The old idea that cosmic rays influence climate on Earth by increasing cloud cover is finally being proven
[…] The data revealed that electrons released by cosmic rays act as catalysts, which significantly accelerate the formation of stable, ultra-small clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules which are building blocks for the cloud condensation nuclei. A vast numbers of such microscopic droplets appeared, floating in the air in the reaction chamber […]
It is known that low-altitude clouds have an overall cooling effect on the Earth’s surface. Hence, variations in cloud cover caused by cosmic rays can change the surface temperature. The existence of such a cosmic connection to Earth’s climate might thus help to explain past and present variations in Earth’s climate. […]
What makes this all the more powerful, is that it could expand the role of the Sun in the shaping of Earth’s climate, as it can be used to link Solar magnetic activity (i.e. the number of sunspots) to the heating and cooling of our planet
Interestingly, during the 20th Century, the Sun’s magnetic field which shields Earth from cosmic rays more than doubled, thereby reducing the average influx of cosmic rays.
The resulting reduction in cloudiness, especially of low-altitude clouds, may be a significant factor in the global warming Earth has undergone during the last century. However, until now, there has been no experimental evidence of how the causal mechanism linking cosmic rays and cloud formation may work […]