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CLIMATEACTION Home

CLIMATEACTION  June 1999

CLIMATEACTION June 1999

Subject:

Blazing hot: Sun and GHGs

From:

Gioia Thompson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Burlington Climate Protection Task Force <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 7 Jun 1999 08:36:10 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (103 lines)

FYI
Gioia
>Journal article:
>A doubling of the Sun's coronal magnetic field during the past 100
>years by M. Lockwood, R. Stamper, and M.N. Wild
>http://www.nature.com/server-java/Propub/nature/399437A0.abs_frameset
>
>
>News Article:
>
>BLAZING HOT
>New Scientist
>5 June 1999
> by  Fred Pearce
>
>http://www.newscientist.com/cgi-bin/pageserver.cgi?/ns/19990605/newsstory10
.html
>
>     UP TO HALF the global warming we have  experienced over the
>past 130 years may have  been caused by an increase in the Sun's
>output  of energy.
>
>     This finding is sure to be seized on by those say  that our
>emissions of greenhouse gases are not  the dominant cause of global
>warming. But Mike  Lockwood of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
>in Didcot, Oxfordshire, whose team made the  discovery, says the
>true message is much more  disturbing. Taking away the effects of
>the Sun's  increasing output reveals that, since 1970,  greenhouse
>emissions have had an even more  dramatic effect than was thought.
>"It is a question  of balance, and the balance is changing," he
>says. "Whatever happened in the past, the  greenhouse effect is now
>the dominant cause of  warming."
>
>     Lockwood and his colleagues obtained their data  from space
>probes that have been measuring the  solar magnetic field, which
>varies in strength with  the amount of energy the Sun emits. By
>analysing how these variations in solar  magnetism affect the
>Earth's magnetic  field--which has been monitored by scientists in
>Britain and Australia since 1868--the researchers  were able to use
>historical data to calculate the  Sun's energy output over the
>entire period.
>
>     Since the mid-19th century, average global  temperatures have
>risen by around 0.6 =B0C.  Lockwood's team calculates that solar
>changes  account for about half of this--twice the amount
>previously accepted by most climatologists. Solar  changes may have
>caused virtually all the  warming that occurred between 1860 and
>1930,  says Lockwood. But since 1970, when the pace  of climate
>change began to accelerate, the Sun  has been the source of less
>than a third of the  warming. The build-up of greenhouse gases is
>to  blame for the rest (Nature, vol 399, p 437).
>
>     One of the prime architects of the scientific  consensus on
>global warming, Tom Wigley of  the National Center for Atmospheric
>Research in  Boulder, Colorado, says that Lockwood's picture  of
>events before 1970 is "quite different" from the  view until now.
>He now intends to look closely at  Lockwood's paper to see whether
>the consensus  needs to shift.
>
>     Past efforts to estimate historical changes in  solar energy
>have mostly used measures of  sunspot activity and the length of
>the solar cycle,  which are thought to correlate with the Sun's
>output. "But there isn't really a strong physical  understanding
>of why the length of the solar  cycle should be relevant," says
>Lockwood. He  argues that the magnetic field method is "more
>direct and accurate".
>
>     But no method that relies on calculating historical  events
>that cannot be measured directly is 100  per cent reliable. "There
>are still uncertainties,"  Lockwood admits. "There may be
>amplifying  effects that we have yet to discover, which could
>change the calculations again."
>
>
>--------------------
>Donald L. Anderson
>Climate Change Specialist
>Maine DEP (Bureau of Air Quality)
>Augusta, ME 04333-0017
>(207) 287-2437 (207) 287-7641 (fax)
>
>
>
>       To unsubscribe from SEAC+ANNOUNCE send a message to
>       [log in to unmask] with the word
>       unsubscribe in the subject. If you have any problems
>       please write to: [log in to unmask]
>
>
>


*******************************************************************
Gioia Thompson
Coordinator
UVM Environmental Council
University of Vermont
590 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05405
(802) 656-3803
fax:  656-8874
http://esf.uvm.edu/envcncl

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