Feeds

CERN 'gags' physicists in cosmic ray climate experiment

What do these results mean? Not allowed to tell you

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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 nucleation.

CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Welt Online that the scientists should refrain from drawing conclusions from the latest experiment.

"I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them," reports veteran science editor Nigel Calder on his blog. Why?

Because, Heuer says, "That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate. One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters."

12m muons pass through your body every 24 hours

The unusual "gagging order" could have been issued because the results of CLOUD are really, really boring, muses Calder. Or, it could be that the experiment invites a politically unacceptable hypothesis on climate.

The CLOUD experiment builds on earlier experiments by Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark, who demonstrated that cosmic rays provide a seed for clouds. Tiny changes in the earth's cloud cover could account for variations in temperature of several degrees. The amount of Ultra Fine Condensation Nuclei (UFCN) material depends on the quantity of the background drizzle of rays, which varies depending on the strength of the sun's magnetic field and the strength of the Earth's magnetic field.

Close correlation between cosmic ray penetration and temperature

But how much? Speaking at a private event attended by El Reg earlier this year, Svensmark, who has nothing to do with CLOUD, wouldn't be drawn. He said he thought it was one of four significant factors: man-made factors, volcanoes, a "regime shift" in the mid-'70s, and cosmic rays.

The quantity of cosmic rays therefore has an influence on climate, but this isn't factored into the IPCC's "consensus" science at all.

According to Calder:

"CERN has joined a long line of lesser institutions obliged to remain politically correct about the man-made global warming hypothesis. It's OK to enter 'the highly political arena of the climate change debate' provided your results endorse man-made warming, but not if they support Svensmark's heresy that the Sun alters the climate by influencing the cosmic ray influx and cloud formation."

Let's hope he's been misquoted. The precedents aren't happy. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.