on 16 February 2008
I think that much of this book went over my head. However Svensmark and Calder did make a persuasive case for their theory, and perhaps other learned people should examine the idea too.
It was certainly discouraging to lean that others in the field were not receptive or indeed hostile to the idea when Svensmark proposed it. He was almost treated like some medieval heretic at times.
Are scientists who disagree with the orthodoxy that Global Climate change is solely caused by humans the heretics of the modern age, and have the AGW supporters in effect started a new religion? Reading this book might help to make your mind up.
Even if you disagree with Svensmark and Calder this book is well worth reading.
on 20 April 2009
Over 200 years ago, no less a person than the King's Astronomer, William Herschel, tracked the price of wheat and bread and how these varied with sunspot activity. The link is clearly: more sunspots cause better weather giving better yields of wheat; with fewer sunspots the weather and wheat yield are worse. Although he could not have known the astronomical mechanism behind this, he observed and noticed this effect which has been tracked throughout the decades since.
With 21st century knowledge and scientific experience it is now possible to investigate the mechanism behind this. As a scientist (physicist) and engineer myself, I was keen to find an intelligent book about climate change, written by proper scientists, and I was happy when I found the book "The Chilling Stars". And having read it, I was not disappointed. It puts forward a most convincing argument, using scientific methods, as to what the main driver(s) of our climate are. It contains not only a description of the work done by the authors themselves, but also contain clear references to many other scientists stating their names, their particular field of study or research, their place of research and the findings of their work and how they relate to the subject of climate change - details which can be verified by any reader of the book.
The book also refers to proper, i.e. scientific, objections to the proposed theory, describing clearly what the anomalies were perceived to be, e.g. specifically during the Laschamp event. This prompted further investigation by the authors and their teams, whose theory was ultimately more complete and `water-tight' than the one originally proposed.
Furthermore, as a physicist myself I have been able to check for myself the information given in the book which is related to my own previous work, and every single item is correct. Specialists in other scientific fields such as cosmology, geology and meteorology can check details relevant to their work, and there is no reason to doubt that that information in those other specialist fields will likewise be correct.
In short, this is a very readable book which puts across a most convincing, more realistic theory on climate change. From data available from many sources (geological, meteorological and others), this book not only presents a most convincing theory on what drives climate, but also recognises that much scientific research still needs to be done. Despite great progress and knowledge, the last chapter states where research needs to continue, not just for the fields of geology, astronomy, etc. in themselves, but expertise must also pass between these areas to enable and even more complete this theory of climate change possible.
And as for the next stage, this reader will be keen to follow the next stage of research being done by the authors and their team - the ongoing research of the `Cloud' project at CERN.
To quote from André Gide (1869-1951): "Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who say they've found it."
From the content of this book and the ongoing investigation into the mechanism causing climate change (the `Cloud' project at CERN) the authors of this book and their teams clearly belong to the first category. Those who claim to have the (inconvenient) truth fit into the second category.
on 11 February 2009
NOTE: There are two editions of this book, buy the later one (which should be this one) published in February 2008 (NOT the 2007 version), it has been updated with a large new chapter at the back which brings you upto date, and is important.
Svensmark's theory finally offers a highly attractive alternative to the traditional GHG forcing model. It's neat, tight, not at all messy, rather elegant infact. `The Chilling Stars' takes you behind the dry published research paper's in far more detail, and allows you to engage with the excitement and wonder as a new scientific theory takes shape.
I've been following the AGW debate for some time, firstly as a supporter of AGW and then slowly moving towards a more sceptical stance. This year (2008) I've spent a lot of time reading the various research papers to get behind the media hype of both sides. What stands out is the relatively messy theory behind the idea of AGW, it's certainly not proven, it's just the best theory science had to date to explain the forcing seen. The GCR/Climate link just kept popping up in my research, as did Svensmark's name. Despite the rubbishing of his work, his hypothesis on paper looks sound to me. It's clearly upset a lot of people, more so because of the politically sensitive subject that Co2 has become.
We will know if Svensmark is really on the right track when the CLOUD project at CERN start's producing data in 2011. Although the cercumstantial evidence is continuing to pile up in his favour.
on 15 February 2011
This is a clearly written description of the theories and work of the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark. He is the leading figure in Cosmoclimatology, a new field of science that is at the leading edge of discovery in several areas. The final chapter (2008 edition) contains a well reasoned de-bunking of the popular theory that carbon dioxide causes global warming. The authors go on to explain there has been very little increase in temperatures since the 1990s, when increasing solar activity levelled out, while the most recent indications are that global warming may have gone into reverse.
Dr Svensmark has had to overcome apathy and opposition to his theories. If our government were to spend just 1% of their budget for 'Global Warming' on this area of research they would be better informed about what really influences the Earth's climate. Then they may start to prepare the country for the cooler climate that is more likely in the years ahead.
on 23 February 2009
A timely rejoinder to the Messianic tone of the (mainly non-climatologist) panic mongers, who tell us that we are all going to Hell in a Handcart if we don't stop doing anything that emits CO2! Like breathing! Should also be read with "Blue Planet in Green Shackles" by Vaclav Klaus. This planet of ours has been warming for the last 20,000 odd years - we kid ourselves if we think we have anything to do with it. read it and tell all of your friends!
on 21 March 2010
I found it an excellent book. But what happens when you vary the amount of CO2 in the `cloud` chamber? Cosmic rays seem to be on the increase, so could they be interacting with a higer level of CO2 to produce gobal cooling? Has CO2 turned into a `freezing` gas? The awesome winter just over makes me suspect that this might be happening. Perhaps the question will be answered in Svensmark`s next book.