February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 9, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1996
related items in Science, 272(5264), May 17, 1996:
"Stratospheric Control of Climate," A. Robock (Dept.
Meteor., Univ. Maryland, College Park MD 20742; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org), 972-973. For many decades, statistical
evidence has suggested a possible link between solar activity and
weather and climate, but there has been no physical mechanism
identified. The following paper identifies a possible mechanism,
using a climate model with a sophisticated representation of
stratospheric processes. Such new tools will lead to further
progress understanding climatic variations.
"The Impact of Solar Variability on Climate," J.D.
Haigh (Space & Atmos. Physics, Imperial College of Science,
Technol. & Med., London SW7 2BZ, UK), 981-984. Used a global
atmospheric model that simulates changes in solar irradiance and
stratospheric ozone to investigate the response of the atmosphere
to the 11-year solar activity cycle. At solar maximum, a warming
of the summer stratosphere was found to strengthen easterly
winds, leading to changes in tropospheric circulation similar to
those observed in nature. Since the simulation of ozone changes
was a key factor, these results imply that changes in
stratospheric ozone brought about by any other means (such as
destruction by CFCs) may also have an impact on tropospheric
"Sun-Climate Links," C. Covey (Lawrence-Livermore Natl.
Lab., POB 808, Livermore CA 94550; e-mail:
email@example.com), Science, 272(5259), 179,
Apr. 12, 1996.
Presents some brief physical arguments explaining why we
should not jump to the conclusion that solar luminosity changes
explain all or even most of the climate variations of the past
"Comparison of Proxy Records of Climate Change and Solar
Forcing," T.J. Crowley (Dept. Oceanog., Texas A&M Univ.,
College Sta. TX 77843; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org), K.-Y Kim, Geophys.
Res. Lett., 23(4), 359-362, Feb. 15, 1996.
Compares two estimates of solar variability since 1600 with
two estimates of Northern Hemispheric temperature change.
Sun-climate correlations are significant at the 95% level, but
longer records are needed for a more convincing demonstration of
a significant linkage. However, results of forcing an energy
balance model with the solar time series supports the hypothesis
that solar variability may be significantly contributing to
climate change on decadal-centennial time scales.
Sun and Climate," J. Lean (U.S. Naval Res. Lab., Washington
D.C.; e-mail: email@example.com), D. Rind, Consequences, 2(1),
A review for non-specialists. The 11-year sunspot cycle causes
a change of less than 0.1° C in the Earth's temperature, but
what is known of solar behavior before 1979 suggests that other
changes of possibly greater amplitude also occur. These long-term
solar variations are incompletely understood, but could have
contributed about 15% of the documented 0.5° C global
warming since 1850. With the highest estimates of possible solar
changes, the Sun could diminish the IPCC mid-range projected
warming of 2° C by about 0.5° C.
"Reconstruction of Solar Irradiance Since 1610: Implications
for Climate Change," J. Lean (Ctr. Space Res., Code 7673L,
Naval Res. Lab., Washington DC 20375; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org), J. Beer, R. Bradley, Geophys. Res.
Lett., 23(23), 3195-3198, Dec. 1, 1995.
The correlation of reconstructed solar irradiance and Northern
Hemisphere surface temperature is 0.86 in the pre-industrial
period from 1610 to 1800, implying a predominant solar influence.
Extending this correlation to the present suggests that solar
forcing may have contributed about half of the observed
0.55° C surface warming since 1860, and one third of the
warming since 1970.
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