Archive for the ‘natural disasters’ Category

The Congressman who went off the grid
Roscoe Bartlett spent 20 years on Capitol Hill. Now he lives in a remote cabin in the woods, prepping for doomsday.
By JASON KOEBLER
Politico online, 3 January 2014

roscoebartlett

Dr. Roscoe Bartlett entered public service after “…a science career that saw him go through IBM in its start-up years and the U.S. Navy as an engineer, before becoming director of the Space Life Sciences research group at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he helped the U.S. win the space race by, among other things, developing a device that allows astronauts to breathe at high altitudes and low temperatures.”

When Roscoe Bartlett was in Congress, he latched onto a particularly apocalyptic issue, one almost no one else ever seemed to talk about: America’s dangerously vulnerable power grid. If the United States doesn’t do something to protect the grid, and soon, a terrorist or an act of nature will put an end to life as we know it.

Bartlett loved to conjure doomsday visions: Think post-Sandy New York City without power but spread over a much larger area for months at a time. He once recounted a conversation he claimed to have had with unnamed Russian officials about how they could take out the United States: They would “detonate a nuclear weapon high above your country,” he recalled them saying, “and shut down your power grid — and your communications — for six months or so.”

(Retired from office now) …. Having failed to safeguard the power grid for the rest of the country, Bartlett has taken himself completely off the grid.

Bartlett'sCabin
I visited Bartlett this past fall. During the four hours he spends showing me around, Bartlett continually stresses his reliance on only very basic technology to make his little corner of West Virginia livable — the solar panels and the batteries they charge, the power inverters, the water pipes and the wood stoves.

Bartlett tells me that the farm’s simplicity is a challenge, but it’s also an insurance policy. If he were to die, he says, his wife might not be able to repair more complicated technology. And besides, he tells me, if he used higher-tech power inverters “loaded with computers and chips and stuff,” they might fail, and then they’d be in trouble. I ask why that would be an issue — couldn’t they just drive to the nearest town to pick one up or order a new one off the Internet? “I have no idea,” he answers. “A giant solar storm? EMPs?”

EMP is shorthand for electromagnetic pulse, an electronic disturbance that can be delivered by a warhead — nuclear or otherwise — and that can instantly short out electrical equipment for as long as months at a time. For survivalists of Bartlett’s bent, it is one of the terrifying threats against which all this living off the land is designed to protect.

As Bartlett points out to me, every single one of America’s 17 critical infrastructure systems — food and agriculture, water and sewer, transportation, emergency services and so on — are useless without electricity. Here in West Virginia, running a power system completely independent of the municipality, he’s safe in the event of a massive outage. (His wife also notes helpfully that at 4,000 feet, “an awful lot of the country could get flooded before it gets here.”)

And EMPs aren’t the only source of Bartlett’s concern. In 1859, the sun unleashed a flare — a powerful storm of energy — in the direction of the Earth. The charged particles from the storm lit telegraph wires on fire and put others out of commission for months. That storm is now known as the “Carrington Event,” after Dr. Joseph Carrington, the man who studied it. Such storms are estimated to occur once every 150 years — which means we’re overdue for another one…

A similar event today could knock out the power grid between Washington and New York for up to two years, according to a June report by Lloyd’s, a British group that assesses risk for insurance companies.

In the last 36 months, there have been solar storms strong enough to disrupt GPS satellites, threaten the International Space Station and knock crucial military satellites offline for a few minutes. Stronger storms would damage or destroy electronics on Earth for an unknown period of time, and an EMP would have a similar effect. According to Bartlett, a terrorist with a “$100,000 Scud launcher and any crude nuclear weapon” could detonate a bomb above the atmosphere and knock out power for more than a year.

There are ways to “harden,” or protect, electrical transformers and other infrastructure, but doing so is costly. After a solar storm knocked out power in Quebec for 12 hours in 1989, the Canadian government invested $1.2 billion in hardening its grid, but no similar actions have been taken in the United States.

