back to article CERN 'gags' physicists in cosmic ray climate experiment

The chief of the world's leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from a major experiment. The CLOUD ("Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets") experiment examines the role that energetic particles from deep space play in cloud formation. CLOUD uses CERN's proton synchrotron to examine …


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  1. Beachrider

    As long as the data gets out...

    Any analysis can be labeled 'slanted'. The most important thing is for the data to get out to the scientific community. Short term advantage could fall to politically-connected action groups, but proper data always stands the test of time.

    Over time, short term agendas usually get priority-sorted.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've wondered: where was it before?

    I've often wondered - If all oil/coal/gas is "fossilized carbon", where was that carbon before it was fossilized? Out in the biosphere, perhaps?

    And if releasing all that fossilized carbon into the biosphere will doom the Earth to become as hot as Venus, as some people assert, then why did that not happen back pre-fossilization?

    Of course, I say "build breeder reactors, turn the CO2 into nanotubes, and get busy building my Beanstalk!"

    1. envmod

      mainly plants

      All the carbon was locked away in organic matter (which was once alive and on the surface of the planet) - mostly plant life, but also animals. Over millions of years, pressure and heat transformed the organic matter into oil,coal and gas. It's only when you burn the oil, coal and gas that you releasr the carbon - burn a plant and you also release carbon, it's just that the plant won't be very good as a fuel source compared to it's aged and highly compressed ancestors.

    2. itzman

      a good point

      "if releasing all that fossilized carbon into the biosphere will doom the Earth to become as hot as Venus, as some people assert, then why did that not happen back pre-fossilization?"

      That's what bothers me too. If it were that easy to flip the climate with inbuilt positive feedback it should have happened man times in the past when levels were higher than they are now.

      Yes, it has happened, but not associated with CO2.

      Personally I think water circulation is the key to everything. More energy means higher hotter cloud tops means more energy radiated away to space.

      Ocean currents stabilise things as well. cold fresh water sinks and droves latitudinal convectors, cooling the tropics and warming the poles.

      I suspect continental drift makes more difference than CO2...

      The IPCC models do not seem to have these things wholly in them.

      Its one thing to peer review a calculation its another to really validate the data, and a third to come up with a model that contains all the possible feedback systems, especially when we are very very unclear on the details of the convectors and how clouds behave.

      I.e. deductive logic can be checked easily. Primary data can be checked, but its harder, inductive propositions - which the model is , can ONLY be validated by experiment.

      So far the temp rises do not seem to fit the model...

      1. NomNomNom


        No-one asserts Earth will become like Venus, at least no-one relevant.

        "If it were that easy to flip the climate with inbuilt positive feedback it should have happened man times in the past when levels were higher than they are now."

        Positive feedback means the climate changes a great deal. And it has. Past climate is exaftly the kind of thing you'd expect if climate changes were amplified. If they were being dapended by negative feedbacks the Earth's temperature should have hardly change over time.

        "Personally I think water circulation is the key to everything. More energy means higher hotter cloud tops means more energy radiated away to space.

        Ocean currents stabilise things as well. cold fresh water sinks and droves latitudinal convectors, cooling the tropics and warming the poles."

        Which begs the question - why wasn't any of that enough to stop the Earth getting much warmer in the past?

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      Early Earth wasn't that nice

      "I've often wondered - If all oil/coal/gas is "fossilized carbon", where was that carbon before it was fossilized? Out in the biosphere, perhaps?

      And if releasing all that fossilized carbon into the biosphere will doom the Earth to become as hot as Venus, as some people assert, then why did that not happen back pre-fossilization?"

      Just should point out that if you are worrying about prehistoric Earth, I should point out that Earth for a while (a few hundred million years or so) was mostly water.

      While I'm not anti- or pro-AGW with this post, can we all shut up about how life was "fine" back then, if only Everest was above sea level? Whether or not AGW is responsible for anything, if we decide that warming is happening, we need to tackle it, whether or not it is man made. If it isn't man made, we might need to alter the methods by which we tackle it, but if half the world floods I don't really care whether it's man made or solar aciivity.

