Scientists at DTU Space are conducting research into whether variations in the amount of cosmic radiation hitting the atmosphere are affecting the Earth’s climate.
Since the mid-1990s, scientists at DTU Space have conducted research into the effect of cosmic radiation on the Earth’s climate. The amount of cosmic radiation hitting the Earth’s atmosphere varies according to natural changes in the Sun’s magnetic field. Scientists believe there is a close correlation between these naturally occurring variations in cosmic radiation and the variations in the Earth’s average temperature.
Research takes the form, among other things, of experiments and the analysing of observations from satellites. In 2007, scientists published the results of the SKY experiment, which showed how cosmic radiation can promote the formation of cooling clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists at DTU Space have also participated in an international project at CERN – the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva – involving further experiments devised to test the theory, and since 2008 scientists have carried out experiments in an underground laboratory in England, where it is possible to carry out measurements in an environment free of cosmic particles.
In 2009, scientists published an analysis of satellite data further supporting the theory, as they found that there is a correlation between changes in the Earth’s cloud cover and solar eruptions, which for a short time result in heavy cosmic radiation.