Friday, March 17, 2006

High energy behind the climate?

Jan Veizer, an esteemed scientist (to be explained below) from University of Ottawa who emigrated from Slovakia after the 1968 occupation by the Warsaw Pact, argues that the primary driver of the climate is a

namely high-energy cosmic rays. An article in Geoscience Canada explains why he thinks so: the summary is that in the last 200,000 years, there is apparently a high correlation between the temperature and the amount of cosmic rays reaching the Earth, as reconstructed from radioactive isotopes: the more cosmic rays you face, the colder climate you get. Cold eras also occur whenever the geomagnetic field - a field we can reconstruct - was less efficient in screening the cosmic rays.

A larger group of people is apparently getting convinced that it is "certain" that the climate is primarily dictated by high-energy cosmic rays that determine the rate of cloud formation.

The Royal Society of Canada called [Veizer] "one of the most creative, innovative and productive geoscientists of our times," and added: "He has generated entirely new concepts that have proven key in our understanding the geochemical history of Earth."

He won the 1992 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, worth $2.2 million Cdn, representing the German government's highest prize for research in any field. The prize ended up financing his research.

The judges said he "has in front of his eyes the overall picture of the Earth during its entire 4.5 billion years of evolution," and he is "one of the most creative ... geologists of his time."

Yet, for years he held back on his climate doubts. "I was scared," he says.

Well, I am surely not certain that the theory is correct but given the credentials of my generalized countrymate, it may be worth thinking about it. Well, Veizer has also written an article in 2000 that presented evidence of decoupling of CO2 and the climate during the Phanerozoic eon. See also here.


  1. Lubos:

    It is long known, and hence long established, and hence nothing new, that high energy radiations coming from outer space has a great influence on the earth's climate.

    But most of the effect would be contributable to solar source, i.e., solar winds. The real cosmic radiation, coming from a source outside of solar system, is both insignificant comparing with solar winds, and relatively stable. So it is doubtful anything that os of true cosmic origin can have a strong influence on the earth's climate.

    High energy radiation influence the earth climate because they causes the molecules in the atmosphere to ionize. The ionized plasma is much better in absorbing and radiating away EM waves, and hence help dissipate the heat away into space. Gree house gas in the high atmosphere work the same way so more green house gas actually help cool the earth. See Cosmic Variance Blog.


  2. I did not pay too much attention to Jan Weizer's research until I notice on the other thread that John Bell meantioned this link between galaxy spiral arms and ice age on the earth. And gosh it immediately catches my attention.

    The reason is I have been studying galaxy spiral arms for a while. And my theory how they are formed exactly matches the observed phenomena as described by these researcher. I was expecting periodic variation of cosmic radiations based on my research, but never realized too much that it could be associated with the ice ages.

    I do not have too much time right now but later I will write about it on Cosmic Variance. The important thing to remember is galaxy spiral arms are one of the biggest mistery in modern cosmology. There is no explanation for them in any existing theory. The observation and logic indicates that spiral arms rotate at a MUCH SLOWER speed than is needed to balance the gravity. That observed fact is the difficulty in trying to explain them. But my theory will be the first one to give them a logically sounding explanation, as well as explain away the dark matter and dark energy. It's one whole piece as part of my GUITAR theory.