      1. Mark 65 Silver badge


        "Whether or not AGW is responsible for anything, if we decide that warming is happening, we need to tackle it, whether or not it is man made."

        Horseshit, with all due respect. Try to fight Mother Nature and you are doomed to failure. A bloody expensive one involving massive wealth transfer from the poor at that. This really comes back to mankind thinking they are the be all and end all. Self-preservation is always key, but if you're doomed as a species then you're doomed.

        We certainly do not have to tackle that which we cannot change. What are you going to do if it turns out volcanic eruptions are the problem? Fill all fault-lines with ready-mix?

    4. PT

      Never mind about the oil and coal...

      What about the trillions of tons of chalk, limestone, gypsum and other carbonate sedimentary rocks? The amount of carbon in fossil fuels is insignificant by comparison.

  3. Alex C

    It's all Lewis Page's fault

    CERN are quite right to prevent their white-coated chaps talking out of school. Have a look at articles turned up with CERN as a search term over the last few months (notably ones by Lewis Page) and you'll see very clear reasons why they don't want their musings on as yet incomplete research being misinterpreted.

  4. John Savard Silver badge

    False and Misleading

    If the politically incorrect conclusions about climate change that the results invite are still false and misleading conclusions, and making it clear that cosmic radiation is simply one small factor in climate is important to prevent people from being confused, then I see nothing wrong here.

    There are two scenarios. One is that carbon dioxide emissions aren't contributing much to climate change, and radiation from space or something like that is the main cause of what warming is being observed. The other is that human carbon dioxide emissions are the major cause, and these other factors, while present, are just side issues.

    If the first scenario is true, then trying to keep the truth from coming out is bad.

    If the second scenario is true, as I believe it is, what's bad about making an effort to ensure people won't be bamboozled by con artists - some of whom used to work for the tobacco industry, or tried to deny the ozone hole?

    1. itzman

      Hasn't the ozone hole returned anyway?


      1. NomNomNom


        the ozone hole returns every year. But it's now stopped getting larger and larger and soon will get smaller and smaller and return back to 1950s levels.

        1. Dave Lawton


          That's great to hear, can you quote some links please.

          So the incidence of sunbathing induced skin cancer et al, should start to drop off.

          The problem with all the fuss over climate change, is that it has drawn attention away from issues, which do need, and can be, tackled, like pollution from our 'highly technological society'.

          And no, I don't have answers, but would suggest a read of the 'Seafort' series, starting at the beginning (it's SF), for a possible scenario, if we don't tackle it.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      2nd scenarion is bad and is happening

      "If the second scenario is true, as I believe it is, what's bad about making an effort to ensure people won't be bamboozled by con artists - some of whom used to work for the tobacco industry, or tried to deny the ozone hole?"

      Nancy Oreskes wrote the book on this. Called 'The Merchants of Doubt', she compared tactics used in the war on tobacco with those used in the global warming PR industry and identified some parallels. What she overlooked is people who worked on anti-tobacco PR have now switched to anti-CO2 PR. So we get bamboozled by PR people trying to convince us that CO2 is bad, often using some pretty dubious science and often not showing their data. CLOUD is going to show their working and their data, even if other climate scientists refuse to do so.

      That'll help us inderstand your two scenarios, and how sensitive the climate might be to CO2. Lots of factors are involved, both anthropogenic and natural, and if we don't really know what the main players are, then we don't know if we're spending money wisely trying to fight the war on CO2.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the hockey stick is BLX then...BUT

    So if we remove the so called "hockey-stick" we see nice correlation, but with that in it does seem a little out of kilt with the other stats...But it still don't mean can't ignore common sence and be less wasteful.

