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08 May 2009

Climate Change due to Cosmic Rays

Henrik Svensmark, a weather scientist at the Danish National Space Center believes that the planet is experiencing a natural period of low cloud cover due to fewer cosmic rays entering the atmosphere, which is responsible for much of the global warming we are experiencing.

Svensmark claims carbon dioxide emissions due to human activity are having a smaller impact on climate change than scientists think. If he is correct, it could mean that mankind has more time to reduce our effect on the climate.

Svensmark published the first experimental evidence from five years' research on the influence that cosmic rays have on cloud production in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Journal A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences.

Svensmark claims that the number of cosmic rays hitting the Earth changes with the magnetic activity around the Sun. During high periods of activity, fewer cosmic rays hit the Earth and so there are less clouds formed, resulting in warming. "Evidence from ice cores," he said, "show this happening long into the past. We have the highest solar activity we have had in at least 1,000 years."

Humans are having an effect on climate change, but by not including the cosmic ray effect in models it means the results are inaccurate.The size of man's impact may be much smaller and so the man-made change is happening slower than predicted.

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