Turns out that scientist at the Copenhagen meeting who suffered a heart attack was Henrik Svensmark, author of a plausible book and much research behind it as to what (besides carbon dioxide), might be causing the global warming that may or may not actually be occurring.
Svensmark seems to be recovering from what seems to have been a malfunctioning pacemaker, according to this hard-to-read Google translation of a Danish newspaper account, posted by Anthony Watts. Svensmark believes that a lack of cosmic rays to provide the seed nuclei for the formation of clouds to keep the temperature low is behind whatever warming there is. Sol’s recent sleep apparently has upped the cosmic ray count, which Svensmark might say is bringing the recent early winters.
Sol’s protracted solar minimum, which began about 2007, has opened the inner solar system to the highest concentration of cosmic rays yet measured during the space age (about fifty years old).
Which should provide a good test of Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark’s theory that cosmic rays provide seed nuclei for the low-altitude clouds that keep Earth’s temperature low. The theory is an alternative to the carbon dioxide argument, in that fewer cosmic rays hitting Earth would mean fewer low-level clouds and thus correspondingly higher temperatures. If Svensmark’s theory–explained in his 2008 book The Chilling Stars–is correct, winters could become more severe. At least until Sol’s minimum turns back to maximum.
So, according to Henrik Svensmark:
No sunspots = more clouds = lower temperatures.
The Central Texas winter, which began quite early last year, should be more or less over by March 1. Let’s just hope.
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.