    Still pains me that we have a frige that vents all its extracted heat into a room instead of heating the water some and cookers that when finished cooking don't recycle there latent heat to heat the hot water instead of venting slowing into the room as they cool down, yet obsessed. Guess too many people in the 70's had there hopes pinned on a cheap superconductive material being available by now :|.

    But nice stats and can see were astrophysics and weather forcasting start to cross-over a little bit more than they do now, eventualy. Personaly I utterly understand why they have passed no comment, its one of those hot potoatoes that even if your right your cast aside for not worshiping he hockey stick.

  6. PyLETS

    Extra, extra read all about it

    Doesn't matter if a story lacks evidence and Occam's Razor points to a more logical explanation, older scientists warning younger scientists to be careful about what they say to journalists is obvious fodder for a science conspiracy theory which will always sell better than unbiased science reporting. Person who pays the piper and all that.

    Coming from the world's third oldest profession, recently embarrassed by revelations of story gathering criminality on an industrial scale, need we be surprised ?

    1. John Savard Silver badge

      Ah, yes.

      Too bad "Climategate" involved hackers stealing the scientists' E-mails instead of News of the World staffers hacking into the scientists' cell phones. Some attitudes might be turning around now if that were the case.

      1. Feralmonkey
        Thumb Down

        Wrong John

        The Climatgate emails were apparently released by an insider not by a hacker at least that's what the police said. They show what is wrong with politically sponsored science, that is the scientists become hostage of a political ideology and too often ignore results that counter what they are "supposed" to find. This helps them keep their job but corrupts science on a horrendous scale.

  7. maclovinz


    ...The Couch Potato Scientists Guild

    Motto: "Purporting to know everything about science".

    Ah well, least they're not 'a-certain-party-who-shall-remain-nameless' from the States....who know all about 'God'.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    hard science...

    is going to dump on soft science. Great scientific discovery has never been done by consensus. And lastly, and personally, global warming is political puke. It stopped me voting. I'd get into more of the science but, why bother. This comment is enough of a waste of time responding to AGW hawks quick on the trigger. May they pay for it all with their own cash and, if they have them, their pensions. And, stop the bull on CO2 you extremist #$&@*#@ arrogant little @%&@s.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "Great scientific discovery has never been done by consensus" Sorry, but that is complete rubbish. There are some famous discoveries that one person has found, but they are all - eventually - ratified by consensus. Just look at the drug industry you test, test, test and test again until everyone is happy with the result before you use it. The identification of the Human Genome was a group achievement. Rocket science is - except for a few early pioneers - all done by consensus.

      It is however, very, very, rare for consensus to be overturned if there is such a high rate of consensus. There are examples, where consensus has been overturned, such as big-bang vs steady state, or evolution, but these are areas where there was little initial certainty.

  9. Al42


    Anybody else noticed Pooh Bear in the bottom right of the Map ?????

  10. Beelzeebub

    This Earth

    Has been impacted by several large asteriods, such as the one which killed the dinosaurs, but not me. How did the Earth regenerate after the nuclear winters that these impacts caused?

    I think we need to know.

  11. peter_dtm


    Why do an experiment ?

    To test an hypothesis

    What do you do with the results of the experiment ?

    Interpret them in terms of what the experiment was supposed to test (ie agrees with the theory/disagrees with the theory)

    What do you do with the interpretation of the results ?

    Modify the theory so it better describes the real world ie MORE interpretation.

    The result HAVE to be interpreted otherwise the experiment is a waste of time and money – and since I have been forced to become a ‘citizen’ of the EUSSR; rather than remaining a subject of the nation of my birth I object to the waste of my tax £

    but I suspect I'm not welcome here as I do logic not emotions; and so belong in the past of real science not in modern feely cuddly post normal science; so I'll just get me coat

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Object all you like, I revel in the amount of tax money that is given to CERN and big science like it. I would gladly give three, four, five, even twenty times as much tax to CERN as I currently do. Twenty times as much would be something like 20 pence a year.

