Cosmic Rays and their effect on earth

Reposted from:  Space Weather, including links, with my own emphasis noted.
Updated: Sept. 29 2016 // Next Flight: Oct. 1, 2016

Sept. 20, 2016: Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We’ve been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expressed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly “down to Earth” form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies (#1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth’s magnetic field, (see also Climate and Earth’s Magnetic Field) which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth’s atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Matt Ridley’s new article in the WSJ – a dose of pragmatism about revelations from the new IPCC report

In the interests of intelligent balance in the “climate change” discussion we present the following for your consideration.

Watts Up With That?

Art for WSJ by David Klein

This will be a top sticky post for a day, new stories will appear below this one.

Climate Forecast: Muting the Alarm

Even while it exaggerates the amount of warming, the IPCC is becoming more cautious about its effects.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will shortly publish the second part of its latest report, on the likely impact of climate change. Government representatives are meeting with scientists in Japan to sex up—sorry, rewrite—a summary of the scientists’ accounts of storms, droughts and diseases to come.

But the actual report, known as AR5-WGII, is less frightening than its predecessor seven years ago.

View original post 714 more words

Global Warming BEFORE Carbon Dioxide?

I’m an old-school skeptic of following the crowd and accepting popular trends without challenge (I ain’t no stupid lemming), and truly “open minds” don’t go one way. It’s supposed to be about the FACTS, ma’am/man. Anyhow, when I saw this article I figured it was worth sharing. Food for thought. BTW, footnote 2 has an interesting 19 page technical summary)

Will Reducing Carbon Dioxide Solve Global Warming?

climateby Brian Thomas, M.S. *

Recently, scientists projected that even very drastic reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will do very little to slow atmospheric CO2 buildup, and therefore global warming. Nevertheless, the authors of a recent paper in Environmental Research Letters recommended that these drastic reductions should take place now, and that even more CO2 emission restrictions should be mandated in the future.1

The researchers cited the results of the International Panel on Climate Change 2007 report that claimed man-made chemicals are to blame for global warming: “The dominant factor in the radiative forcing of climate in the industrial era is the increasing concentration of various greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”2 Positive “radiative forcing” refers to an increase in global temperature and is typically measured in watts of energy per square meter of land. The same report stated—and our popular culture has repeated it as fact—that the specific greenhouse gas CO2 is a major cause of global warming.3

Many climatologists, including Dr. Larry Vardiman, disagree about the role of CO2 in this respect. They have found that the observed increase in CO2 (whether produced by human activity or not) is not causing global warming, but is perhaps caused by it!4 Dr. Vardiman was featured in a video presentation in which he referenced a graph showing that the fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 follow after corresponding fluctuations in atmospheric temperature.5

In addition, “the detailed temperature record since 1850 shows a temperature decline between 1940 and 1970 [a time when massive amounts of industrial CO2 were entering the atmosphere], which flies in the face of the explanation that a continuous exponential increase in carbon dioxide causes global warming.”4 Dr. Vardiman has also demonstrated the remarkably close overlaps of temperature to sunspots, indicating that solar cycles are more likely the cause of global warming.6

If CO2 is not responsible and global warming is due to processes that are outside mankind’s control, then the tremendous efforts that governments and individuals worldwide are making to fight it will amount to chasing after the wind.

References

  1. House, J. I. et al. 2008. What do recent advances in quantifying climate and carbon cycle uncertainties mean for climate policy? Environmental Research Letters. 3 (4): 044002.
  2. Solomon, S. et al. 2007: Technical Summary. In Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [Solomon, S. et al (eds.)]. Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 23.
  3. Ibid, 24
  4. Vardiman, L. 2008. Does Carbon Dioxide Drive Global Warming? Acts & Facts, 37 (10): 10.
  5. Global Warming: A Scientific & Biblical Exposé of Climate Change. DVD. J. Pena, J. Beaupied, and B. Wilt, directors. Answers in Genesis and Coral Ridge Ministries, 2008.
  6. Vardiman, L. 2008. A New Theory of Climate Change. Acts & Facts. 37 (11): 10.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Article posted on November 7, 2008.

http://www.icr.org/article/will-reducing-carbon-dioxide-solve-global-warming/

Con trails or “Chem” trails – what are they really?

