Can solar activity and cosmic rays save us from global warming?
Global warming has often been portrayed as being connected only to greenhouse gasses in widespread media. However, these are just one of many factors influencing Earth’s climate. Over long timescales the Sun has been the major force driving climate changes. So-called global warming skeptics often use arguments of natural (solar driven) climate changes to argue that anthropogenic influences on the climate over last century have been largely overestimated. These arguments frequently involve hypothesized solar – climate linkages, for which there is a low level of scientific understanding, making the arguments problematic to easily prove or refute. There are three solar parameters proposed which may influence the Earth’s climate: total solar irradiance (TSI), ultraviolet (UV) spectral irradiance, or the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) flux. In recent years there has been a vigorous debate in scientific community regarding the notion of a cosmic rays influence on clouds cover. If true, such a link could have serious implications for our understanding of climate change: consequently, this has become one of the most frequent arguments of global warming skeptics. This talk will give a short overview of different forcing factors in the climate system, give a description of some hypothesized mechanisms linking solar activity to Earth’s climate, and present our current work aiming to resolve the hypothesized link between cosmic rays and clouds.