      You also seem to mis-understand how basic science works - come up with a theory, observe the theory, respond to the results and change your theory based on new evidence, repeat. That's how science works.

      Also, if you do logic and not emotions, how come you can't see the advantages of Europe acting as a collective, together we are the world's largest economy.

      1. peter_dtm

        oh dear

        quote AC

        You also seem to mis-understand how basic science works - come up with a theory, observe the theory, respond to the results and change your theory based on new evidence, repeat. That's how science works.

        end quote

        that's what I said

        hypothesis (it is only a theory AFTER the proof is in and a consensus formed that it accurately describes a facet of the real world - which takes years and lots of experiments)


        INTERPRET the results

        MODIFY (if necessary - or scrap) hypothesis

        No interpretation - no modification.

        and if you did read it you would also notice that I object to paying IF science is not done ie if the interpretation that is required by the scientific method is not made.

        CERN is not an EU institution by the way and is one of the best things around - full of science & engineering. Not to mention IT. And some really GOOD engineering; that allows for some amazing science. In fact why don't we cut all politicians pay by 20% across CERN member countries and give it all to CERN (ok it would probably only pay for a minutes worth of their electricity bill)?

        Why is Europe not logical - because the people who make up the member states that were allowed to have referendums said NO. And the people of the UK who were promised a referendum about membership of a nation-state were never given one. And because Common Law and Napoleonic Law can not co-exist - and why should we give up Common Law ?

        And because most of what we are told about the EU has been lies; the UK politicians ALWAYS deny that the whole purpose of the EU is a single state (not even federal). If it was GOOD THING why do they have to lie about it ? What is logical about that ? I have found that big lies are normally told to hide big nasty truths - and the EU is based on a big lie.

        Power and £ to CERN ! Devil take the lying eurocrats

  12. Disco-Legend-Zeke


    ..."12m muons pass through your body every 24 hours."

    I generally only feel one once a week or so. A "Cosmic Ray Hit," one that strikes a nerve ending in just the right way.

    Sequester Carbon Dioxide, Buy a beer.

  13. Herby Silver badge

    Experts? Consensus??


    Everyone is an "expert" and with all them "experts", we can have a "consensus". You would think that they know everything. If they are so "accurate" in this "climate change" stuff, predict with 100% accuracy the weather next week.

    Good luck, the weather service can't do that, and they have lots of computers AND real experts to back them up.

    By the way, there is a tropical storm of the US Atlantic Ocean. Have your "consensus" "experts" tell us what is going to happen with it. Make my day!

    Tides come, tides go, but the ocean stays the same!

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Re: You obviously don't know any particle physicists (I do)...

    Really, you do? Then ask them to explain modern science to you. I have a background in particle physics, and am an accelerator physicist working at CERN. As such, I am very well aware how time consuming it is to stay on top of your current field of research. Just keeping up with some quite specific accelerator research takes an awful lot of time. I read few particle physics papers anymore, despite their relevance. My reading on atmospheric modelling doesn't go beyond Nature.

    I assure you that what I know of modern climate modelling has very real, narrow limits. Of course, I studied fluid dynamics in the past and use lots of numerical codes, but that doesn't mean I could assess the impact of a factor on global climate with any confidence. The atmospheric physicist studied relativity and has experience with instrumentation, but I wouldn't suggest letting him design a particle collider either.

    Of course, either of us could spend years (or less for those polymaths...) retraining and have a crack at the other field, though I somehow doubt anyone working on CLOUD fancies doing that.

    (Nuke, because, well, atmospheric physicist building a particle collider)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      They don't know everything, that's the point of consensus.

      Also, you kind of spoil your post by not understanding the difference between climate and weather.

      Oh and I recognise the quote, but oceans don't actually stay the same.

      1. Feralmonkey

        do you know the difference?

