Cosmic Rays and Climate Change
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Focusing their attention on studies of dust in the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 - which they say "provide strong support for Ney's arguments" - they report that Ram et al. (1998) and Ram and Stolz (1999) have shown that the dust concentration in the upper 2.8 km of the ice, spanning approximately 100,000 years, "is strongly modulated at regular periods close to 11, 22, 80 and 200 years, all of which are well-known periods of solar activity." In this regard, however, they note that "an amplifying mechanism must be at work if solar influence is to be taken seriously," and they go on to describe work that largely satisfies that criterion as it applies to dust variability, indicating that "changes in nucleation processes in clouds associated with the CRF can provide the necessary amplification," which they describe in abbreviated form as "increased solar activity → decreased cosmic ray flux → decreased air-earth [downward electric] current [density (Jz)] → decreased contact nucleation → decreased precipitation → increased dust."
Since this chain of events operates via changes in cloud characteristics, Ram et al. concluded that it provides "circumstantial evidence for a sun/climate connection mediated by the terrestrial CRF," which "may initiate a sufficiently large amplification mechanism that can magnify the influence of the Sun on the Earth's climate beyond the traditional radiative effects." Hence, they encourage "work to incorporate the effects of the CRF on Jz (and associated nucleation processes), and the subsequent microphysical responses, into macroscopic cloud models that can then be incorporated into global climate models," for until this is done, and done successfully, today's climate models cannot be claimed to include all processes that may be of significance to the accurate simulation of Earth's future climate.
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