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The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change Paperback – March 19, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Henrik Svensmark leads a group examining the Sun's effects on the climate, at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen. He has published 50 scientific papers on theoretical and experimental physics, including six landmark papers on climate physics. Nigel Calder has spent a lifetime spotting and explaining the big discoveries in all branches of science. He served his apprenticeship as a science writer on the original staff of the magazine New Scientist and was the magazine's Editor from 1962-66. Since then he has worked as an independent author and TV scriptwriter. He won the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science for his work for the BBC in a long succession of 'science specials', with accompanying books. His most recent book is Magic Universe (OUP, 2003), a comprehensive guide to modern science, which was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize for Science Books.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Totem Books (March 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840468157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840468151
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,558,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fritz R. Ward VINE VOICE on April 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For many years it has been known that periods of global cooling are associated with with reduced solar activity. In the 1970s, Jack Eddy of the High Altitude Observatory in Colorado named the correlation between the lack of sunspots and the consequent decline in earth's temperature the "Maunder Minimum" and showed that similar sequences of global warming and cooling were also associated with increasing and decreasing solar activity. Until recently, however, no one has been able to provide a mechanism explaining why this correlation exists. Henrik Svensmark, however, has done just that in his published work and with the help of science writer Nigel Calder has provided a very readable explanation of how solar activity affects climate change. This book has profound implications for policy debates in this country and deserves a wide audience.

Svensmark's theory is that cosmic rays which originate from collapsing stars (novas) are the primary cause of cloud formation, in particular the formation of low level clouds, those 3,000 meters above the ground and lower. Muons, basically very dense electrons, which are among the few cosmic particles to survive the solar winds and contact with the earth's atmosphere to sufficiently interact with with atoms near the surface, liberate electrons in the atomosphere which in turn join with molecules that form stable clusters. These clusters attract a small amount of sulpheric acid and then water molecules to ultimately generate water droplets, the basis of cloud cover. But how exactly does cloud cover affect climate? Most climate models simply see clouds as a byproduct of climate changes, but as Svensmark and Calder demonstrate, clouds themselves are the predominant factor in global cooling.
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Having read some of the research by Henrick Svensmark's team, I eagerly awaited this book. It explains in terms accessible to the intelligent layman how cosmic rays contribute to low level cloud formation. It expounds a most believable explanation for the current warming trend.

I was more than amply rewarded as Mr. Calder's excellent writing takes a complicated subject and patiently explains its most prominent features. After reading his chapter, "Adventures of the cosmic rays," I felt much better informed on this crucial topic. Later he moves through a wealth of observations, interdisciplinary discoveries, and innumerable research studies tying them to temperature effects. Our sun and the Milky Way galaxy have a major impact through cosmic rays on our planet's temperature.

Research papers necessarily focus on a specific experiment or data gathering exercise, so this survey book is essential to fit Svensmark's research into the broader picture. It surprised and delighted me by the tremendous variety of interrelationships that have been discovered. These all relate to the effect cosmic rays have on the formation of clouds in the earth's lower troposphere. An interesting outgrowth is that long term temperature measurements on earth have suggested something so esoteric as revisions to our sun's path through the galaxy.

We have known for a couple of centuries that there seemed to be some correlation between wheat prices (a proxy for temperature variation) and sunspots. Prominent researchers in the last 2 decades have suggested further study after observing that temperature history tracks sunspots better than greenhouse gases.

Others note the rather small anthropogenic contribution to the growth of greenhouse gases.
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Science writer Nigel Calder does an admirable job of explaining Henik Svensmark climate change observations and theories. He makes Henik's sun-earth climate change connection very understandable to the lay person. Unlike the current anthropogenic forcing theory of global warming which is based on just a few decades of measurements and unproven computer models, Svensmark's hard data spanning thousands of years of observation and analysis. It's surprising that so much research has been done in this area, but has been largely ignored by the media and politicians. I guess if they cannot assign responsibilty for global warming to people its not worth pursuing. The important point is that this book reveals clear investment opportunities for significant profit as people and governments continue to make economic decisions based on faulty assumptions with regard to the cause and effect relationships of global warming. I would recommend this book strongly to any serious long range investor.
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This book presents the supported theory that cosmic rays from the stars of the milky way galaxy greatly influence the climate. Generally these cosmic rays are controlled by the sun's magnetic field which prevents cosmic rays from reaching earth when it is stronger. The lower quantity of cosmic rays then form fewer clouds and therefore allow greater earth warming. The authors not only explain the theory but demonstrate how the sun's magnetic field is directly proportional to the earth's temperature in the last several million years. The authors also present the evidence and experiments that prove their theory of the strong influence of cosmic rays and solar magnetism of the earth's climate. Moreover this book is very readable. The book can easily be read by anyone with only a very basic knowledge of science.

The book effectively refutes Al Gore and the proponents of anthropogenic global warming alarmism.

If this were not enough the authors also describe other reasons for a large quantity of cosmic rays greatly lowering temperatures on earth millions of years ago. These include bursts of star formation and the solar system passing through the milky way galaxy central plane in its rotation around the galaxy center. This book stands by itself as an incredibly real education.
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