        I know the difference between climate and weather unfortunately most AGW alarmists heretofore referred to as warmista's don't, every weather event in the world is proof of AGW and that is ANY event warm or cold ie snow covered most of the northern hemisphere even areas that haven't seen snow in a century it is proof that the planet is warming dangerously (never mind that is colder in those area's than it has been in a CENTURY.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          You mix up localised weather with climate - it can be far colder in one small area, but the world as a whole can be warmer.

          Furthermore, every extreme weather event (and this bit is crucial) *above the average* is a tiny piece of evidence that something is going on. If there are a few years of more extreme weather events, followed by a few of less, it's probably nothing. The problem is that this isn't happening, it is getting warmer, there are more extreme weather events (only just, but there are more and enough to be statistically noticeable) and the question is not if it's happening, but what to do about it.

          1. Anonymous Coward


            "Every event that deviates from the average" might be closer to correct. Meaning of course that NEGATIVE deviations have equal indicative weight as POSITIVE variations. Your statement is a classic failure caused by confirmation bias!

            And in any case - only the climate change extremists (the end of the world as we know it) crowd support the idea that "extreme events" are indicative of AGW. It is simply not true and the evidence is pretty clear on the matter.


    2. Anonymous Coward

      Upvoted, despite the fact you took a swing at me.


      Yep, many a beer evening doing just that. I know more and understand less and have fewer brain cells to show for it :)

      My point was however, a repsonse to a previous post that seemed to indicate that partical physicists were somehow incapable of understanding climatology. This is a patently false and deluded position. The very idea for CLOUD was about understanding the basic science of something observed that has a very high correlation with observed climate, and may in fact be causal (science is pending, coming soon from CERN)

      I was not suggesting particle physics was the be all and end all of science (though if you find the Higgs ...), I was merely suggesting that rigorous experimental science is something particle physicists and CERN do, where as there is IMHO, a lot of less rigorous crap in the climatology field.

      I sort of think it's a bit late for the DG of CERN to go all PC on us. The decision to investigate and fund CLOUD was a decade ago (?) and it was very clear at the time that the results could seriously undermine the AGW political "orthodoxy" by proposing a scientifically verifiable alternative mechanism for climatic variability. Personally, I applaud CERN for the bold decision to advance science.

      Let me know when you find the Higgs btw.

  15. Werner Donné

    Calder wasn't misquoted

    I don't think Nigel Calder was misquoted. Just read the book "The Chilling Stars" he wrote together with Henrik Svensmark. This book makes the case for at least investigating the effect of cosmic rays, which is a correct scientific attitude. The reaction to this from the "scientific world" has been very far from scientific.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Of course there is value in investigating the effect of cosmic rays - I know a few climate scientists and they all say it's worth a look - that doesn't mean that there is any consensus on the effects, or that the people at CERN are qualified to judge them.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        It is worth a look

        Svensmark rated a mention in IPCC 4 as is pointed out other places on the net.

        However, the prevailing orthodoxy has limited the ability of Svensmark et. al. to publish, and their work has been denigrated and dismissed very loudly and publicly by AGW supporters (the "Hockey Team").

        Hopefully CLOUD will result in some real, falsifiable science, and we will be able to incorporate this into what we already know about climate (no matter what way the science turns out).

        CO2 forced runaway AGW is not a silver bullet and is an unproven hypothesis.

        Pleasing to hear that there are open minded climate scientists still around.


  16. Martin Usher

    They're trying to do science..... a world where saying or even hinting at the wrong thing can put your funding at risk.

    American scientists are becoming masters at dodging the outside world. You can't argue rationally with belief, especially belief that has little to no scientific training*** and is congenitally innumerate.

    (***After all, we all know that science is just another belief system, isn't it?)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ok, if they are trying to do science...

      where are the portals and the cake, hmmmm?

  17. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Rolf-Dieter Heuer Faustus

    "There are some things that Man is not meant to know..."

    Cackles insanely, then pulls huge switch down to start the LHC.....

  18. Adrian Esdaile

    I think those graphs

    absolutely PROVE it!

  19. veti Silver badge

    Nothing to see here, move on

    Could it be that it would just be stupid to speculate about the effects of something for which such scant data exist?

