A team of scientists from the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Space) and the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has linked large solar eruptions to changes in Earth’s cloud cover in a study based on over 25 years of satellite observations.
The solar eruptions are known to shield Earth’s atmosphere from cosmic rays. However the new study, “The response of clouds and aerosols to cosmic ray decreases,” published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, shows that the global cloud cover is simultaneously reduced, supporting the idea that cosmic rays are important for cloud formation. The eruptions cause a reduction in cloud fraction of about 2 percent corresponding to roughly a billion tonnes of liquid water disappearing from the atmosphere.
This new study, co-authored by Henrik Svensmark, is further validation of his game changing theory on the relationship of cosmic rays to cloud cover, and indeed, many important events in the history of the earth.