Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sun Measurements to Help Understand Climate Change

Hey Space Placers!

To follow up on my blog yesterday 1-17-11, the Sun, which powers Earth's climate by the amount of energy it transfers to the surface, seas and atmosphere, has to be monitored for intrinsic changes. These changes then must be studied to see what, if any influence the Sun has on climate change.

Our ability to monitor the Sun and detect these changes has been greatly improved and is detailed in a press release by the American Geophysical Union (AGU). AGU states, "Scientists have taken a major step toward accurately determining the amount of energy that the sun provides to Earth, and how variations in that energy may contribute to climate change. In a new study of laboratory and satellite data, researchers report a lower value of that energy, known as total solar irradiance, than previously measured and demonstrate that the satellite instrument that made the measurement—which has a new optical design and was calibrated in a new way—has significantly improved the accuracy and consistency of such measurements."

The bottom line as a result of the study of these solar measurements is that "(the Sun) is likely not the main cause of global warming in the past three decades."

See the AGU press release: http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2011/2011-02.shtml

SkyGuy in VA

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