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The proposed connection between clouds and cosmic rays: Cloud

Summary: The proposed connection between
clouds and cosmic rays: Cloud
behaviour during the past 50­120
E. Pall'e & C.J. Butler
Armagh Observatory, College Hill, BT61 9DG. Armagh, N. Ireland;
epb@star.arm.ac.uk, cjb@star.arm.ac.uk
Several authors have suggested that a link exists between the flux of galactic cosmic rays
(GCR) and cloudiness. Here we review the evidence for such a connection from studies
of cloud factors using both satellite and ground­based data. In particular, we search
for evidence for the low cloud decrease predicted by the rising levels of solar activity
and the low cloud­cosmic ray flux correlation indicated by satellite data. Sunshine and
synoptic cloud records both indicate that the global total cloud cover has increased
during the past century. This increase in total cloud cover argues against a dominating
role by solar activity (via GCR) over cloud formation on centennial time scales. Either
the predicted low cloud decrease has not occurred or the medium­high level cloud has
increased to a greater extent than low cloud has decreased.
As there is no accurate long term data available on low cloud behaviour during the last
century, we are not able to totally dismiss the link between GCR and cloudiness, but we


Source: Armagh Observatory


Collections: Physics