The Cloud Mystery Program

The Cloud Mystery

(Duration: 52 minutes, Language: English)

Our clouds take their orders from the stars,” says the Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark. That’s the amazing and provocative discovery reported here. Most experts thought the idea was crazy.

The film records ten years of effort by the small team in Copenhagen that, in the end, solved the mystery of how the Galaxy and the Sun interfere in our everyday weather.

It’s provocative because Dr Svensmark’s revelations challenge the belief of most climate theorists that carbon dioxide has been the main driver of global warming. As a result he has faced never-ending opposition.

But strong support for the cosmic view of climate change comes from astronomer Nir Shaviv and geologist Jan Veizer. In the film they tell how the Galaxy has governed the Earth’s ever-changing climate over 500 million years.

The Cloud Mystery is aimed at a wide audience. Astonishing pictures from our Galaxy, the Sun, and cloud formations are mixed with spectacular animations to simplify the science. Comments by astronomers, geologists and climate experts convey their sense of adventure, and give scientific weight to the discoveries presented. The audience is taken on a trip around the world, where scientists from Denmark, Israel, Canada, the USA, and Norway contribute to this exciting story.

Linking all the discoveries is the non-stop rain of cosmic rays – energetic particles from exploded stars that battle with the Sun’s magnetic field to reach the Earth. Central in the story is an experiment in a Copenhagen basement. It showed how cosmic rays help to make chemical specks in the air on which water drops condense to make clouds.

The story concludes that clouds are the main driver of climate change on Earth.

The documentary follows Henrik Svensmark in his struggle to find the physical evidence of a celestial climate driver. The film demonstrates that science can be a rough place to be if you are in opposition to the established “truth”.

Lars Oxfeldt Mortensen has produced and directed a number of international acclaimed documentaries. He is the winner of numerous awards


Documentary Duration: 52 minutes Format: 16:9 Sales: DR Sales
– How the Milky Way, the Sun, and the clouds rule climate on Earth.
THE CLOUD MYSTERY is a scientific detective story. It tells how a Danish scientist, Henrik Svensmark, through pioneering experiments in Copenhagen, solved the puzzle of how supernova explosions in our Galaxy and variations in the Sun govern climate changes on the Earth.

Scarcely audible above the noise about global warming, Svensmark has reported a new kind of aerial chemistry triggered by events in our Galaxy that shower our planet with atomic particles – the cosmic rays. This celestial mechanism determines cloudiness and temperatures on Earth. It is so powerful that we now have to re-evaluate the causes of global warming.

Henrik Svensmark linking the Sun and the clouds with climate change.

Strong evidence that changes in the Earth’s climate follow changes in the Sun’s magnetic behaviour came from the Copenhagen scientists Eigil Friis-Christensen and Knud Lassen in 1991. In principle it might explain most of the warming in the 20th Century, but no one knew how the Sun could affect the climate so much.

One effect of solar changes is to vary the number of cosmic rays reaching the Earth from the Galaxy. In 1995 Henrik Svensmark, also in Copenhagen, began to wonder if the cosmic rays could affect cloud cover. When he compared satellite observations of clouds with the varying counts of cosmic rays from year to year, he found an amazing link. A stronger Sun and fewer cosmic rays meant fewer clouds and a warmer world. Friis-Christensen agreed with this explanation for the Sun’s role.

Scientists favouring carbon dioxide as the driver of global warming rejected the discovery. Yet ample evidence reveals Sun-driven climate change, long before human industry could have been a factor. The astronomer Nir Shaviv of Jerusalem takes the viewer to cliffs by the Dead Sea, where layers of sediment show alternations of wet and dry periods over centuries and millennia. The changes matched solar-driven variations in the intensity of cosmic rays.

Dark and light bands by the Dead Sea tell of ever-changing wet and dry periods

Continuing his investigations, with Nigel Marsh, Svensmark found that the clouds most affected by variations in the cosmic rays are those at low altitude. Although surprising, this fitted very well with the emerging theory of cloud-driven climate change. The next question was, How could the cosmic rays affect cloud formation? As explained in the film by Richard Turco from Los Angeles, water vapour condenses to make cloud droplets only in the presence of invisible particles floating in the air as aerosols, or cloud condensation nuclei. Cosmic rays might help to make the aerosols.

Svensmark wanted to carry out a laboratory experiment on that possible influence of cosmic rays on cloud condensation nuclei. But he ran into strong opposition to the very idea of an experiment, from scientists who dismissed the possibility of any connection. As a result, Svensmark and his team were short of funds. The work of building an experimental chamber in the basement of the Danish National Space Center was painfully slow

Astronomer Nir Shaviv, Jerusalem, explains our position in the Milky Way.