Read the entire article — it’s well worth the time. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/roscoe-bartlett-congressman-off-the-grid-101720.html#.UsgUaPu8qAp

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PotentiallyHazardousAsteroidsThere are currently 1,400 potentially hazardous asteroids that could pass close to Earth, according to latest data revealed by Nasa. An image mapping the orbits of all the potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) provides a graphic of the crowded cosmic activity. This graphic shows the orbits of all the known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs), numbering over 1,400 as of early 2013. These are the asteroids considered hazardous because they are fairly large (at least 460 feet or 140 meters in size), and because they follow orbits that pass close to the Earth’s orbit

These asteroids are considered hazardous because they are fairly large – at least 460 feet or 140 meters in size. They are classified as PHAs because they follow orbits that are considered to pass close to the Earth’s, at or 7.5 million kilometres.

However, Nasa claims that being classified as a PHA does not mean that an asteroid will impact the Earth.
Scientists there claim that none of the asteroids shown in the image are considered a threat over the next 100 years. The group is planning to continue to track these asteroids so that their orbits can be refined and more precise predictions made of their future close approaches and impact probabilities.

As part of this effort it is working on the development of an infrared sensor that could improve its asteroid tracking capabilities, dubbed the Near Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) sensor. The NEOCam space mission will also search for the most favourable destinations for future exploration by humans or robotic missions.

Asteroids reflect visible light. This means that when searching for near-Earth objects with optical telescopes, the data collected can be deceiving. Depending on how reflective the object is, a small, light-coloured space rock can look the same as a big, dark one. Asteroids do, however, always emit infrared radiation.

‘When you observe a space rock with infrared, you are seeing its thermal emissions, which can better define the asteroid’s size as well as tell you something about composition,’ said Amy Mainzer, an author on the paper and principal investigator for NASA’s NEOWISE and NEOCam missions.

Asteroids emit most of their radiation at infrared wavelengths near about 10 microns (0.0004 inches), which humans perceive as heat. There is also relatively less radiation from stars and galaxies at these wavelengths, which simplifies detection of faint moving objects.

Once launched, the space-based telescope would be positioned at a location about four times the distance between Earth and the moon. From this lofty perch, NEOCam could observe the comings and goings of near Earth objects, including PHAs, without the impediments such as cloud cover and daylight.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2391291/Nasa-reveals-orbits-1-400-potentially-hazardous-asteroids-flying-close-Earth-ONE-map.html

SpaceNews
August 13, 2013

space-debris-density-illustrationWASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force’s decision to shut down a key component of its Space Surveillance Network will weaken the service’s ability to accurately detect and characterize objects in Earth orbit, experts say. This computer illustration depicts the density of space junk around Earth in low-Earth orbit. Credit: ESA.

The space fence shutdown, ordered by Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, also will reduce the overall capacity of the system, these experts said. At the same time, they suggested it could increase pressure on the Air Force to award a contract on a next-generation system, which has stalled amid a Pentagon-wide review of its acquisition plans.

According to two recent memos obtained by SpaceNews, the Air Force will shut down the aging Air Force Space Surveillance System, also known informally as the Space Fence, Sept. 1. The memos, from Austin Frindt, a contracting officer with Air Force Space Command, were addressed to Five Rivers Services of Colorado Springs, Colo., operator of the current Space Fence, which consists of a line of VHF radars stretching across the southern United States. [Top 10 Space Weapons]

Deployed in the 1960s, the VHF Space Fence includes three transmitter sites and six receiving stations. It is responsible for approximately 40 percent of all observations performed by the Air Force-run Space Surveillance Network, which includes other ground-and space-based sensor assets, said Brian Weeden, technical adviser at the Secure World Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to space sustainability.

“The Space Fence does a lot of heavy lifting,” said Dave Baiocchi, a senior engineer at the Rand Corp., an Air Force think tank in Santa Monica, Calif. Without it, “you’re missing some level of accuracy,” he said.