We all see those clouds that form behind aircraft flying way up in the sky, but what are they and why/how do they form? Well, to begin with they are properly known as condensation trails, or “con trails,” NOT “Chem trails,” as they are incorrectly called by those susceptible to conspiracy theories. Trust me, there are enough real, documented conspiracies that there is no need to invent that kind of unscientific mythology. But on to the science, the facts.

My daughter is studying meteorology, and I asked her to ask her prof to explain the mechanics of the formation of “con trails,” but she sort of didn’t understand it well enough to explain it to me later…sigh. Shortly after, I was later helping out in a homeschool science class, and in the course of the experiment I had an epiphany and I got it(!) even though it wasn’t directly identifying this as an example of the adiabatic (ād’ē-ə-bāt’ĭk) process, which is most simply identified this way:

…When a gas is compressed under adiabatic conditions, its pressure increases and its temperature rises without the gain or loss of any heat. Conversely, when a gas expands under adiabatic conditions, its pressure and temperature both decrease without the gain or loss of heat. The adiabatic cooling of air as it rises in the atmosphere is the main cause of cloud formation.      [The bolded bits are important.]

[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/adiabatic?s=t  <—— this link also has the correct pronunciation]

In short: as the is aircraft flying, air is compressed and heated up going into/through the engine, then as it comes out the back end it decompresses, cools and condenses on the fine particles in the air, forming con trail clouds – ta da!

IMPORTANT: When there is little moisture up there and/or there is a strong high pressure system the clouds evaporate quickly; it’s that easy.

Here’s a really cool video demonstrating the effect. Actually watch it; it is very short and entertaining and makes it all so easy to understand.

Scientists increasingly moving to global cooling consensus

(This is complete text of the article by this name. If you wish to go to the web site, the address is: http://usfinancepost.com/scientists-increasingly-moving-to-global-cooling-consensus-9198.html#d6hKlPeGT0oAeAZu.01)

Reporter: Jack Minor November 2, 2013 in Politics, http://usfinancepost.com

Critics of those who claim that man-made global warming is a serious threat to the planet and settled science frequently point to the fickleness of scientists on the issue, noting that in the 60s and 70s scientists were warning of just the opposite. It now appears the critic’s claims may have merit as a new consensus is beginning to once again return to the global cooling model.

Adherents of man-made global warming have supported the issue in a way akin to that of religious zealots, even to the point of attempting to cover up evidence that runs contrary to their beliefs or portrays it in a negative light.

Global warming has been blamed for every recent catastrophe including wildfires in America even when they have been started by human activity, Hurricane Sandy, and even for the recent rash of cold spells that have descended upon much of the world.

However, even in the midst of their support for the theory, they appear to have acknowledged there are serious issues with claiming that record cold winters are the result of global warming. In the 1990s, they frequently made calls for governments to take steps to issue regulations to curtail “global warming.” However, they now generally do not use the phrase any longer, instead calling on combating “climate change.”

It is unclear exactly how that is supposed to happen since the very definition itself means that if the weather changes from one day to the next that is climate change.

However, scientists are now beginning to rethink their climate change models and are seriously discussing the possibility the earth is entering into a period of global cooling.

Environmentalist Lawrence Solomon writing in the Financial Post cites the fact that solar activity is currently decreasing at one of the fastest rates as anytime the last 10,000 years. Because of this, he says many scientists are actually reverting from the mantra of global warming and are now subscribing to the possibility of global cooling as occurring.

“Now an increasing number of scientists are swinging back to the thinking of the 1960s and 1970s,” Solomon writes. “The global cooling hypothesis may have been right after all, they say. Earth may be entering a new Little Ice Age.”