    Let's assume for a moment that cosmic rays create clouds. Let's further assume that you've got enough historical data to show that peaks of cosmic radiation have coincided with above-average cloud cover. (Very dubious already - I seriously doubt if this data even exists on any meaningful scale.) Still we haven't even touched on the longevity or albedo of the clouds thus formed.

    Or we could, instead, compare cosmic radiation history with global climate history. This is inevitably pretty shaky, given that we're comparing two sets of data for which *only proxy records exist* - there are no actual thermometer readings or cosmic ray counts for the year 1300 - and to assume a causal relationship between them would be not merely to jump the gun, it would be to attach a jetpack and overfly the entire arsenal.

    This is an interesting finding, but to draw conclusions about climate change from it would be criminally premature.

    And finally, contrary to the article's tone, it's not "unusual" for managers to admonish their underlings against unfounded speculation in political hot-topic areas. It happens on a daily basis. The issue is that, generally, researchers *are* encouraged to speculate about the possible impact of their work, but when this would expose them to the kind of attention that instantly focuses on anything containing the word "climate", the caveats about the "very early stages" and "much more work needed" will be swept away in a tsunami of axe-grinding.

    So let's not pretend this is news. This is a director doing his job. Give him a nod of thanks or recognition if you like, then move on.

  20. Mallorn

    Request, not order

    Speaking as a particle physicist who works at CERN, but with nothing whatsoever to do with CLOUD, I think the article grossly misrepresents the facts. First Rolf has requested that they refrain from interpretation of their results NOT that they do not publish them i.e. the data will still be out there in the public domain for all to interpret. Secondly the DG of CERN has no ability to prevent experiments at CERN from publishing whatever they like. Technically he may be able to make CERN employed personel remove their names from the paper (although that's not for certain) but most of us working at CERN have positions in external institutes and have the protection of tenure (at least those of us not in the UK) for precisely this reason: we can publish what we like without fear for our jobs.

    Of course you would not lightly ignore the request of the CERN DG, especially when it is a sensible, well reasoned request such as this (sticking to the data is good science and avoids unnecessary politics). However it is a request.

  21. indulis

    The Reg gags the facts, tells readers to accept another conspiracy instead

    Anyone interested in some evidence that even massive amounts of cosmic rays don't have a significant effect on climate should look at Richard Alley's 2009 lecture to the AGU. A good chance to get educated about cosmic rays and how CO2 has saved the planet due to its properties to cause a 3C rise per doubling of concentration (the earth would not have come out of "snowball earth" if this was not true). Another line of evidence that supports the other lines of evidence from other studies. He also talks about the times in the past where the earth was bombarded by high concentrations of cosmic rays, yet they seemed to have little influence on climate.


    "In order for GCRs to successfully seed clouds, they must achieve the following three steps.

    1. GCRs must induce aerosol formation

    2. These newly-formed aerosols must grow sufficiently (through the condensation of gases in the atmosphere) to form cloud-condensation nuclei (CCN)

    3. The CCN must lead to increased cloud formation."

    The CERN CLOUD experiment addresses point 1, but does NOT include any modelling of what happens to any nascent clouds. So you can understand CERN saying to avoid talking about 2 and 3 as a reminder to scientists that are not in the field of modelling climate systems and feedbacks, and that the hunger for headline fodder by AGW skeptics means that ANY comment in any way related to climate will be used as proof that cosmic rays cause climate change. Well, we can see the proof that even before they speak by the headlines in The Register.

    "And since 1990, galactic cosmic ray flux on Earth has increased - "the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures" (Lockwood 2007). In fact, cosmic ray on flux recently reached record levels. According to Richard Mewaldt of Caltech, "In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we've seen in the past 50 years." "

    So while cosmic rays have been going up we've been warming up, not cooling down. And with no discernible increase in clouds near the equator and the poles where cosmic rays should have the most impact.