In a memo dated Aug. 1, Frindt said the Air Force was not exercising its option for a fifth year of a contract to provide management and logistical support for the nine field stations.

Lori Thomas, president of Five Rivers Services, declined to comment and referred questions to the Air Force.

“This is your notice to begin preparing the sites for closure,” the memo said. “A specific list of action items will be provided as soon as it is finalized.”

A follow-up memo dated Aug. 9 asked Five Rivers for an analysis of what it would cost to close the Space Fence sites. This memo said the system would be turned off Sept. 1.

In an email Aug. 5 Andy Roake, a spokesman for Air Force Space Command, pointed to the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. “In this tough, sequestered budget environment, we’re considering many options, but for FY14, no final decisions have been made,” he said.

The memos suggest otherwise, asking for photographs of the closed sites, plywood on windows and weekly updates. Roake did not respond to follow-up questions by press time. A spokesman for the U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees the Joint Space Operations Center, referred questions to Space Command.

Though part of a broader surveillance network, the VHF Space Fence is crucial because it can track objects up to 24,000 kilometers away. Other ground-based sensors in the network generally track objects at altitudes lower than a few thousand kilometers, Weeden said.

“The Space Fence is very important as it gives an ‘uncued tracking’ capability,” Weeden said. “Because it’s constantly transmitting, it can detect objects without being tasked to do so. There are some other sensors in the network that can do uncued tracking to some degree, but the Space Fence is rather unique in the sheer size of the detection coverage it has.”

The Space Fence, along with operators at the Joint Space Operations Center, can observe objects down to the size of a basketball and make precise determinations of their characteristics, location and movement. Each month the system is responsible for logging more than 5 million observations of space objects, according to an Air Force fact sheet. [Worst Space Debris Events of All Time (Countdown)]

Experts said without the Space Fence, the Air Force will have a harder time knowing when orbital collisions have occurred.

“It will be more difficult and take longer to detect and catalog new pieces of debris, especially those from large breakups,” Weeden said. “And the loss of capacity likely means that we have less accurate orbits for a good portion of the space debris” in low Earth Orbit, he said.

In April, Shelton said two of the Space Fence’s receiver sites had been placed in cold storage, one in Glennville, Ga., and one in Hollandale, Miss., reducing the overall accuracy and effectiveness of the system. The change was made as part of the Air Force’s response sequestration, the across-the board-budget cuts that took effect in March.

In July, the Air Force released a request for proposals to operate the aging system beginning in September 2015 — one year after the Five Rivers Services’ contract was set to expire. The request said the Space Fence “has been identified as a critical defense system and, therefore, shall be manned on a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year basis at transmitter sites and 8-hour, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year basis at receiver sites.”

But as sequestration lingered, experts said, turning off the Space Fence may well have been the best of a bad set of options. Other sensors, they noted, have a dual mission that includes space surveillance and missile warning.

“Closing them down would have impacted those other missions and likely generated a lot more political heat from Congress,” Weeden said.

Meanwhile, an overdue contract to build a next-generation Space Fence is on hold due to the Defense Department’s recently completed Strategic Choices and Management Review, which examined the Pentagon’s options under three different funding scenarios for the next decade.

Baiocchi said he expected the closure of the current Space Fence to increase pressure on the Pentagon and Congress to fund a next-generation system, consisting of S-band radars, that would be capable of tracking golf ball-sized objects.

Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors of Moorestown, N.J., and Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems of Tewksbury, Mass., have developed competing designs for the new Space Fence.

