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COPENHAGEN (AFP) -- The earth's climate has been significantly affected by the planet's magnetic field, according to a Danish study published Monday that could challenge the notion that human emissions are responsible for global warming. He and his colleague Peter Riisager, of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), compared a reconstruction of the prehistoric magnetic field 5,000 years ago based on data drawn from stalagmites and stalactites found in China and Oman. The results of the study, which has also been published in US scientific journal Geology, lend support to a controversial theory published a decade ago by Danish astrophysicist Henrik Svensmark, who claimed the climate was highly influenced by galactic cosmic ray (GCR) particles penetrating the earth's atmosphere. Svensmark's theory, which pitted him against today's mainstream theorists who claim carbon dioxide (CO2) is responsible for global warming, involved a link between the earth's magnetic field and climate, since that field helps regulate the number of GCR particles that reach the earth's atmosphere. Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) come from outside the solar system but generally from within our Milky Way galaxy. The elemental makeup of GCRs has been studied in detail , and is very similar to the composition of the Earth and solar system. Included in the cosmic rays are a number of radioactive nuclei whose numbers decrease over time. The two scientists acknowledged that CO2 plays an important role in the changing climate, "but the climate is an incredibly complex system, and it is unlikely we have a full overview over which factors play a part and how important each is in a given circumstance," Riisager told Videnskab. Man-made climate change may be happening at a far slower rate than has been claimed, according to controversial new research.
Scientists say that cosmic rays from outer space play a far greater role in changing the Earth's climate than global warming experts previously thought. In a book, to be published this week, they claim that fluctuations in the number of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere directly alter the amount of cloud covering the planet. High levels of cloud cover blankets the Earth and reflects radiated heat from the Sun back out into space, causing the planet to cool.
Henrik Svensmark, a weather scientist at the Danish National Space Centre who led the team behind the research, believes that the planet is experiencing a natural period of low cloud cover due to fewer cosmic rays entering the atmosphere. He claims carbon dioxide emissions due to human activity are having a smaller impact on climate change than scientists think. The controversial theory comes one week after 2,500 scientists who make up the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change published their fourth report stating that human carbon dioxide emissions would cause temperature rises of up to 4.5 C by the end of the century. Mr Svensmark claims that the calculations used to make this prediction largely overlooked the effect of cosmic rays on cloud cover and the temperature rise due to human activity may be much smaller. He said: "It was long thought that clouds were caused by climate change, but now we see that climate change is driven by clouds.
Mr Svensmark last week published the first experimental evidence from five years' research on the influence that cosmic rays have on cloud production in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Journal A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences.
A team of more than 60 scientists from around the world are preparing to conduct a large-scale experiment using a particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland, to replicate the effect of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere.
They hope this will prove whether this deep space radiation is responsible for changing cloud cover. Mr Svensmark's results show that the rays produce electrically charged particles when they hit the atmosphere. Mr Svensmark claims that the number of cosmic rays hitting the Earth changes with the magnetic activity around the Sun. Giles Harrison, a cloud specialist at Reading University said that he had carried out research on cosmic rays and their effect on clouds, but believed the impact on climate is much smaller than Mr Svensmark claims.
Mr Harrison said: "I have been looking at cloud data going back 50 years over the UK and found there was a small relationship with cosmic rays. Among them is Prof Bob Bingham, a clouds expert from the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils in Rutherford. The overall pattern of movement of the tectonic plates is a widening of the Atlantic Ocean and a shrinkage of the Pacific Ocean. About 200 million years ago, Pangaea began to break up into two large masses called Gondwanaland and Laurasia.
Paleomagnetism (the study of magnetism in ancient rocks) also provides evidence of plate movement. When such a rock was hot and liquid, the magnetic particles moved too rapidly to be influenced by Earth’s magnetic field. So when the plate containing the rock either drifts to a different latitude or rotates, the particles no longer align with Earth’s magnetic field. The circulation of mantle rock as it rises to the top of the asthenosphere, cools, and then sinks it is known as convection current. A new technique for measuring the Earth’s magnetic field back to the days of the dinosaurs and beyond has revealed that the field was as much as three times stronger in ancient Earth than previous techniques suggested.
With the method tested, it was time to see what it revealed about the magnetic field back in the days of the dinosaurs. The polar field of the Sun seems to reverse every 11 years or so, taking about a year or more.
