Shaviv refuses to get worked up: “The hysteria surrounding the concept of ‘global warming’ will fade over the years,” he says. “People will see that the apocalyptic forecasts are not coming true. Today there is no fingerprint attesting that carbon dioxide emission causes a rise in temperature. A Grad missile that falls in Sderot should be more cause for concern.” Back to the Ice Age Last Wednesday, Shaviv was featured in a documentary broadcast on Channel 8, “The Cloud Mystery,” alongside Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark, a physicist whose pioneering experiments conducted in Copenhagen revealed how changes on the sun’s surface and cosmic rays are what affect climate, and not the polluting gases from manmade sources.
While he was living in Toronto, one of his colleagues asked him how supernovae (the explosion of massive stars) affect the earth. Shaviv examined the question seriously; his conclusions reinforced the argument that charged energy particles called cosmic rays, which are affected by the sun’s activity, are what affect the earth’s climate. Shaviv explains it as follows: “The sun’s activity is cyclical. When it’s more active, the wind that blows from it is stronger and then fewer cosmic rays reach the earth. Cosmic rays cause ions to be produced in our atmosphere, which are one of the factors required for the creation of the surface upon which clouds form, primarily above the ocean’s surface. When there are fewer ions, the clouds that are formed are composed of large drops. Clouds of this type are less white and refract less of the sun’s rays outward, and so the heat is preserved and the earth gets warmer.”
“The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy with arms,” Shaviv continues. “We traverse one of these arms every 145 million years. If the sun’s cyclical changes translate into a shift of one degree on earth, then the changes when we traverse such an arm, close to supernovae, will be on the order of 10 degrees, which is a huge amount. When you look at the geological record of the earth, you see that in the past 100 million years, there were periods with ice at the Poles and periods without ice. I demonstrated in the article that the Ice Ages correlate chronologically with our traversing the arms of the Milky Way. In other words, every 145 million years there is an Ice Age. The conclusion is that cosmic rays affect the earth’s temperature on long time-scales, too.”