Meanwhile, in 2002, unexpected support came from Nir Shaviv in Jerusalem, who carried the story of cosmic rays and climate back over hundreds of millions of years, from an astronomer’s point of view. Shaviv realised that whenever the Sun and its planets visit the bright spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy, they are exposed to stronger cosmic rays, which create ‘icehouse’ conditions on the Earth. Visiting MØns Klint in Denmark, Shaviv points out the chalk cliffs dating from the ‘hothouse’ world of the dinosaurs, and the bulldozing action of glaciers in the present ‘icehouse’ era. His interpretations turned out to fit beautifully with the discovery of alternations of warm and cool oceans, by the geologist Ján Veizer of Toronto.

Geologist Jan Veizer, Ottawa, shows a brachiopod, used for estimating Earth’s temperatures the past 500 million years

By 2005, the experiment in Copenhagen was at last running well. It gave very clear evidence for the role of cosmic rays in helping to build small aerosols that grow into cloud condensation nuclei. But the next problem was to get the report published in a scientific journal. Svensmark and his team faced rejection after rejection, for no very good reason. As the eminent physicist Eugene Parker comments in the film, politically incorrect ideas about global warming face this kind of resistance in the scientific community.

At long last, the paper was accepted for publication by the Royal Society of London in 2006. While the champagne flowed, Svensmark said the cloud mystery was solved but wondered when the climate community would catch up with his discovery. The film ends with Shaviv pointing out that we are part of a galactic ecosystem, and Svensmark saying we must no longer think of the Earth as an island in space.

Henrik Svensmark and Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen with the basement experiment

Svensmark built the world’s largest cloud chamber at the Danish National Space Centre(Now DTU Space) in Copenhagen. They worked five years in the laboratory before they had the results. During the fall of 2006 the epoch making results were publishing world-wide in science literature. The results concluded that the climate of Earth is decisively influenced by exploding stars and additionally: This mechanism literally turns the Earth’s thermostat upside down. This means that Cosmic rays produces aerosols in our atmosphere, which are necessary for the formation of clouds. Without these aerosols water vapour cannot condense into droplets and form clouds. Remember that water vapour is by far the dominating greenhouse gas, and even very small changes in the global cloud cover will change the Earth radiation budget significantly.

Natural events in our Galaxy and on the manic-depressive Sun decide whether the Earth’s cloud cover is letting the Sun heat or cool the surface of the Earth. The clouds, obedient to the cosmic rays, are the dominant driver of climate change. As a result we have to re-evaluate our understanding of the climate. A new field in climate research called cosmoclimatology is progressing.

Past climate variations
Using this discovery we are now able to explain how the feeble Sun allowed more clouds to form and cool the world 300 years ago during the Little Ice Age. During the 20th Century the Sun doubled its magnetic strength and warmed the Earth. And just recently Henrik Svensmark together with astronomers and geologists have documented an extraordinary relationship between these celestial events and the evolution of biosphere’s millions of years back in time.

The discovery introduces a new fascinating perspective that we are indeed taking part in a intergalactic eco system where the evolution of biosphere’s are linked to celestial forces through climate change on all time scales.

I.Systems, à empresa startup de tecnologia de 1 bilhão de dólares?

Prezados geonautas,

A empresa startup tecnológico, I.Systems, criada pelos baianos, Igor Santiago, Leonardo Freitas, Ronaldo Silva e Danilo Halla, radicados na Unicamp, pode-se dizer, começou com o espírito empreendedor e o  paradigma do rico espírito da culturas nordestina, embora ainda pobre região do nordeste do Brasil: “rapadura é doce, mas não é mole não“, assim como o espírito empreendedor do Silicon Valley, “Pense grande, comece pequeno” (*).

O software Leaf – softwares de automação industrial, foi desenvolvido com lógica Fuzzy, segundo Igor Santiago, “o Leaf representa um avanço de cerca de 100 anos em relação à tecnologia conhecida como processo Proporcional, Integral e Derivativo (PID), criada no fim do século XIX e usada até hoje em quase 100% dos sistemas industriais automatizados.“.

A lógica Fuzzy, solução de ampla aplicação, flexível, estável, não necessita de conhecimento prévio dos fenômenos envolvidos, mas sua utilização tem sido limitada pela complexidade de definição de um grande número de regras empíricas. E leva enorme vantagem em comparação com as outras duas formas de controlar automaticamente um processo industrial: a Modelagem Matemática e Redes Neurais (

O grande diferencial é que o Leaf não precisa de histórico de dados dos processos ou algum conhecimento em inteligência artificial. A configuração do controlador com Fuzzy necessita apenas dos valores mínimos, médios e máximos dos sensores (temperatura, pressão e fluxo) e dos atuadores (válvulas, bombas e motores). Essas informações são rapidamente obtidas das próprias operações ou das especificações dos equipamentos, assim, em apenas um dia, é possível configurar um controlador avançado de processos industriais. O Leaf gera automaticamente milhares de regras Fuzzy, criando um controlador multivariável estável.

