. Keith Battye says:

    It is such an obvious hypothesis that surely everyone will eventually get it.

  4. It is a positive development. Now to get the solar specialists in working on IPPC AR5 to take note…

  5. Should read IPCC, not IPPC in the comment above 🙂

  6. […] Cosmic rays, oceans, clouds…probably all three Posted on May 23, 2011 by Tom Harley Roll up, roll up, for the paradigm shift […]

  7. Prof Otto Meth-Cohn says:

    It sounds an ideal time for the BBC to present a Horizon programme on the whole bunch of issues raised by Svenmark and Corbyn et al. How do we bend their ears?

    • calderup says:

      A nice idea, Otto, but with the notable exception of “The Great Global Warming Swindle” shown on Channel 4 four years ago, getting anything onto British television that questions the “official” man-made global warming story has been a thankless task.
      As related in another post on my blog, Lars Oxfeldt Mortensen’s film about the Svensmark hypothesis, called “The Cloud Mystery”, has been successfully distributed to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Israel and Iran, but “efforts to place it with a UK broadcaster have been unsuccessful so far”.

      • I found the “The Cloud Mystery” film on the Internet by accident. I have passed the links on to friends. I was astounded by the idea that the solar system moves in and out of ‘spiral arms’ and that this is correlated with past temperatures.

  8. Please, please, NOT Horizon! That would set the theory back decades! Nor Brian Cox. However it is possible Martin Durkin could do a ‘GGWS the sequel’.
    If anyone has Peter Sissons Tel No. maybe he could help out?

  9. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Nigel – RC has a new post up trying to cast doubt on Enghoff et al.

    But they have their own GISS data in Fig 2 showing cloud cover changes which correspond excellently with the short solar cycle 22 (peaks in 1987 and 1996) followed by a long decline over SC23, just as you would expect.

    Then they use Fig 2a from Harrison and Stephenson 2006 who in their own conclusion support Svensmark’s hypothesis.

    It seems like they’ve basically proved Prof Svensmark’s hypothesis by falsifying their own. Astounding!

  10. Joe Stroud says:

    When information is being blocked by the broadcast gatekeepers, I would seriously consider a short tease, dare I say it, Al Gore style: “The Inconvenient Science” video campaign online would create the necessary pressure to break the resistance. I believe there is a great deal of scepticism in the public regarding some aspects IPCC processes and the use by politicians, so the effect of a well designed communication would be well received and quickly go viral. In 2011, YouTube is is you friend.

  11. Richard S Courtney says:


    Congratulations to you and Henrik on your efforts to date.

    Please keep up the pressure for real science to prevail.

    The truth will out despite the efforts of the ‘Team’. A century ago eugenics was as widely believed as the AGW-scare is now. But it was finally dispatched as the AGW-scare will be.

    Is the Svensmark Hypothesis correct?
    I think so but the final proof is still not obtained and, hopefully, the work at CERN will provide it. Whether or not it proves correct, the efforts of you and Henrik to promote real scientific investigation will stand as a beacon of light amidst the darkness that the ‘Team’ has spread over ‘climate science’.


  12. Paula Metz says:

    How does carbon dioxide fit in here? Governments are passing more and more laws restricting CO2 output at great expense to taxpayers. California has run amok. Is CO2 irrelevant to warming?

    Please post any grassroots efforts to get Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN to allow Jasper Kirkby of CERN and his 62 co-authors to draw conclusions about their research.
    Paula Metz

  13. organization says:

    theory organizationa…

    […]Roll up, roll up, for the paradigm shift « Calder's Updates[…]…

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