Free Markets, Free People
Researchers at CERN, the big European physics laboratory, have released some interesting findings that, if true,would cast doubt on a fundamental conclusion made by Einstein’s theory of relativity.
From 2009 through 2011, the massive OPERA detector buried in a mountain in Gran Sasso, Italy, recorded particles called neutrinos generated at CERN arriving a smidge too soon, faster than light can move in a vacuum. If the finding is confirmed by further experiments, it would throw more than a century of physics into chaos.
For over a century, since Albert Einstein published the Special Theory of Relativity (SRT)—buttressed further in 1916 by the General Theory—it has been settled science that the speed of is nature’s ultimate speed limit. As an object approaches the speed of light, its mass increases. At the speed of light—were it possible to reach it—the object’s mass would be infinite. That would require, of course, an infinite amount of energy to propel the object. Hence, moving faster than the speed of light is a physical impossibility.
Since 1905, through direct experimentation, mathematical modeling, and, later, measurements taken during the space program, as well as computer models, science has time and time again proved that the Special Theory of Relativity does, in fact, accurately model the way the universe works. The entire foundation of modern physics is built upon SRT. It has been proven correct over and over again. Clearly, SRT is settled science. An attempt to overturn it is, essentially, an attempt to overturn the entire body of physics that has been so painstakingly established over the past century.
Obviously, SRT is true. Its conclusions are beyond questioning. Again, the science is settled, and there is almost universal scientific consensus about the truth of SRT.
Since that is so, one wonders what purpose the experiments at CERN might be. SRT needs no further validation, so there must be other motives. Who is funding this experimentation? Why are they so interested in denying SRT? If SRT is overturned, the implications throw cosmology in general into disarray. Out would go the Big Bang theory. Is this new experiment real science, or is it just another ploy of Big Plasma to overturn the settled view of cosmology?
These "scientists" at CERN say that more experimentation is needed to validate these results. But, they are so clearly wrong, it’s difficult to see what purpose further experimentation along these lines would serve. This transparent attempt to return physics to the limited and primitive world of physical experimentation, rather than the modern use of sophisticated mathematical models, is deeply subversive.
Now, there are calls for trying to replicate this experiment—at US taxpayer expense—at the Fermilab, here in the US. I see no reason to risk the scientific integrity of our premier physics laboratory pursuing the dreams of these SRT deniers at CERN.
SRT’s proof is incontrovertible, and any attempt to prove otherwise is a perversion of science. The science is settled. Consensus is almost universal. So, let’s not pursue these silly, pointless experiments. The important thing to remember about science is that, once you question the received wisdom proven repeatedly in the past, the result is chaos. It is vitally important that we do not throw all of modern physics and cosmology into disarray over some odd experimental results that really have no real-world application.
That would just be silly.
In this podcast, Bruce Michael, and Dale discuss Hurricane Irene and the results of CERN’s CLOUD experiment.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.
The findings by CERN which have finally been published in Nature magazine, are fairly explicit about the validity of current AGW models. They will need to be “substantially revised”.
Because the findings substantiate the fact that the sun plays the major role in changes in our climate and not the human factors claimed by warmists. It’s all about the sun, clouds, cosmic rays and nucleation.
CERN conducted a CLOUD ("Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets") experiment to test a theory at odds with current warmist theories about cloud origins. As it turns out, the findings provide:
… support for a "heliocentric" rather than "anthropogenic" approach to climate change: the sun plays a large role in modulating the quantity of cosmic rays reaching the upper atmosphere of the Earth.
Who knew that big yellow hot thing that hangs in the sky each day would play a major role in our climate?
Prior to publication of the Nature article, it had been assumed the findings were negative to warmist theories when the head of CERN (director-general Rolf-Dieter Heuer) warned his scientists to just provide the facts and not interpret them.
Here’s how CERN presented the data via lead physicist Jasper Kirkby:
"Ion-induced nucleation will manifest itself as a steady production of new particles that is difficult to isolate in atmospheric observations because of other sources of variability but is nevertheless taking place and could be quite large when averaged globally over the troposphere."
