Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Changes In The Sun Are Not Causing Global Warming, New Study Shows

Date:
May 12, 2009
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
With the US Congress beginning to consider regulations on greenhouse gases, a troubling hypothesis about how the sun may impact global warming is finally laid to rest.

With the U.S. Congress beginning to consider regulations on greenhouse gases, a troubling hypothesis about how the sun may impact global warming is finally laid to rest.
Credit: iStockphoto

With the U.S. Congress beginning to consider regulations on greenhouse gases, a troubling hypothesis about how the sun may impact global warming is finally laid to rest.

Carnegie Mellon University's Peter Adams along with Jeff Pierce from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, have developed a model to test a controversial hypothesis that says changes in the sun are causing global warming.

The hypothesis they tested was that increased solar activity reduces cloudiness by changing cosmic rays. So, when clouds decrease, more sunlight is let in, causing the earth to warm. Some climate change skeptics have tried to use this hypothesis to suggest that greenhouse gases may not be the global warming culprits that most scientists agree they are.

In research published in Geophysical Research Letters, and highlighted in the May 1 edition of Science, Adams and Pierce report the first atmospheric simulations of changes in atmospheric ions and particle formation resulting from variations in the sun and cosmic rays. They find that changes in the concentration of particles that affect clouds are 100 times too small to affect the climate.

"Until now, proponents of this hypothesis could assert that the sun may be causing global warming because no one had a computer model to really test the claims," said Adams, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon.

"The basic problem with the hypothesis is that solar variations probably change new particle formation rates by less than 30 percent in the atmosphere. Also, these particles are extremely small and need to grow before they can affect clouds. Most do not survive to do so," Adams said.

Despite remaining questions, Adams and Pierce feel confident that this hypothesis should be laid to rest. "No computer simulation of something as complex as the atmosphere will ever be perfect," Adams said. "Proponents of the cosmic ray hypothesis will probably try to question these results, but the effect is so weak in our model that it is hard for us to see this basic result changing."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. J. R. Pierce and P. J. Adams. Can cosmic rays affect cloud condensation nuclei by altering new particle formation rates? Geophys. Res. Lett., 2009; (in press) DOI: 10.1029/2009GL037946
  2. Richard A. Kerr. Study Challenges Cosmic Ray-Climate Link. Science, 2009; 324 (5927): 576 DOI: 10.1126/science.324_576b

Cite This Page:

Carnegie Mellon University. "Changes In The Sun Are Not Causing Global Warming, New Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511122425.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (2009, May 12). Changes In The Sun Are Not Causing Global Warming, New Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511122425.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "Changes In The Sun Are Not Causing Global Warming, New Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511122425.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers

California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — California's record drought is hurting honey supplies and raising prices for consumers. The lack of rainfall means fewer crops and wildflowers that provide the nectar bees need to make honey. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Species Found In Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Thousands Of Species Found In Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A U.S. team found nearly 4,000 species in a subglacial lake that hasn't seen sunlight in millennia, showing life can thrive even under the ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins