Author Topic: A couple of recent articles that are Sun related, despite first appearances!  (Read 2204 times)

ChrisScott

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It seems that there are a few articles out at the moment that talk about the connection between cosmic rays, cloud formation and tree growth.

Cosmic pattern to UK tree growth
http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8311000/8311373.stm

Cloud simulator tests climate models
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14637647

Why could this be important? Well, cosmic rays seeding clouds is a contentious subject but if proven would give our Sun another role in modulating climate on Earth since the Sun's magnetic field in space shields us from cosmic rays, as do the magnetic clouds associated with solar storms. What the effects of such clouds would be depends on how high in our atmosphere they form.

*if* cosmic rays are now shown to modulate tree growth (through cloud formation?) then there is yet another feedback mechanism.

It's all so *complicated* isn't it?!

Meanwhile, the likelihood of a forthcoming grand solar minimum will not only result in an increase in cosmic rays, it seems that there is an increased risk of big solar storms as a result;

Sun storms 'could be more disruptive within decades'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14580995

None of these stories detract from the compelling evidence that enhanced levels of CO2 in our atmosphere is affecting our climate but they demonstrate that the Earth's atmosphere certainly isn't a closed system!

Happy reading :)

Chris.