February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 11, NUMBER 6, JUNE 1998
"Solar Variability and Climate Change: Geomagnetic aa Index and
Global Surface Temperature," E.W. Cliver, V. Boriakoff, J. Feynman
(Jet Propulsion Lab., 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena CA 91109; e-mail:
email@example.com), Geophys. Res. Lett., 25(7),
1035-1038, Apr. 1, 1998.
Notes a general similarity of the time-variation of Earth's surface
temperature and the low-frequency component of the geomagnetic aa index
over about the last 120 years, and investigates its usefulness as a new
proxy for solar variability and climate change. Results support other
studies that indicate a more significant role for solar variability in
climate change than has been supposed. Recent data sugggest that the l.t.
componenet of solar forcing will level off or decline in the coming solar
"Solar Irradiance Since 1874 Revisited." (See Detecting
Human Influence, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--June
"Effects on Stratospheric Ozone and Temperature During the
Maunder Minimum," D.J. Wuebbles (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Univ. Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign IL 61801; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), C.-F. Wei, K.O.
Patten, Geophys. Res. Lett., 25(4), 523-526, Feb. 15,
Determines that reduced solar output during the Maunder minimum
(1645-1715) led to a 3% decrease in stratospheric ozone, with a consequent
increase in UV radiation and altered radiative forcing. Such events are
likely to happen again in the future.
"The Sun-Climate Connection: A Challenge to Conventional Wisdom?"
C. Covey (Clim. Model Diagnosis & Intercomparison, Lawrence-Livermore
Natl. Lab., Livermore CA 94551), M.I. Hoffert, Clim. Change, 37(2),
387-390, Oct. 1997.
An editorial essay on the results of the following paper, which,
contrary to the conclusions of the IPCC, ascribes a potentially large role
to the sun in the Earth's recent temperature history. Nevertheless, that
paper acknowledges that at least half of the warming could be related to
"Solar Forcing of Global Climate Change Since the Mid-17th
Century," G.C. Reid (Aeronomy Lab., NOAA, 325 S. Broadway, Boulder CO
80303), Clim. Change, 37(2), 391-405, Oct. 1997.
Develops a proxy time series for solar total irradiance for the period
since 1617 and uses it to force a 1-D ocean climate model. Results suggest
that solar forcing and anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing made roughly
equal contributions to the rise in global temperature between 1900 and
1955. The importance of solar variability may have been underestimated in
Two related papers in Science, 277(5334), Sep. 26,
"Total Solar Irradiance Trend During Solar Cycles 21 and 22,"
R.C. Wilson (Ctr. for Clim. Systems Res., Columbia Univ., 2845 Windfall
Ave., Altadena CA 91001; e-mail: email@example.com), 1963-1965.
Satellite-based instruments show an upward trend in total solar irradiance
(TSI), a measure of the climate-driving radiative energy from the sun, of
0.036% per decade between the minima of the last two solar cycles. Trends
in TSI near this rate have been implicated as causal factors in climate
change on century to millennial time scales. This TSI trend could produce
a warming of about 0.4K in 100 years, compared to the range of 1.5 to 4.5K
estimated by the IPCC.
"Did Satellites Spot a Brightening Sun?" R.A. Kerr, 1923-1924.
Some analyses of the same data support the striking conclusion of the
previous paper, but others do not. Researchers will have to wait at least
another decade before deciphering the sun's role in global change.
"Do Effects of Global Atmospheric Electricity on Clouds Cause
Climate Changes?" B.A. Tinsley (Univ. Texas at Dallas, POB 830688, MS
FO22, Richardson TX 75080), Eos, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 78(33),
341, 344, Aug. 19, 1997.
Reviews how recent work has pieced together a plausible picture of the
mechanics of a link between climate and solar variations.
"Inference of Solar Irradiance Variability from Terrestrial
Temperature Changes of 1880-1993: An Astrophysical Application of the
Sun-Climate Connection," W.H. Soon (Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for
Astrophys., 60 Garden St., Cambridge MA 02138), E.S. Posmentier, S.L.
Baliunas, The Astrophys. J., 472(2, Pt. 1), 891-902, Dec.
Combines proxy information on solar irradiance variations with an
upwelling-diffusion ocean climate model. Concludes that the solar part of
temperature forcing alone over the period would account for 71% of the
global mean temperature variance, compared to 51% for the contribution of
the greenhouse gases alone.
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