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that variations in the long-term reversal rate of the Earth’s magnetic field may be caused by changes in heat flow from the Earth’s core. The Siberian Traps and Deccan Traps, where huge amounts of magma poured out of the earth, were both synchronous with large mass-extinction events – the Great Permian extinction and the dinosaur extinction. Evidence for the existence of Earth’s magnetic field has been pushed back about 250 million years, new research suggests. Earth’s magnetic field was born by 3.45 billion years ago, a team including researchers from the University of Rochester in New York and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa report in the March 5 issue of Science.


That date falls?during life’s earliest stages of development, between the period when the Earth was pummeled by interplanetary debris and when the atmosphere filled with oxygen. The researchers measured the magnetic strength of certain rocks found in the Kaapvaal craton of South Africa, a geologic region known to date back more than 3 billion years. The Greenstone Belt in South Africa had rocks that were just right: crystals of quartz less than two millimeters long with nanometer-sized bits of iron-containing magnetite embedded in them. Tarduno and his colleagues had studied similar rocks in 2007 and found that a magnetic field half as strong as today’s was present 3.2 billion years ago. To determine if the early magnetic field was enough to hold back the rain of radiation, the team needed to know what the sun was doing.
The amount of radiation regularly reaching Earth from the sun 3.45 billion years ago would be comparable to what rains down on the planet during the most powerful solar storms today, Tarduno says. The study “can be used to guide our searches for other life-bearing planets” as well, says astronomer Moira Jardine of the University of St. Despite the fact that no extrasolar planets with magnetic fields have ever been detected, Jardine and Tarduno remain optimistic.
This revelation increases the work load for space weather forecasters, but it also increases the potential accuracy of their forecasts. In a paper they prepared for the Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR), Schrijver and Title broke down the Great Eruption into more than a dozen significant shock waves, flares, filament eruptions, and CMEs spanning 180 degrees of solar longitude and 28 hours of time. Locations of key events are labeled in this extreme ultraviolet image of the sun, obtained by the Solar Dynamics Observatory during the Great Eruption of August 1st.
To wit, barely two-thirds of the August event was visible from Earth, yet all of it could be seen by the SDO-STEREO fleet. Further analysis may yet reveal the underlying trigger; for now, the team is still wrapping their minds around the global character of solar activity.
A magnetosphere is the region around an astronomical object in which phenomena are dominated or organized by its magnetic field. The magnetosphere of Earth is a region in space whose shape is determined by the extent of Earth’s internal magnetic field, the solar wind plasma, and the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF).
The outer neutral gas envelope of Earth, or geocorona, consists mostly of the lightest atoms, hydrogen and helium, and continues beyond 4-5 RE, with diminishing density. About Me“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. GCRs are atomic nuclei from which all of the surrounding electrons have been stripped away during their high-speed passage through the galaxy. As in the carbon-14 dating technique, measurements of these nuclei can be used to determine how long it has been since cosmic ray material was synthesized in the galactic magnetic field before leaking out into the vast void between the galaxies. If he is correct, it could mean that mankind has more time to reduce our effect on the climate. This week he will also publish a fuller account of his work in a book entitled The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change. If so, it could force climate scientists to re-evaluate their ideas about how global warming occurs. During high periods of activity, fewer cosmic rays hit the Earth and so there are less clouds formed, resulting in warming. What seems amazing this year is the volcanic and seismic activity, in Italy, Tonga, Chile, Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawaii to name some areas.
The Atlantic is widening because sea-floor spreading at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge continues to create lithosphere. According to the commonly accepted description of plate movement, all the continents once formed part of an enormous single land mass called Pangaea. These masses, in turn, broke up into the continents, which drifted to their present locations. They study surface features, such as mountains and ocean trenches, and investigate the frequencies and locations of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Scientists believe that these volcanoes are caused by mantle plumes, columns of very hot mantle that rise from deep inside Earth to the base of the lithosphere. For example, a hot spot under the Pacific Plate generated volcanoes that became the Hawaiian islands. But as the rock cooled and solidified, the particles aligned themselves with Earth’s magnetic field, like tiny compass needles.
A comparison of the direction in which the particles now point in the rock with the direction of Earth’s present magnetic field provides information about where the plate was when the rock solidified. Its magnetization is in the direction of the local magnetic force at the time when it cools down. The scientists focused on the time interval between around 200 and 80 million years ago, when magnetic polarity started reversing very frequently – up to 10 times every million years. There is strong evidence of electromagnetic processes responsible for?earthquake triggering.The connection of earthquake activity?to possible solar or solar wind drivers is not well understood. The field may therefore be old enough to have shielded some of the planet’s earliest life from the sun’s most harmful cosmic radiation.
