Vol. 4 (2007) > lrsp-2007-2

doi: 10.12942/lrsp-2007-2
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 4 (2007), 2

The Sun and the Earth's Climate

1 Imperial College, London SW7 2AZ, U.K.

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Article Abstract

Variations in solar activity, at least as observed in numbers of sunspots, have been apparent since ancient times but to what extent solar variability may affect global climate has been far more controversial. The subject had been in and out of fashion for at least two centuries but the current need to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic causes of climate change has brought it again to the forefront of meteorological research. The absolute radiometers carried by satellites since the late 1970s have produced indisputable evidence that total solar irradiance varies systematically over the 11-year sunspot cycle, relegating to history the term “solar constant”, but it is difficult to explain how the apparent response to the Sun, seen in many climate records, can be brought about by these rather small changes in radiation. This article reviews some of the evidence for a solar influence on the lower atmosphere and discusses some of the mechanisms whereby the Sun may produce more significant impacts than might be surmised from a consideration only of variations in total solar irradiance.

Keywords: Solar-terrestrial relations, Solar activity, Climate

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Article Citation

Since a Living Reviews in Solar Physics article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Joanna D. Haigh,
"The Sun and the Earth's Climate",
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 4,  (2007),  2. URL (cited on <date>):

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2007-2
Title The Sun and the Earth's Climate
Author Joanna D. Haigh
Date accepted 18 September 2007, published 2 October 2007
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