Kirkby is quoted in the accompanying CERN press release:
"We’ve found that cosmic rays significantly enhance the formation of aerosol particles in the mid troposphere and above. These aerosols can eventually grow into the seeds for clouds. However, we’ve found that the vapours previously thought to account for all aerosol formation in the lower atmosphere can only account for a small fraction of the observations – even with the enhancement of cosmic rays."
"[I]t is clear that the treatment of aerosol formation in climate models will need to be substantially revised, since all models assume that nucleation is caused by these vapours [sulphuric acid and ammonia] and water alone.
Here is another unknown finally known. Yet the scientists on the warmist side tried to claim they had all the information they needed to build their models and make their wild claims. However, as more and more real science comes it, it becomes clearer and clearer that their science falls at best in the “junk science” category and their claims are unsubstantiated assertions. As we’re finding out, they’re certainly not backed by science.
So, what should be taken from this? A) the climate models are junk. Most observers have known this for quite some time. They are incomplete, their forcing data are all out of whack, and they not only can’t forecast the future, they can’t reproduce the past. B) We’re really just now beginning to understand the climate and its dynamics. And, unsurprisingly for most, despite the warmists attempts to ignore it, the sun plays a major role in determining temperature on earth.
Seems like common sense to me. So why has it taken so long to finally surface?
As with all such things, follow the money.
It appears the warmist agenda is about to take another hit if this is being interpreted properly:
The chief of the world’s leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from a major experiment. The CLOUD ("Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets") experiment examines the role that energetic particles from deep space play in cloud formation. CLOUD uses CERN’s proton synchrotron to examine nucleation.
CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Welt Online that the scientists should refrain from drawing conclusions from the latest experiment.
"I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them," reports veteran science editor Nigel Calder on his blog. Why?
Because, Heuer says, "That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate. One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters."
Oh … “only one of many parameters”, eh? You mean like that big yellow thing that hangs in the sky each day?
Imagine that – cosmic rays have a role in cloud formation and the sun is extraordinarily active in how many cosmic rays are able reach the atmosphere and carry out that function. And the effect?
The CLOUD experiment builds on earlier experiments by Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark, who demonstrated that cosmic rays provide a seed for clouds. Tiny changes in the earth’s cloud cover could account for variations in temperature of several degrees. The amount of Ultra Fine Condensation Nuclei (UFCN) material depends on the quantity of the background drizzle of rays, which varies depending on the strength of the sun’s magnetic field and the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field.
Emphasis mine. Back to that big yellow thing – what role does it have?:
Since clouds often cover 30 percent of the earth’s surface, a moderate change in cloud cover clearly could explain the warming/cooling cycle.
Svensmark noted the gigantic “solar wind” that expands when the sun is active—and thus blocks many of the cosmic rays that would otherwise hit the earth’s atmosphere. When the sun weakens, the solar wind shrinks. Recently, the U.S. Solar Observatory reported a very long period of “quiet sun” and predicted 30 years of cooling.
Got it? We’re in a solar minimum and the temp hasn’t risen in the 10 years since it has begun. Go figure.
So where does this leave us given the CERN gag order? What can you infer from that? Nigel Calder does a good job of rounding them up:
Four quick inferences:
1) The results must be favourable for Svensmark or there would be no such anxiety about them.
2) CERN has joined a long line of lesser institutions obliged to remain politically correct about the man-made global warming hypothesis. It’s OK to enter “the highly political arena of the climate change debate” provided your results endorse man-made warming, but not if they support Svensmark’s heresy that the Sun alters the climate by influencing the cosmic ray influx and cloud formation.
3) The once illustrious CERN laboratory ceases to be a truly scientific institute when its Director General forbids its physicists and visiting experimenters to draw the obvious scientific conclusions from their results.
4) The resulting publication may be rather boring.
Indeed … boring only in the sense of reading dense scientific material. Not boring in its impact.
The CERN experiment is supposed to be the big test of the Svensmark theory. It’s a tipoff, then, that CERN’s boss, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, has just told the German magazine Die Welt that he has forbidden his researchers to “interpret” the forthcoming test results. In other words, the CERN report will be a stark “just the facts” listing of the findings. Those findings must support Svensmark, or Heuer would never have issued such a stifling order on a major experiment.
Can’t wait to watch this one unfold. But the gag order is very suspicious and certainly infers that the results don’t support the warmist theory … or should I say “assertion” now?