Showing posts from February, 2007

There's always the Sun

There is something odd going on with certain newspapers around the world.   Just a few weeks ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, better known as the IPCC, presented the first part of their report on the state of the worlds climate.  It contained a worrying vision of a climate out of control.  Yet almost as soon as the ink had dried, several newspapers suggested there wasn’t too much to worry about.  Many made a huge song and dance about results reported by Henrik Svensmark and colleagues in the Proceedings of the Royal Society ( doi:10.1098/rspa.2006.1773 ).  Here, experimental results suggested that cosmic rays  highly energetic particles that form deep in space  might play a significant role in cloud formation.  The idea is the weaker the Sun, the more cosmic rays reach the Earth and the more clouds that form.  Although the research article stopped short of saying what this might mean for past climate, some of the newspapers seemed to suggest that this explained awa