Fungus Growing at Chernobyl Could Protect Astronauts From Cosmic Rays

Space Shields

One of the biggest challenges facing crewed missions to Mars is figuring out how to protect crewmembers from the onslaught of deadly cosmic rays.

Now, scientists at a number of universities say there’s growing evidence that an unusual solution could be effective: building shields out of a radiation-absorbing fungus that grows near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. New Scientist reports that the fungus was able to block some cosmic rays after a small test on the International Space Station, giving hope for safe space travel in the future.

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Climate Change – Ebb and Flow of the Tide – Part 3 of 3

By Kelvin Kemm – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Dr Kemm’s complete essay containing all three parts may be found here.

The Pause Century

40. There has been essentially no global warming during the 21st Century. This reality has been called ‘The Pause’ by some, who claim that the real rise in temperature is actually going on, but that for some unexplained reason, has paused for a while.

There is debate about the ‘Pause,’ with some saying that there were gaps in data; the variations are too small to be statistically significant; etc. If this is so, how come climate change enthusiasts have been so utterly certain of their position and their figures for the past 20 years plus.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #360

The Week That Was: May 18, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” – Richard Feynman to NASA after the Challenger explosion.

Number of the Week: 415.26 ppm

Language: In WUWT, a TWTW reader asked: “Do you see a tendency in the climate change reporting, say in the last 3 years? Is it getting better, scientifically speaking, or worse?”

Both in newspapers and in magazines with science or nature in the name, the reporting has been become more strident and personal attacks more frequent. But this was occurring long before the election of Donald Trump.

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A Perfect Storm of Cosmic Rays

Ten years ago, NASA reported a “perfect storm of cosmic rays.” During the year 2009, radiation peppering Earth from deep space reached a 50-year high, registering levels never before seen during the Space Age.

It’s about to happen again.

Ground-based neutron monitors and high-altitude cosmic ray balloons are registering a new increase in cosmic rays. The Oulu neutron monitor in Finland, which has been making measurements since 1964, reports levels in April 2019 only percentage points below the Space Age maximum of 2009:

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Neutrons Detected on Commercial Airplane Flights

March 13, 2019: Long lines. Narrow seats. Baggage fees. You recognize this list. It’s the downside of flying on modern commercial airlines. And now we have a new item to add: cosmic ray neutrons.

Spaceweather.com and Earth to Sky Calculus have just completed a 5-continent survey of neutron radiation at aviation altitudes. From December 2018 through February 2019, Hervey Allen of the University of Oregon’s Network Startup Resource Center carried  Earth to Sky radiation sensorsincluding neutron bubble chambers–onboard commercial flights from North America to Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

map2

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Declining Solar Activity

By Bob Hoye – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In the 1990s, solar physicists, Penn and Livingston, called for a long decline in solar activity. This is the case and it is nice to see such work confirmed by events. Solar Cycles # 23 and 24 are the weakest since the early 1900s. The current run of consecutive Spotless Days is out to 33, or 75%, for the year.

The following table shows the record back to the minimum of Solar Cycle # 23 when the count was at 268 days, or 73%, for 2008.

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Cosmic Rays Increasing for the 4th Year in a Row

By Dr Tony Phillips – Re-Blogged From Space Weather

Cosmic rays in the stratosphere are intensifying for the 4th year in a row. This finding comes from a campaign of almost weekly high-altitude balloon launches conducted by the students of Earth to Sky Calculus. Since March 2015, there has been a ~13% increase in X-rays and gamma-rays over central California, where the students have launched hundreds of balloons.

neutronsandxrays2

The grey points in the graph are Earth to Sky balloon data. Overlaid on that time series is a record of neutron monitor data from the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland. The correlation between the two data sets is impressive, especially considering their wide geographic separation and differing methodologies. Neutron monitors have long been considered a “gold standard” for monitoring cosmic rays on Earth. This shows that our student-built balloons are gathering data of similar quality.