Shelton said in July that engineers at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida were looking for ways to improve the current Space Fence as a contingency plan should the Pentagon elect not to go forward with the next-generation system.

http://www.space.com/22354-space-fence-military-orbital-surveillance.html

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22 KJV)

SOLAR ACTIVITY SURGES
SpaceWeather.com
14 May 2013

SolarFlares2013MayA sunspot on the sun’s eastern limb is crackling with powerful X-class solar flares. Just-numbered AR1748 announced itself during the early hours of May 13th with an X1.7-class eruption (0217 UT), quickly followed by an X2.8-class flare (1609 UT) and an X3.2-class flare (0117 UT on May 14). These are the strongest flares of the year so far, and they signal a significant increase in solar activity. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours.

All of these flares have produced strong flashes of extreme ultraviolet radiation. Here is the view of the latest eruption, which registered X3.2 on the Richter Scale of Solar Flares, from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The explosions have also hurled coronal mass ejections (CMEs) into space. Coronagraphs onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory are tracking the clouds: movie. The planet in the CME movie is Mercury. Although the CMEs appear to hit Mercury, they do not. In fact, no planets were in the line of fire. However, the CMEs appear to be on course to hit NASA’s Epoxi and Spitzer spacecraft on May 15-16.

When the action began on May 13th, the instigating sunspot (just numbered “AR1748”) was hidden behind the sun’s eastern limb, but now solar rotation is bringing the active region into view. The next 24 to 48 hours should reveal much about the sunspot, including its size, magnetic complexity, and potential for future flares. For the moment, there is no reason to expect the explosions to stop. Stay tuned for updates.

http://www.spaceweather.com/

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Ice Tsunami
DailyMail Online
13 May 2013

IceTsunami2013MayIt could be a scene out of a 1950s horror film – an unstoppable ‘ice tsunami’ gradually moving ashore, destroying everything in its path. But video footage actually shows the weather phenomenon known as ice floe in action in Minnesota, North America, over the weekend. Strong winds are responsible for pushing this sheet of ice off the top of Lake Mille Lacs and up over the shoreline right up to resident’s doorsteps. Darla Johnson uploaded footage of a sheet of ice rising out of Milles Lacs Lake towards her home in Izatys Resort, Minnesota.

The ice flow phenomenon is caused by strong winds driving the ice ashore. Footage filmed by a homeowner shows the eerie ice shards slowly covering ground before eventually creeping into people’s home. National Weather Service Meteorologist Shawn Devinny says 30 to 40 mile an hour winds pushed the water into the ice, driving it ashore. The Department of Natural Resources says about 10 miles of shoreline are covered, with some reaching up to 30 feet high.

Massive ice floes rose out of a lake 600 miles north in Canada over the weekend, destroying a dozen homes and damaging fifteen others. Winds forced massive walls of ice onto the shores of Lake Dauphin, dwarfing homes in rural Manitoba, Canada on Friday. A dozen homes were destroyed and many others left uninhabitable after winds piled ice onto Ochre Beach Friday in an unusually large ice flow. By Friday night, a state of emergency had been declared in the town of Ochre River, a 188 miles northwest of Winnipeg.

Click here for video: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2323850/Ice-tsunami-captured-camera-rising-lake-destroying-homes-residents-watch-helplessly-shore.html

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“Slow-Motion Disaster” Is Swallowing Homes in Northern California
AllGov.com
13 May 2013

HouseSwallowedPhoto Robin and Scott Spivey walk past their home. It didn’t take former building inspector Scott Spivey long to figure out that something was terribly wrong when his house in Lake County, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, started developing cracks that rapidly turned into fissures.

Two weeks later, his garage lay 10 feet below street level and his neighbors’ homes were collapsing, but no one could tell them why it was happening. Resident Randall Fitzgerald told the Associated Press it was “a slow moving disaster.”

Within a short time, eight homes in the 30-year-old, hilly volcanic subdivision had to be abandoned and around two dozen more were threatened. The assumption was that the hill was somehow being eroded by water, but a dry winter and groundwater shortages seemed to belie that notion.

http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/unusual-news/slow-motion-disaster-is-swallowing-homes-in-northern-california-130513?news=849998
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Couple Escapes As Landslide Destroys Cabin
Alaska Public Media
13 May 2013

LandslideRedoubtTwo people are safe after a massive landslide destroyed the cabin they were camping in Sunday morning (5-13-13) near Sitka. An air taxi pilot rescued the pair from a debris field estimated to be 20 feet deep.

