AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 28. Living with A Star
Oral, Monday, June 3, 2002, 2:00-3:30pm, San Miguel

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[28.02] A Comparison of Variable Total and Ultraviolet Solar Irradiance Inputs to 20 th Century Global Warming

P.V. Foukal (Independent Researcher)

Analysis of spaceborne radiometry has shown that the total solar irradiance variation over the past two activity cycles was approximately proportional to the weighted difference between areas of dark spots and bright faculae and enhanced network. Empirical models of ultraviolet irradiance variation indicate that its behavior is dominated by changes in area of the bright component alone, whose photometric contrast increases at shorter wavelength.This difference in time behavior of total and UV irradiances could help to discriminate between their relative importance in forcing of global warming.

Our recent digitization of archival Ca K images from Mt Wilson and NSO provides the first direct measurement of variations in area of the bright component, extending between 1915 and 1999 (previous models have relied on the sunspot number or other proxies to estimate the bright - component contribution). We use these more direct measurements to derive the time behavior of solar total and UV irradiance variation, over this period .We find that they are significantly different;the total irradiance variation accounts for over 80 percent of the variance in global temperature during this period, while the ultraviolet irradiance variation accounts for only about 20 percent.

The amplitude of total irradiance variation in our model is smaller than required to influence global warming,in current climate models.Also, the impact of sulfate aerosol variations on the extended cooling between the 1940's and 1970's must be better understood before the significance of correlations between 20 th century global warming, and any solar activity index can be properly assessed. Despite these caveats, the lower correlation we find between global temperature and UV,compared to total, irradiance requires consideration in the search for physical mechanisms linking solar activity and climate.

This work was supported in part under NASA grant NAG5-7607 to CRI, Inc., and NAG5-10998 to the Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.