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Solar Cycle Update for November 2018

By David Archibald – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In reading the solar data, what we are after in the near term is the likely month of minimum for the Solar Cycle 24/25 minimum and likely amplitude of Solar Cycle 25. Of course that quest for truth gets easier as we approach the minimum, at least apparently. Solar Cycle 24 looks like being unusual in being short while being weak and Solar Cycle 25 looks like being a repeat of Solar Cycle 24 in terms of amplitude.

The concept of the Super Grand Solar Deepest Minimum is fashionable again for the moment. There is no sign of that in the data. That said, activity in Solar Cycle 24 was back-loaded and if the solar activity to atmospheric temperature connection is real, the planet’s temperature will be running warmer for a few more years as a consequence of that.

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ATMOSPHERIC COSMIC RAYS ARE INCREASING

Re-Blogged From Space Weather

[Recent research is indicating that cosmic rays help to form raindrop nuclei, possibly increasing cloud cover, rain, and global cooling. -Bob]

So you thought Solar Minimum was boring? Think again. High-altitude balloon flights conducted by Spaceweather.com and Earth to Sky Calculus show that atmospheric radiation is intensifying from coast to coast over the USA–an ironic result of low solar activity. Take a look at the data:


Above: Dose rates at the Regener-Pfotzer Maximum, ~65,000 ft high at the entrance to the stratosphere.

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Scientists Are Developing a Shield to Protect Astronauts From Cosmic Radiation

By Petr Dockrill – Re-Blogged From Science Alert

If humankind is ever going to get off this rock we call Earth, we’ll have to find a way of dealing with cosmic radiation – the high-energy particles speeding through open space that have been found to be harmful when we’re not protected by our planet’s atmosphere.

RADS ON A PLANE–NEW RESULTS

Re-Blogged From http://www.SpaceWeather.com

Many people think that only astronauts need to worry about cosmic radiation. Not so. Ordinary air travelers are exposed to cosmic rays, too. A recent study from researchers at Harvard found that flight attendants have a higher risk of cancer than members of the general population, and the International Commission on Radiological Protection has classified pilots as occupational radiation workers.

How much radiation do you absorb? Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been working to answer this question by taking cosmic ray detectors onboard commercial airplanes. Flying since 2015, we have collected more than 22,000 GPS-tagged radiation measurements over 27 countries, 5 continents, and 2 oceans.


(A) A global overview of our flights. (B) To show the typical density of our data, we zoom in to the Four Corners region of the USA.

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Interview -Svensmark: Cosmic Rays, Clouds and Climate

Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Prof Henrik Svensmark & Jacob Svensmark discuss the connection between cosmic rays, clouds and climate with the GWPF’s Benny Peiser and Jonny Bairstow from Energy Live News after his recent presentation in London. Video and slideshow follow.

See his slideshow:

Prof Henrik Svensmark & Jacob Svensmark: The Connection Between Cosmic Rays, Clouds and Climate. (pdf)

Presentation in the House of Lords, London, 13 March 2018

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The Worsening Cosmic Ray Situation

Re-Blogged From http://www.SpaceWeather.com

[Cosmic Rays (GCRs) were high and Sunspots were low numerous times throughout history, notably during the ‘Maunder Minimum’, ‘Dalton Minimum’, ‘Sporer Minimum’, etc. Those were decades or longer of especially cold climate, like the Little Ice Age that still was around for George Washington and the troops at Valley Forge. Don’t worry about the radiation unless you fly long distances a couple times a week or plan a trip into outer space. You may want to buy a new ski jacket and long Johns though. -Bob]

Cosmic rays are bad–and they’re getting worse. That’s the conclusion of a new paper just published in the research journal Space Weather. The authors, led by Prof. Nathan Schwadron of the University of New Hampshire, show that radiation from deep space is dangerous and intensifying faster than previously predicted.

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The Missing Link Between Cosmic Rays, Clouds, and Climate Change on Earth

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Last week I hinted at this upcoming paper, which was embargoed until this morning. I noted then something Dr. Roy Spencer said in his book about clouds: The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists and how this new paper could be the “holy grail” of climate science, if it is true. 