Several earlier studies had suggested that a magnetic field is a necessary shield against deadly solar radiation that can strip away a planet’s atmosphere, evaporate water and snuff out life on its surface.
Using a specially designed magnetometer and improved lab techniques, the team detected a magnetic signal in 3.45-billion-year-old rocks that was between 50 and 70 percent the strength of the present-day field, Tarduno says.


Tarduno and Eric Mamajek, an astronomer at the University of Rochester, used observations of young sunlike stars to infer how strong a solar wind the Earth was up against. This quick rotation powered a strong magnetic field, which heated the sun’s atmosphere and carried away mass and angular momentum in a strong solar wind of charged particles.
The aurora borealis, caused by solar wind particles accelerating along Earth’s magnetic field, would have been visible as far south as present-day New York City.
With several colleagues present to offer commentary, they outlined their findings at a press conference today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.
At first it seemed to be a cacophony of disorder until they plotted the events on a map of the sun's magnetic field. Moreover, SDO's measurements of the sun's magnetic field revealed direct connections between the various components of the Great Eruption—no statistics required. One commentator recalled the old adage of three blind men describing an elephant--one by feeling the trunk, one by holding the tail, and another by sniffing a toenail. Earth is surrounded by a magnetosphere, as are the magnetized planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. In the magnetosphere, a mix of free ions and electrons from both the solar wind and the Earth’s ionosphere is confined by magnetic and electric forces that are much stronger than gravity and collisions.
They have probably been accelerated within the last few million years, and have traveled many times across the galaxy, trapped by the galactic magnetic field. The Pacific is shrinking because much of it is ringed by convergent plate boundaries that are consuming its lithosphere. These plumes generate magma that rises through the lithosphere and erupts in places called hot spots. Then, the particles continue to point in the direction of the magnetic field that was present during the time that the rock cooled.
After about 25 million years of cooling and shrinking, the edge becomes so dense that gravity can pull it down into the asthenosphere. Besides possibly giving T-Rex a better northern lights show, the field strength gives researchers a glimpse into what the Earth’s hot, molten core was doing back then. However 50 million years later, it stopped reversing altogether for nearly 40 million years. The ionosphere modulates?waves transmitted to the ground so we only compare the wave power and not the?waves themselves for the ground-based magnetometers.
How Many Species We Are Losing?TORNADOES: Forces of Nature or New Extreme Weather Patterns From CLIMATE CHANGE? Iron minerals record the strength and direction of the magnetic field that was present during their formation. But you also have to have a magnetic field, because that protects the atmosphere from erosion and the complete removal of water.” Mars may be dry today because it lost its magnetic field early on, he adds. The team calculated that the point where the Earth’s magnetic field cancels out the solar wind would be only about five Earth radii above the planet’s center, less than half of the 10.7 radii it is today.
Astronomers might want to focus more on older, less active stars or search for planets with their own magnetic fields, she says.
So, add us to your ad blocker’s whitelist or pay $1 per week for an ad-free version of WIRED. Filaments of magnetism snapped and exploded, shock waves raced across the stellar surface, billion-ton clouds of hot gas billowed into space. Solar flares, tsunamis, coronal mass ejections--they can go off all at once, hundreds of thousands of miles apart, in a dizzyingly-complex concert of mayhem. Sometimes observers would see flares going off one after another--like popcorn--but it was impossible to prove a link between them. The upward extension of the ionosphere, known as the plasmasphere, also extends beyond 4-5 RE with diminishing density, beyond which it becomes a flow of light ions called the polar wind that escapes out of the magnetosphere into the solar wind. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.
Because of the additional density, gravity pulls the plate edge into the asthenosphere even more strongly. But when rocks are heated in subsequent geological processes, they can lose or overwrite that record. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Conde Nast. Energy deposited in the ionosphere by auroras strongly heats the heavier atmospheric components such as oxygen and molecules of oxygen and nitrogen, which would not otherwise escape from Earth’s gravity. As they travel through the very thin gas of interstellar space, some of the GCRs interact and emit gamma rays, which is how we know that they pass through the Milky Way and other galaxies.
Owing to this highly variable heating, however, a heavy atmospheric or ionospheric outflow of plasma flows during disturbed periods from the auroral zones into the magnetosphere, extending the region dominated by terrestrial material, known as the fourth or plasma geosphere, at times out to the magnetopause. PleatPak by GreenDustries Won Best in Show Award in the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show in New York 2013.



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