News of the WeekClimate Change

Study Challenges Cosmic Ray–Climate Link

Science  01 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5927, pp. 576-577
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_576b

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If rising levels of greenhouse gases aren't pushing up global temperatures, as contrarians argue, what else could be? The leading alternative has been a fickle sun, and the sun's most likely--or most heavily promoted--agent of change has been cosmic rays. Now scientists have published the first comprehensive modeling of how the sun might indirectly thin cloud cover and thus warm the planet. It suggests that cosmic rays are not up to the task by two orders of magnitude.