German scientists have discovered groups of charged particles in the lower atmosphere that eventually cause dense clouds to form. These particles are generated by cosmic rays coming from the Sun. The clouds which are formed play a major role in the climate?some cool the Earth, while others actually heat it up.
By releasing different amounts of cosmic rays, the Sun has been a major cause of recent global warming. This means it?s not only the release of greenhouse gases and pollutants that is causing our weather to heat up. If the Sun is a major cause of climate change, it would explain the cycles of global warming and cooling that have gone on in the deep past. We know we?re in a natural warming cycle right now, although most scientists believe it?s being made worse by manmade emissions.
Cosmic rays influence climate change by affecting the ability of clouds to reflect light. The University of East Anglia?s Climatic Research Unit says, "Low clouds tend to cool, high clouds tend to warm. High clouds tend to?reflect less sunlight back to space than low clouds?To further complicate matters, cloud properties may change with a changing climate, and human-made aerosols may confound the effect of greenhouse gas forcing on clouds. Depending on whether and how cloud cover changes, the cloud feedback could almost halve or almost double the warming."
The Earth's surface seems to be warming, while temperatures in the lowerdsf atmosphere have stayed the same. Some scientists say this means the case for human-induced climate change is weak, because our influence should produce a uniform temperature rise from the surface up through the atmosphere.
Cosmic rays causing changes in clouds could explain this puzzle. This would mean that the Sun is a major engine of climate change. If we could track the cycles of cosmic rays more precisely, we might be able to anticipate and plan for future long term warming and cooling events?assuming we survive on the Earth that long.
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