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Global warming? It's in the stars, says scientist
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 03/18/2006 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
A prominent Canadian scientist has defied the conventional wisdom on global warming by proposing stars, not greenhouse gases, as the primary catalyst for climate change.
University of Ottawa science professor Jan Veizer says high-energy cosmic rays, originating from stars across the expanse of space, are hitting Earth’s atmosphere in ways that cause the planet to cycle through warm and cold periods.
Veizer’s politically loaded theory appeared in “Geoscience Canada” last year and is generating debate on the causes of climate change within the scientific community.
“Look, maybe I’m wrong,” he told the Edmonton Journal. “But I’m saying, at least let’s look at this and discuss it. Every one of these things (parts of his theory) has its problems. But so does every other model” of climate change.
That cosmic rays strike Earth has long been known – NASA spends considerable effort shielding astronauts in space from them. What’s different now is that more researchers are looking at their effect on the atmosphere and asking how they might be influencing the weather.
In 2004, the British science journal “Proceedings of the Royal Society” published a new theory claiming cosmic rays “unambiguously” affect Earth’s climate, in particular, by forming clouds. Current research at Florida Tech and the University of Florida is aimed at determining whether cosmic rays trigger the release of lightning from charged thunderclouds. In 2003, NASA and University of Kansas researchers claimed to have traced the effect of cosmic radiation on climate and organisms across millions of years of fossil history.
In explaining the mechanism for a “celestial climate driver,” the professor says cosmic rays hit gas molecules in the atmosphere, forming the nucleus of what becomes water vapor. The resulting clouds reflect more of the sun’s energy back into space and leave Earth the cooler for it.
During times when more cosmic rays are striking the atmosphere, Earth is cooler. A dearth of rays results in climatic warming.
Veizer argues that Earth has cycled between warm and cold periods many times as our solar system has traveled through different parts of the galaxy. Younger stars give off most of the rays striking Earth’s atmosphere.
Likewise, the Earth’s own magnetic field blocks some cosmic rays. Veizer claims the 200,000-year-old reconstructed record for changes in that field is closely correlated with periods of cool climate and more cosmic rays slipping through.
He notes the plausibility of the sun’s increased intensity, rather than an increase in carbon dioxide, being the primary cause for Earth’s warming by one degree over the past century.
“Empirical observations on all time scales point to celestial phenomena as the principal driver of climate,” Veizer wrote in his paper, “with greenhouse gases acting only as potential amplifiers.”
Other scientists are taking issue with the doomsday scenarios being proclaimed by many global-warming alarmists. As WorldNetDaily reported, two Philippine scientists criticized Al Gore for claiming global warming was going to cause flooding of Manila’s harbor. They pointed out climate change would only cause sea levels to rise by millimeters while Manila’s problems were being caused by rapid subsidence of the land, a local problem created by extraction of groundwater, not greenhouse gases.
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