All their belongings were buried in the slide. Their dog (Luna) remains missing. Kevin Knox, 41, and his girlfriend Maggie Gallin, 28, were staying at Redoubt Lake, a popular Forest Service recreation cabin about 15 miles southeast of Sitka. The cabin is located at the head of the valley, and is surrounded by steep mountain slopes and rocky cliffs that climb 4,000 feet above the surface of the lake.

“We had just tied the boat up and Maggie was in the cabin, and it just let loose — a huge piece off of the side of the mountain. I yelled for Maggie to run, to get out of the cabin. We started running down the beach. We were running along the lakeshore and got thrown into the water, trees kind of toppling on top of us. We both popped up three or four feet from each other. Then we got our wits about us and just tried to hunker down.”

Knox and Gallin were soaked to the skin. The cabin — and all their belongings — were under a debris field Knox thinks is about 20 feet deep. They wrung out clothes and tried to shelter as best they could until their scheduled pick up three hours later. Luna possibly escaped with Knox and Gallin, but remains missing.

http://www.alaskapublic.org/2013/05/13/couple-escapes-as-landslide-destroys-cabin/

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13 Incredible Pictures from the Washington State Landslide
The Blaze
28 March 2013

APTOPIX Washington LandslideGeologists and engineers are assessing the stability of a scenic Puget Sound area after a large landside thundered down a hillside, knocking one house off its foundation and threatening others.

That heavily damaged home and 33 others were ordered evacuated after the slide broke loose early Wednesday in the Ledgewood community on Whidbey Island, about 50 miles north of Seattle. Click link below for additional photographs.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/28/13-incredible-pictures-from-the-washington-state-landslide/

Drought sends ‘mighty Mississippi River’ levels near record lows
CNN online 20 July 2012


The “mighty Mississippi” has lost some of its might with the season’s epic drought taking its toll on river levels, which are falling to near historic lows. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend nearly $7 million dredging in an attempt to keep ports operational and keep the river open for barge traffic in the coming weeks.

River levels in Memphis have dropped to within three feet of their historic lows from the 1988 drought. In just one year, the river has gone through extreme fluctuation. Last May, it was within a foot of its record-high crest because of massive flooding, and today it’s 55 feet lower and experiencing historic lows due to drought.

Last year the expanse of the water was over 3 miles wide in parts of Missouri and Arkansas as levees were blown up in order to help protect the town of Cairo, Illinois from flood waters. This year shows a much different story with the river less than a half mile wide in spots.

New data from U.S. Drought Monitor issued Thursday shows the drought has worsened in the past week, and now ranks as the second worst drought in U.S. history over the lower 48 since records began in 1895.

And the Army Corps said that the shrinking of the Mississippi means that saltwater is beginning to work its way upriver, which could threaten some water supplies.

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/19/drought-sends-mighty-mississippi-river-levels-near-record-lows/

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Widespread Drought is Likely to Worsen
The New York Times online
July 19, 2012

The drought that has settled over more than half of the continental United States this summer is the most widespread in more than half a century. And it is likely to grow worse.

The latest outlook released by the National Weather Service on Thursday forecasts increasingly dry conditions over much of the nation’s breadbasket, a development that could lead to higher food prices and shipping costs as well as reduced revenues in areas that count on summer tourism. About the only relief in sight was tropical activity in the Gulf of Mexico and the Southeast that could bring rain to parts of the South.

The unsettling prospects come at a time of growing uncertainty for the country’s economy. With evidence mounting of a slowdown in the economic recovery, this new blow from the weather is particularly ill-timed.