O primeiro teste na fábrica da cola-cola em Jundiaí, em 2010, reduziram em 31% as perdas por rejeição, nas variações de nível do líquido injetado, e 42% por borbulhamento, que é a formação de bolhas de gás carbônico. O sistema implementado na fábrica possibilitou controlar simultaneamente as válvulas de pressão e de vazão da linha engarrafadora e gerar economia de 500 mil litros de refrigerante e de 100 mil garrafas PET por ano.

É interessante observar também que, na entrevista de Igor Santiago na Brasilagro (vídeo abaixo), a empresa no início encontrou acesso mais fácil para demonstrar e vender o potencial de inovação do software Leaf na industria sucroalcooleira brasileira, normalmente considerada pelo “status quo” do conhecimento convencional, mais conservadora, em comparação com as grandes empresas industriais globais, considerada mais inovadoras.

Segundo Fernando Reinach, “O fundo Pitanga resolveu  investir na I.Systems porque a empresa desenvolveu uma maneira nova de utilizar a lógica fuzzy, num processo de regulação de automação industrial. É uma solução inovadora, que não existe em nenhum lugar do mundo. Há empresas que fazem automação industrial, mas nenhuma tem este tipo de solução. No caso do produto da I.Systems, o mercado potencial é qualquer indústria do mundo.”

A empresa I.Systems, sem concorrente no Brasil, detêm  inovação e ‘know how’  tecnológico para competir no mercado mundial, está preparando os músculos e o fôlego com injeção de capital e em busca de parceiros globais, para competir com as grandes na área industrial, como Siemens e General Electric. “Estamos avaliando se vamos solicitar a patente da nossa tecnologia no Brasil ou no exterior ou se trabalharemos com segredo industrial nos mercados norte-americano, asiático e europeu”, diz Santiago.

O investidor de startup, Vinod Khosla, que está nessa estrada a mais de três décadas, nos anos 80 com a criação da SUN Microsystem enfrentando os Mainframe da IBM, nos anos 90 apostou no protocolo IP quando ninguém apostava. Khosla conta a história que em 1998,  ofereceu por apenas algumas centenas de mil dólares, o software de busca dos jovens Larry e Sergei para uma empresa, mas o possível comprador declinou a oferta, argumentando que os mecanismos de buscas não davam lucro e que já era um mercado de commodities, foi quando Larry e Sergei, que acreditavam no desenvolvimento, decidiram mudar de estratégia, criaram a empresa GOOGLE, e fez história, uma história bilionária.

Os gens empreendedores fundadores da I.System, trás em seu paradigma de nascimento esse espírito, portanto, o céu industrial global é o limite. A empresa chegar a um bilhão de dólares ou mais, é uma questão de estratégia de solução para o mercado e de tempo, os valores inovadores e os ideais dos fundadores, são valores intangíveis, não tem preço.

Entre “O Pirulito da Ciência” de Tom Zé, ao sonho de Miguel Nicolelis, transformar o nordeste do Brasil na “Califórnia brasileira”, como diz o sociólogo, Laymert Garcia dos Santos, para quem tem 30 anos hoje, no Brasil e no mundo, é um desafio e uma oportunidade muito interessante sobre as mudanças que se vislumbram pela frente, vou fingir que não sei bem de que idade ele fala, pois a experiência nos 50, mas energia e espírito na “lyra dos 20”,  estou adicionado outro pensamento, do poeta Samuel Ullman, “Youth is not a time of life – it is a state of mind“, se a canoa não virar vamos chegar lá.

Quem viver verá!


(*) “Pense grande, comece pequeno“, o espírito da cultura empreendedora da costa oeste americana, da Califórnia Dreams do Silicon Valley, a influencia da cultura beatnik anti-materialista de esquerda dos anos 50 e 60, que influenciou a literatura, a cultura, a sociedade, e a revolução tecnológica que chega até nós, da “Inteligência Coletiva”.

O espírito empreendedor que suplantou a cultura tradicional da costa leste do nordeste americano, de Yale, Harvard e MTI no último meio século, mas é uma história que começa no século XIX, com  Stanford Univ., ver artigo em inglês que conta essa rica história: GROWTH OF A SILICON EMPIRE / Bay Area’s fertile intellectual ground helped sprout high technology industry, by Henry Norr, Published December 27, 1999.

P.S.: O artigo foi elaborado com pesquisas em: Vídeo anexo/ Website I.Systems/ Artigos anexos da NEI e da FAPESP.

Brasilagro entrevista Igor Santiago da I.Systems:

– A lógica do mercado_Rev. FAPESP_Set. 2013

– NEI: Ex-alunos da Unicamp recebem apoio de investidores ao criarem software para indústrias

– I.Systems: