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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d98jun20

"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:, 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 cycle.

Item #d98jun21

"Solar Irradiance Since 1874 Revisited." (See Detecting Human Influence, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--June 1998.)

Item #d98jun22

"Effects on Stratospheric Ozone and Temperature During the Maunder Minimum," D.J. Wuebbles (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Univ. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign IL 61801; e-mail:, C.-F. Wei, K.O. Patten, Geophys. Res. Lett., 25(4), 523-526, Feb. 15, 1998.

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.

Item #d98jun23

"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 greenhouse gases.

Item #d98jun24

"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 recent studies.

Item #d98jun25

Two related papers in Science, 277(5334), Sep. 26, 1997:

"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:, 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.

Item #d98jun26

"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.

Item #d98jun27

"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. 1, 1996.

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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