Already some farmers are watching their cash crops burn to the point of no return. Others have been cutting their corn early to use for feed, a much less profitable venture.

The government has declared one-third of the nation’s counties — 1,297 of them across 29 states — federal disaster areas as a result of the drought, which will allow farmers to apply for low-interest loans to get them through the disappointing growing season.

What is particularly striking about this dry spell is its breadth. Fifty-five percent of the continental United States — from California to Arkansas, Texas to North Dakota — is under moderate to extreme drought, according to the government, the largest such area since December 1956.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/science/earth/severe-drought-expected-to-worsen-across-the-nation.html?pagewanted=all

This article is several years old, but still interesting. Dr. Vardiman is Chair of the Department of Astro/Geophysics. Dr. Svensmark’s findings were verified by CERN experiments, the findings published in August 2011. Although still generating controversy, they are fascinating nevertheless. More study is ongoing by climate scientists.

Institute for Creation Research
by Larry Vardiman, Ph.D.

Introduction

Man-made carbon dioxide is generally thought to produce global warming. However, in a recent article entitled “Does Carbon Dioxide Drive Global Warming?” I presented several major reasons why carbon dioxide is probably not the primary cause.  But if carbon dioxide is not the cause, then what is?

Evidence is accumulating that cosmic rays associated with fluctuations in the sun’s electromagnetic field may be what drives global warming. A new theory called cosmoclimatology that proposes a natural mechanism for climate fluctuations has been developed by Henrik Svensmark, Head of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish National Space Center.

Some History

Edward L. Maunder reported in 1904 that the number of spots on the sun has an 11-year cycle. Sunspots can be observed in real time online at www.spaceweather.com. Figure 1 shows a 400-year record of the monthly number of sunspots. Note the low number of sunspots in the period from 1645 to 1715. This period is called the Maunder Minimum4 and coincides with the Little Ice Age, the coldest period of temperature during the last 1,000 years.

For many years, climatologists attempted to correlate the number of sunspots with various climate variables, including temperature and precipitation. By the 1980s these attempts were determined to be futile, because the percentage change in solar heating was found to be insufficient to explain the variations. However, this interest began to increase the connection between cosmic rays and sunspots, carbon-14 in the atmosphere, beryllium-10 on the surface of meteorites, and other processes.

In particular, it was found that carbon-14 dating needed to be corrected for fluctuations in cosmic ray flux. Without such adjustments, many carbon-14 dates were inconsistent. The question was raised, could cosmic rays affect other geophysical phenomena as well?

A New Climate Theory

In 1995, Henrik Svensmark discovered a startling connection between the cosmic ray flux from space and cloud cover. He found that when the sun is more active — more sunspots, a stronger magnetic field, larger auroras, stronger solar winds, etc. — fewer cosmic rays strike the earth and cloud cover is reduced, resulting in warmer temperatures.

Figure 2 shows the relationship he found between low-level cloud amount derived from satellite data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project and cosmic ray counts from Climax, Colorado.

It is evident in Figure 2 that for the 22-year period from 1983 to 2005, the average amount of low-level cloud follows the flux of cosmic rays very closely. In fact, Svensmark claims that the correlation coefficient is 0.92, a very high correlation for this type of data.

In addition, when looking at various longer periods of record using proxy data for these two variables, he also found good correlations and similar trends. In particular, he suggested that during the Little Ice Age when the sun was inactive, cosmic ray flux from space was high, cloud amount was greater, and global temperatures were cooler.

As the sun became more active after 1750, cosmic ray flux decreased, cloud amount decreased, and global temperatures warmed. Svensmark proposed that the global warming we’ve experienced for the past 150 years is a direct result of an increase in solar activity and attendant warming.

A potential change in cloud cover of 3-4 percent caused by changes in cosmic ray flux is sufficient to explain global temperature changes of several degrees due to the change in the reflectivity of clouds. The reason the variation in direct radiation from the sun was rejected earlier is because it has been found to vary only by a few tenths of a percent. This is insufficient to explain observed global warming.

