Solar Radiation Increasing

Not by Fire but by Ice


Updated 27 July 06


Solar radiation has been increasing 
since the late 19th century, 
NASA study finds
(but we keep blaming humans)


"Since the late 1970s, the amount of solar radiation the sun emits, during times of
quiet sunspot activity, has increased by nearly .05 percent per decade, according
to a NASA funded study.

"This trend is important because, if sustained over many decades, it could cause
significant climate change," said Richard Willson, a researcher affiliated with
NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University's Earth
Institute, New York. He is the lead author of the study recently published in
Geophysical Research Letters.

"Historical records of solar activity indicate that solar radiation has been increasing
since the late 19th century. If a trend, comparable to the one found in this study,
persisted throughout the 20th century, it would have provided a significant
component of the global warming the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
reports to have occurred over the past 100 years," he said.

Although the inferred increase of solar irradiance in 24 years, about 0.1 percent, is
not enough to cause notable climate change, the trend would be important if
maintained for a century or more.

Satellite observations of total solar irradiance have obtained a long enough record
(over 24 years) to begin looking for this effect.  

According to Willson, small variations, like the one found in this study, if sustained
over many decades, could have significant climate effects."

For the entire article, see Science Daily , 21 Mar 03




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