“The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling.”

Today, we have news of something that modulates cloud cover in a new paper by Henrik Svensmark in Nature Communications.


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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #247

The Week That Was: November 5, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Svensmark Hypothesis Criticized: The Svensmark hypothesis that high energy cosmic rays can be a building block for cloud formation has been demonstrated in the laboratory, most recently by CERN. The cosmic rays are modulated by changes in solar wind, which are the result of solar activity. The activity of the sun is estimated by frequency and intensity of sunspots. An active sun results more solar wind and a corresponding net decrease in cloud formation. A dormant sun results in less solar wind and a corresponding net increase in cloud formation and a corresponding decrease in temperatures. This hypothesis is consistent with earlier thoughts about conditions in Europe during the Little Ice Age, when the skies were cloudy, winters were cold, and crops did not ripen, resulting in periods of famine.

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The Milky Way Galaxy’s Spiral Arms and Ice-Age Epochs

[One theory explaining natural climate change says: more active sun gives more solar wind, which blows away galactic cosmic rays. Since GCRs help seed clouds, more active sun means less clouds so more of sun’s heat reaches earth making temps rise. And, less active means lower global temps. This article looks at very long time frames and varying GCR production. -Bob]

Re-Blogged From http://www.sciencebits.com

1. Ice Age Epochs and Milky Way Spiral Arm Passages:

The link between solar activity cosmic rays and climate on Earth

Figure 1 – The cosmic ray link between solar activity and the terrestrial climate. The changing solar activity is responsible for a varying solar wind strength. A stronger wind will reduce the flux of cosmic ray reaching Earth, since a larger amount of energy is lost as they propagate up the solar wind. The cosmic rays themselves come from outside the solar system. Since cosmic rays dominate the troposphere ionization, an increased solar activity will translate into a reduced ionization, and empirically, also to a reduced low altitude cloud cover. Since low altitude clouds have a net cooling effect (their “whiteness” is more important than their “blanket” effect), increased solar activity implies a warmer climate. Intrinsic cosmic ray flux variations will have a similar effect, one however, which is unrelated to solar activity variations.

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Eclipse, Global Cooling, Cosmic Rays, etc.

By Dr Tony Phillips – Re-Blogged From http://www.spaceweather.com/

LUNAR ECLIPSE DETECTS GLOBAL COOLING (BUT ONLY A LITTLE): On Sept. 27th, millions of people around the world watched the Moon pass through the shadow of our planet. Most agreed that the lunar eclipse was darker than usual. Little did they know, they were witnessing a sign of global cooling. But only a little.


Above: “The eclipse was truly dark,” says photographer Giuseppe Petricca of Pisa, Italy

Atmospheric scientist Richard Keen of the University of Colorado explains: “Lunar eclipses tell us a lot about the transparency of Earth’s atmosphere. When the stratosphere is clogged with volcanic ash and other aerosols, lunar eclipses tend to be dark red. On the other hand, when the stratosphere is relatively clear, lunar eclipses are bright orange.”

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Explaining Climate Forecasting so an 8 Year Old Can Understand it

By Dr Norman Page – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

 1.  Introduction

Dr. Leif Svalgaard said in a comment on a WUWT post: August 17, 2015 at 2:27 pm    

“If you cannot explain your finding to an [attentive] eight-year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
I agree entirely.
Miriam – Webster defines Epistemology as
” the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity “

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #173

The Week That Was: March 21, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org The Science and Environmental Policy Project

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President, SEPP

Certainty: The quote [below] from logician Bertrand Russell is part of his extensive writings in praise of science and its capability to calculate probability of error based upon evidence, often coming from repeated trials. Not religious, Russell often differentiated between scientists, religious or not, as a group, and politicians. Over the past few decades the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) transformed from an organization for science to one controlled by politicians and expressing a cult-like belief – the belief that human emissions of carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases, are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming. In the process, the IPCC has turned probability analysis from objective frequency testing to guesswork. The assertions of certainty about human cause in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5) is but the latest example.

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