    ... for some actual science and common sense, rather than speculation about YACT (yet another conspiracy theory, which seems to be all The Reg's "science" writers are capable of doing, apart from claiming that leaking nuclear plants are safe).

    Hey, and where is the report in The Reg about the fact that AGW skeptic Dr Richard Muller (partly paid by AGW skeptics and Tea Party founders/funders the Koch brothers) reanalysed the data and disproved the "badly sited temperature stations are part of a conspiracy to show global warming" theory. But hey, why expect BALANCED coverage here, especially if it does not fit in with the presumption that more CO2 is fine. Even if it is real science. Even if it was done by a self confessed AGW skeptic. It also

    Where are the headlines, Reg? "Climate skeptic proves no conspiracy- temperature stations OK, confirms rise in US temperatures!"

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CERN physicists not gagged ..

    A total misrepresentation and distortion of what Rolf-Dieter Heuer actually said and meant. And I would have thought that doing an interview with Welt Online was one sure way of not suppressing evidence. Rolf-Dieter Heuer: "I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them". Here's another non-gagged post by Jasper Kirkby lead scientist at the CLOUD experiment:

    “until this natural contribution to climate change is well understood there will be a big uncertainty as to what is going on with mankind’s contribution.”

    Video: "Evidence of pre-industrial solar climate variable" Jasper Kirkby (speaker) (CERN)

    "CLOUD is an experiment that uses a cloud chamber to study the possible link between galactic cosmic rays and cloud formation".

  23. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Anyone ever wonder why the sensor is called a "Cloud" chamber?

    As well as a Wilson chamber.

    Wilson was inspired by the formation of dew droplets in nature.

    It was *the* tool for particle physics for roughly 40 years.

    BTW Particle physicists and high energy astronomers have been using high altitude balloon and sounding rocket instruments to measure high energy particles in the high atmospheres (80 Kft+) for at least a 100 years.

    IIRC there are also ground based very wide field of view instruments that watch the night sky to detect particle triggered "scintillations" to gather statistics on high energy particles.

    There is a *direct* record of high energy particle impacts on Earths atmosphere.

    It's incomplete and does not cover the whole planet. Then again hanging global warming on *one* tree ring is not exactly "global" either.

  24. Chris Coles


    Simply, why not also reach the conclusion that it is the temperature of the atmosphere that controls the quantity of cosmic radiation detected?

    Without any corroborating evidence; it is entirely possible that we might conclude that the temperature controls the data, rather than radiation controls.

  25. Quoffer

    Happy memories

    The general mentality of this debate reminds me of a similar debate which I was foolish enough to engage in a few years ago, namely the Evolution vs 'God created the world in 6 days 6000 years ago'. As an evolutionary biologist I mistaken allowed myself to be drawn into debates with so-called 'creation scientists', many of which held PhDs and scientific qualifcations (one was even an acedamic at a leading UK university). I was always frustrated by how they would take scientific findings which questioned cetain aspects of evolutionary theory and then state that this this 'proved' evolution to be wrong. They were so blinkered by their view that evolution was wrong that they would jump on any evidence that showed certain flaws in evolutionary theory (of which there are a few) rather than looking at the bigger picture which overwhelmingly supports it.

    What is interesting here is that: a) This is very much the same mentality as that used by most climate-change sceptices; and b) The young earth creationists were also climate change sceptics and would agree with many posts here.

    Ha, happy memmories...

    1. Chris007

      not me.

      Anybody who believes the earth was created in 7 days and is 10,000 (6,000 whatever) yrs old is, frankly, an idiot.

      However I am not convinced by the current argument that man-made CO2 is PRIMARILY responsible for climate change - Anybody who can give me a credible answer to my question (directly below this comment) then perhaps I may be swayed

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Try having a look at, they're pretty good. It's doubtful that any one person can teach you everything you need to know, it's just too complicated. Be very suspicious of individuals who have an answer to something as complicated as global climate.


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