He further goes on to note that Columbia University’s George Kukla- who warned the US government about the dangers of global cooling back in 1972 claimed that global warming “always precedes an ice age… The warming we saw in the 1980s and 1990s, in other words, was expected all along, much as the calm before the storm.”

One of the public-relations problems facing man-made global warming adherents is that individuals are able to look around and see the effects of increasingly cold weather that they are able to experience personally. Europe and many parts of America have experienced record snowfalls at even later periods in the year in recent years. This causes people to ask if the alarmists are warning about the planet getting warmer, then how can they explain it getting colder.

Rather than blame man-made activity for weather change on the planet, scientists have recently begun looking at solar activity as a predictor of world climate. Data available has revealed that low solar activity has been connected with cold eras in human history, while the opposite has occurred during higher solar activity such as what happened during the recent period form the 1950s to the 1990s.

Evidence of solar activity affecting climate appeared on Mars, when a probe revealed that the planet’s icepack was also experiencing global warming and receding. This prompted skeptics of man-made global warming to mockingly say that it is amazing how our probes are now causing global warming on Mars.

About Jack Minor

Jack Minor is a journalist and researcher who served in the United States Marine Corps under President Reagan. He is a book editor and ghostwriter for JMPublications.com, of which he is also the founder. Also, he has written hundreds of articles and been interviewed about his work on many TV and radio outlets.

Autumnal assault – poem

——-

In golden umber attire,

soldier leaves, torn from their posts,

respond to the clarion

call of the Autumn tempest.

Pouring into the roadways,

a spiraling cavalry,

surrounding adversaries

that heedlessly pass through…

Then scattering, regrouping,

leaping and charging upward

to the high ground, preparing

for their next joyous sortie.

!

© 2013 Marcene Lloyd

Exploring Thunderstorms (gamma flashes!) From High Above [Video]

Exploring Thunderstorms From High Above [Video].

Why do plants grow better after a rain?

Ever noticed that when you water your lawn/garden it politely says “thank you,” but essentially doesn’t look much different unless it was drought stricken to start? But then it rains, and it’s like the plant version of the “Hallelujah Chorus”! The plants not only perk up, but they practically leap up and suddenly you have new growth, flowers or a need to mow your lawn. Most people notice, but otherwise don’t think much of it, but some of us look at this dichotomy and think “What? Isn’t my water good enough for you? What does rain water have that mine doesn’t, or is it the chlorine slowing it down?”

Well, here’s the answer, and it isn’t the chlorine:

Composition of air

Most people think that air is primarily oxygen, since this is the gas we need to survive. However, the major component of air is nitrogen – 78.09% of it! Nitrogen is completely inert, meaning it the under normal conditions it has no positive or negative effects on our bodies (unless you scuba dive, but that’s not part of this topic). Oxygen is only about 20.95% of the air we breathe, with the final 0.96% made up of trace gasses such as carbon dioxide (0.03%) and argon (0.93%).

So what does this have to do with plants? Nitrogen is a natural fertilizer, and when it rains it washes out of the air and fertilizes the plants as well as giving them a drink. (What a cool way God has designed to both water and feed the plants!)

Why doesn’t the atmosphere doesn’t contain a higher concentration of oxygen? It wasn’t designed to, for (at least) 2 excellent reasons:

  • Breathing pure oxygen for extended periods of time leads to oxygen toxicity;
  • oxygen is a potent accelerant, so if there was a greater concentration in the air, fires would be more common and more intense.

As Bill Nye, the Science Guy used to say, “Now you know…!”

Gardens and Grasshoppers or “A plague on those locusts!”

I was reading a post at Town and Country Gardening about drought and grasshoppers (http://survivalfarm.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/home-gardens-drougth-dry-winds-grasshoppers-whats-next/#comment-1513). He lives in Oklahoma and has my sympathy because the Great Plains have traditionally been a challenging place to garden/farm.

