As we enter the high season of electoral politics, you're going to hear things about global warming that may seem a bit dubious--that it doesn't exist, that it exists and George W. Bush invented it, that cataclysmic climate change has already occurred and we are all doomed, that climate change is the result of the failed stimulus, etc. But an astrophysicist working on one of the cosmos greatest mysteries has another theory that might sound equally implausible on its face, but actually makes some sense: that we can measure future global warming based on the number of exploding stars we see in the sky.
Dr. Charles Wang of the University of Aberdeen has put forth a new theory concerning supernova that involves a Higgs Boson-like mystery particle that is scheduled to be tested at CERN. That's interesting, but perhaps more intriguing is the idea that his theory could aid in our understanding of where global warming originates and where it is going.
It turns out exploding stars elsewhere in the universe have an effect on the temperature of Earth's atmosphere. When stars explode elsewhere, the massive amount of cosmic rays created affect space weather in that corner of the cosmos, making it cloudier. That cloudiness shades Earth from other cosmic waves that are likely impacting the atmosphere here. The cloudier it is out there, the cooler Earth's atmosphere is. So, the theory goes, fewer star explosions equals a warmer atmosphere. And a warmer climate.
That doesn't help us much from a policy perspective. We don't yet fully understand the mechanisms by which individual stars go supernova, and we certainly don't have the means to control star explosions. But since we do record these explosions--roughly one per year--we could use that data to help predict future changes in climate.
Can we not find a way to tax the aliens living in the vicinity of these exploding stars ?
why can't people just accept that global warming is our fault for using fossil fuels. lets just find a way to stop using them or find a way to decrease the number of green house gasses
Oh ..gosh, I was not sure if I should buy a .5 mpg Hummer - and then go vote drill-baby-drill. None of this global warming is my fault, or yours, is it? So now thanks to your shameless, overreaching pop-sci propaganda I know just what my choice will be. I shall waste my time elsewhere.
Your distracting headline has ruined an otherwise interesting story. Bye, bye.
You saw the hockey stick and now you are a believer. Dr. Wang made observations, posted a theory and now every body can go forth and disprove or prove it. You want to decrease greenhouse gases speak with the Chinese and Indians they are the biggest producers.
@porsche469: You're a denier I see. Denier of new scientific data, that is. Rather than consider any new data, that might run counter to your beliefs, you lament that we don't all just stop searching for real answers, and blame ourselves.
Here's a suggestion for you -- stop using the Internet. Stop completely; after just one more search. Look up how much energy is used to run the server farms that run the internet. Then consider how much blame you deserve for "global warming", due to the energy wasted for you to post your drivel.
Good to hear that other scientist are cacthing on to this theory, but I would argue that the Henrik Svensmark of Danish National Space Institute has put forth this theory long before this Dr. Charles Wang (in 2007, in fact). Unfortunately his theory has not gained much traction, as is evidence by the fact that this article claims that it is a new theory.
Regardless, I think this is a fascinating theory, as it shows that perhaps we humans are not entirely to blame for global warming, but that other effects, such as cosmic radiation may also play a vital role. I think it's important that the politicians of the world consider this fact, as it does mean that (if this theory is indeed correct) much of the CO2 reducing policies may not be as effective as suspected.
In tomorrow's news:
American SUVs linked to supernovae. More at 11.
"why can't people just accept that global warming is our fault for using fossil fuels. lets just find a way to stop using them or find a way to decrease the number of green house gasses"
From a guy who's user name is porsche. That just made me laugh, thank you.
@tundrasea: So now humans are not to be blamed for the Earth's own situation, but cosmic intervention? Are we going avoid the blame by saying it is a cosmic intervention and prey to god(s) to fix the problem we caused by (mostly) ourselves?
It is an interesting hypothesis, but would most likely linked to less that 0.001% of what the Humans cause. So, yea.
Yes, this is definitely a cosmological factor. But. The fact is that oil is our tectonic upper crust lubricant, and we've been pumping it globally to the surface for a long time, and that's probably a more immediate problem. We are generating heat islands in the Earth. Before everything we and nature do on the surface.
@nargus: We have your word for all of that do we? Well then, there's no reason to continue doing any further research, is there?
You're just another denier -- denying any evidence that doesn't fit your per-conceived notions. Otherwise, you might be able to provide a more cogent argument against the findings reported in the article -- more cogent than your say-so, that is.
@quasi44: Your assertions might be a tad more convincing, if the "fact" you give, were indeed a fact. In fact, the tectonic plates float on the molten mantle -- while all oil is found within the plates. Oil simply does not lubricate the plates. Your premise is false: therefore, your conclusions are also false.
Stellar detonations, pollution, cow bums, deforesting, is there anything that doesn't cause global warming?
I mean everything could be argued to cause global warming even if it is a miniscule fraction of a percentage.
I believe if we were able to achieve zero pollution in the world it would be argued the geology of the earth would be next culprit of global warming. I don't think this will ever end.
Hopefully we can get to mars soon so we can let human nature take it's course and pollute the hell out of mars until it becomes a habital environment. Then what, Global Warming of MARS protests????