Scientists have long wondered whether cosmic radiation influences climate change. Galactic cosmic rays are composed mostly of atomic nuclei and solitary electrons, which are objects that have mass, while electromagnetic radiation consists of massless particles. Within the last six years, two different groups of scientists have weighed in on the matter.

In 2013, two British scientists published their findings in the journal “Environmental Research Letters,” stating that the increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases — instead of cosmic radiation — appears to be the major contributor to global warming. During their study, they compared the rate of cosmic rays entering the atmosphere with global temperatures dating back to 1955. They found that the rate of changing cosmic rays lagged behind the rise in temperatures by one to two years, which implies that there is not a strong correlation between the two.[1]

Two years later, a research collaborative published a paper in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” finding there is a small link between cosmic radiation and temperature increase on a year-to-year basis, but not enough to be a big part of global warming. [2]

So what do we take from these findings? According to these scientists, cosmic radiation has very little effect on global warming. In fact, they conclude that global warming is not the result of forces beyond our control, but rather the consequence of uniquely human behaviors. There is of course, still much research to be done, and many questions that are unanswered. Cosmic radiation certainly is still a concern for astronauts who need to vigilantly protect themselves while on missions. Understanding this, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) collaborated with Mirion Technologies to use the Instadose®+ radiation personal dosimeter product, to monitor radiation exposure for astronauts in space. Astronauts continue to perform research to benefit mankind, including research related to global warming and the effects on the weather systems of our planet which appear to be minimal and not a cause for great concern.






Researchers have long wondered whether cosmic radiation contributes to climate change.

Two groups of scientists recently determined that cosmic radiation doesn’t significantly affect global warming.

Cosmic radiation appears to be a concern mostly for astronauts, who must protect themselves during missions.