Experiments on Cloud Condensation Nuclei

These statistical correlations are intriguing, but many critics are skeptical of Svensmark’s theory until he can explain the mechanism by which cosmic rays create more clouds. This led him to design a laboratory experiment to demonstrate that cosmic rays produce more cloud nuclei on which cloud droplets can form. In 2007, Svensmark et al published the results of an experiment which confirmed his theory that cosmic rays increase the number of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN).

Most CCN that nucleate cloud droplets in water clouds near the earth’s surface are composed of compounds of sulfuric acid derived from water vapor, sulphur dioxide, and ozone found in the atmosphere over the ocean. Svensmark built a cloud chamber containing these gases to see if CCN can be multiplied when cosmic rays are introduced into this mixture.

He found that the cosmic rays ionize molecules in the air, releasing electrons that in turn attach themselves to oxygen molecules and collect other water and sulfur dioxide molecules to form clusters. This process occurs extremely rapidly and many times for each electron. The electrons function as a catalyst to form clusters of molecules that grow and produce sulfuric acid CCN. When the air is lifted by normal meteorological processes, these additional CCN form more dense and widespread clouds because of their greater number.

In addition to the results Svensmark obtained from the experiment above, which he called SKY, he anticipates confirmation of his results in a more complete experiment called CLOUD to be conducted at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. The experiment at CERN was delayed numerous times, but has now been funded and approved for 2010. * (Results were confirmed by CERN experiments, findings published August 2011.)

Conclusions

Svensmark’s theory of cosmoclimatology is now complete. He has discovered a complete chain of events that explains the variations in global temperature that have puzzled climatologists for so many years, and that has now led to an explanation for the recent global warming episode. It starts with cosmic rays coming to earth from exploding supernovas and collisions of remnants of stars with nebula in space. Many of these cosmic rays are shielded from striking the earth by the electromagnetic activity of the sun.

When the sun is active, the solar wind prevents cosmic rays from entering the earth’s atmosphere by sweeping them around the earth. When the sun is inactive, more of them penetrate the atmosphere. Upon reaching the lower atmosphere where more sulphur dioxide, water vapor, and ozone is present, the cosmic rays ionize the air, releasing electrons that aid in the formation of more CCN and form more dense clouds. This increase in low-cloud amount reflects more solar energy to space, cooling the planet.

Variations in electromagnetic activity of the sun and fluctuations in cosmic ray intensity from space result in the periodic warming and cooling of the earth.

Solar-modulated cosmic ray processes successfully explain the recent global warming episode. It would be prudent for the political leadership in the U. S. and the world to look more closely at Svensmark’s theory of cosmoclimatology for an explanation of global warming before restructuring our entire economic system to eliminate carbon dioxide. If, in fact, Svensmark is correct, reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide will have little impact, anyway.

http://www.icr.org/article/4156/

* Results confirmed by CERN experiments Aug 2011. Click on link for more information.
http://thegwpf.org/science-news/3699-cern-experiment-confirms-cosmic-rays-influence-climate-change.html

June 2012
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Warmest 12-month periods for contiguous U.S.
June daily temperature extremes

Climate Highlights — June

The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during June was 71.2°F, which is 2.0°F above the 20th century average. The June temperatures contributed to a record-warm first half of the year and the warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since record-keeping began in 1895. Scorching temperatures during the second half of the month led many cities to set all-time temperature records.

Precipitation totals across the country were mixed during June. The nation, as a whole, experienced its tenth driest June on record, with a nationally-averaged precipitation total of 2.27 inches, 0.62 inch below average. Record and near-record dry conditions were present across the Intermountain West, while Tropical Storm Debby dropped record precipitation across Florida.

(Many, many records have been broken / set this year. Click the link below to read the rest of this information.)

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2012/6