## Monday, June 08, 2009

### CERN: CLOUD on cloud number nine

The LHC is not the only experiment that will begin to collect the data later in 2009.

CLOUD - Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets - just got closer to reality because of the operation you can see in the video above: their three-meter diameter cloud chamber has just arrived.
On CLOUD nine (CERN press release)
The experiment will try to find out whether the ions (similar to the galactic cosmic rays) influence the creation of clouds in the atmosphere. In other words, whether a roof is necessary for the cloud chambers to operate. ;-)

The inflow of ions may be subsequently modulated by the variations of solar activity. Because clouds cool the surface by 30 W/m^2, which is 20 times higher than the assumed CO2 forcing, be sure that small systematic changes of the cloud cover are damn important for the climate.

If the influence is found to exist, a widely suspected major climate driver will be quantified. Further sources:
CLOUD proposal documents
A talk by Jasper Kirkby on last Thursday:
... Poster (PDF), Slides (PDF), Video (CDS)
Funnily enough, the host of the seminar was string theorist Luis Alvarez-Gaume. He introduced a "part of the CERN furniture for 25 years". :-) The last sentence on the slides reaches comic proportions. After having spent 1 hour and 44 pages with this natural climate driver, the whole work is motivated by the desire for a better understanding of anthropogenic climate change. ;-)