The Chilling Stars

NASA, for one, considers unproven Henrik Svensmark’s theory that cosmic rays provide seed nuclei for the low-altitude clouds that keep earth’s temperature low, thus having much more effect on climate than the favorite notion of the carbon dioxide movement. "Speculation," said the agency scientists who recently pronounced the current solar minimum the least since the space age began–meaning the solar wind is subsiding and cosmic rays are increasing.

Svensmark’s and  science writer Nigel Calder’s 2007 book, The Chilling Stars, A New Theory of Climate Change, shows the theory has ample evidence to be respectable, far more than the U.N.’s notion that industrial and automotive carbon dioxide will make the seas rise, the tropics move north, and give the Democrats another tax (carbon footprint) on which to hang their favorite boondoggles. It’s a theory that invites collaboration from scientists as diverse as particle physicists, astronomers and biologists, and it really should interest NASA, as it involves such climate drivers as supernovae and the solar system’s passage through the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy.

But, even as a growing bunch of amateur scientists wonder if the sun’s lack of solar-wind-increasing sunspots this year could mean we’re headed for global cooling, even a mini Ice Age, Svensmark isn’t assuming the leadership of a cosmic ray movement. He says it would be "scientifically rash" to use his theory to offer any firm climate forecast for decades ahead. Instead, he’s hard at work searching for even more evidence for it.

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