Hey Space Placers!
With the "Weird Winter" we are having - see my blog of the same title - it was interesting to read about a recent NASA study that has concluded convincingly "that greenhouse gases generated by human activity -- not changes in solar activity -- are the primary force driving global warming."
The study involved measuring the amount of energy that the Earth received during the past six years and comparing that to how much energy is radiated back into space. The resulting Earth's energy imbalance is either positive or negative. Positive means more energy is absorbed while negative means less.
The study showed that even though the the Sun was going through the longest Solar Minimum recorded in the spacecraft era and was providing less energy overall to each square meter of the Earth's surface, the planet was absorbing more energy. The only way to account for this is the presence of greenhouse gasses.
Learn About the 11 Year Solar Cycle: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a020000/a020100/a020133/index.html
It was important to rule out the Sun as a dominant factor in global warming because it leads to the real culprit - greenhouse gasses generated by human activity. For those who believe in science and not mindless speculation fueled by 30 second sound bites played to "care less about the facts audiences" - this is a significant finding.
As stated by the study's leader, "The fact that we still see a positive imbalance despite the prolonged solar minimum isn't a surprise given what we've learned about the climate system, but it's worth noting because this provides unequivocal evidence that the sun is not the dominant driver of global warming."
Read More About It: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/energy-budget.html
Sky Guy in VA