Oklahoma Dust Bowl – 1930’s

Some suggested “climate change” but I am a bit of a history geek, and the Dust Bowl of the 30′s is something most of us actually know very little about, but if you talk to some very old people they will tell you it  was pretty bad. Here are some places to start (all links are safe and secure – I went there myself and checked):

Observed precipitation in the great plains region of North America 30ªN to 50ªN, 95ªW to 105ªW (boxed area on maps) compared with precipitation calculated from an atmospheric general circulation model forced by observed sea-surface temperature data. The calculated precipitation has been smoothed to remove fluctuations with periods shorter than six years. The thin black lines are 14 different simulations. The variation shows some of the uncertainty of the calculated precipitation. The green line is the average of the 14 simulations. The maps show the anomaly of precipitation averaged from 1932 to 1938.

That being said, here are some helpful suggestions I gleaned from Garden’s Alive! (“Getting a Grip on Grasshoppers!”) about natural grasshoppers controls: http://www.gardensalive.com/article.asp?ai=775. Yes, it is a commercial site, but they have “environmentally responsible products that work,”  to use their own words. Here are a few suggestions with a few brief quotes from the page:

  1. Nosema locustae, “a microscopic protozoan parasite of grasshoppers. Often just called ‘Nosema’, it is currently available under a variety of brand names, including ‘Nolo Bait’ and ‘Semaspore.’ It’s a living organism with a relatively short shelf life, so it’s best to buy it just before you use it—which would be in the Spring, when you see the first baby hoppers in their “nymph” stage; a half-inch or smaller. (It doesn’t have much of an effect on adults). Your local county extension agent should be able to identify the right time for your specific region.”
  2. Fowl: Domestic – Guinea fowl (very effective!) and chickens. Native – attract them (specific suggestions in article).
  3. Spun polyester row covers. ‘Nuff said.
  4. Tilling: “Tilling your soil early in the Fall and again in Spring will expose many of those eggs to predators and desiccation.”
  5. Heavy mulch: Grasshoppers lay next year’s eggs later in summer and heavy mulch (at least 2 inches of old hay, straw, wood chips, shredded leaves, etc.) applied over the winter will prevent many of next year’s young from being able to emerge from the soil (I leave mine on year-round).
  6. Molasses is a favorite folk cure that may help right now. Back when I was editor of ORGANIC GARDENING, a Canadian reader reported great success from spraying the perimeter of her garden with a dilute mixture of molasses; apparently, it clogged the pores of hoppers hit by the spray and ones who ate the sprayed plants. Several other readers recommended molasses traps: Mix one part blackstrap molasses with ten parts water, fill wide-mouth jars and buckets a third of the way with this mix and place around the infested area; the hoppers hop in but they can’t hop out.”
  7. Neem – “Spraying those plants with neem—a natural pesticide made from the seed of a tropical tree—is virtually certain to protect them. In fact, our good buddy Bill Quarles, director of the BIRC—the Bio-Integral Resource Center in Berkeley, California—tells us that neem’s pesticidal properties were first investigated because neem trees were the only plants spared during locust attacks. Bill says that ‘grasshoppers would rather starve to death than eat a plant that’s been sprayed with neem.’ ”

A fistful of locusts – or lunch?

BTW, a little know fact: According to the Bible (Leviticus 11: 20-23), locusts are the only insect that may be eaten: “Every flying insect that uses four legs for walking shall be avoided by you. The only flying insects with four walking legs you may eat are those with knees extending above their feet, [using these longer legs] to hop on the ground. Among these you may only eat members of the red locust family, the yellow locust family, the spotted gray locust family and the white locust family. All other flying insects with four feet [for walking] must be avoided by you.”

Perhaps it was God’s way of giving the people something to eat (in addition to a little culinary vengeance) any time locusts ate their crops.

Anyone ever tried them and have any comments or recipes?

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