Do cosmic rays set the earth’s thermostat?

In recent years, the idea that the climate is driven by clouds and cosmic rays has received plenty of attention. Interest in the idea was prompted by a Danish physicist named Henrik Svensmark, who first suggested it in the late 1990s. Using satellite data on cloud coverage, which became available with the establishment of the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project in 1983, Svensmark found a correlation between lower troposphere cloud cover and the 11-year solar cycle.

He proposed that cosmic rays initiate the formation of aerosols in the lower atmosphere that then form condensation nuclei for cloud droplets, increasing cloud formation from water vapor. Since low-level clouds increase Earth’s albedo (the amount of incoming solar radiation that is reflected back into space), more clouds mean cooler temperatures. Svensmark claimed that this mechanism was responsible for virtually every climatic event in Earth history, from ice ages to the Faint Young Sun paradox to Snowball Earth to our current warming trend. Needless to say, this would overturn decades of climate research.

And by “overturn decades of climate research” they mean “decades of ignoring the plain and common knowledge that the Sun really does contribute to the temperature of this planet, and also the fact well-known but widely ignored by the politically-motivated that clouds are the most potent greenhouse gas on the planet.”

Because where’s the money in admitting that the Sun heats the earth, not CO2, and so you can go ahead and drive what you want and use non-toxic and inexpensive lightbulbs?

via Do cosmic rays set the earth’s thermostat?.

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