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In 1998 Jasper Kirkby at the CERN particle physics lab in Geneva proposed an experiment called CLOUD to investigate the possible role of cosmic rays in atmospheric chemistry. The idea was to use a beam of accelerated particles to simulate the cosmic rays, and to look for aerosols produced in a reaction chamber containing air and trace gases.
The data revealed that electrons released in the air by cosmic rays act as catalysts. They significantly accelerate the formation of stable, ultra-small clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules which are building blocks for the cloud condensation nuclei.
"We’ve found that cosmic rays significantly enhance the formation of aerosol particles in the mid troposphere and above. These aerosols can eventually grow into the seeds for clouds. However, we’ve found that the vapours previously thought to account for all aerosol formation in the lower atmosphere can only account for a small fraction of the observations – even with the enhancement of cosmic rays."
It is clear that the treatment of aerosol formation in climate models will need to be substantially revised, since all models assume that nucleation is caused by these vapours and water alone
Has anyone else noticed that the Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation hasn't updated since Sept 22 @ 09:08 UT?
IMPACT: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field at approximately 12:15 UT on Sept. 26th. The impact caused significant ground currents in Norway. Also, the Goddard Space Weather Lab reports a "strong compression of Earth's magnetosphere. Simulations indicate that solar wind plasma [has penetrated] close to geosynchronous orbit starting at 13:00UT." Geosynchronous satellites could therefore be directly exposed to solar wind plasma and magnetic fields. Stay tuned for updates.