How About That Sun?

Found an older article from 2003 regarding the Sun in the magazine Space

In what could be the simplest explanation for one component of global warming, a new study shows the Sun’s radiation has increased by .05 percent per decade since the late 1970s.

The increase would only be significant to Earth’s climate if it has been going on for a century or more, said study leader Richard Willson, a Columbia University researcher also affiliated with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Changes in the solar cycle — and solar output — are known to cause short-term climate change on Earth. At solar max, Earth’s thin upper atmosphere can see a doubling of temperature. It swells, and denser air can puff up to the region of space where the International Space Station orbits, causing increased drag on the ship and forcing more frequent boosts from space shuttles.

Simply amazing to think that the Sun could be responsible for higher temps.

Now, to be fair:

Further satellite observations may eventually show the trend to be short-term. But if the change has indeed persisted at the present rate through the 20th Century, "it would have provided a significant component of the global warming the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports to have occurred over the past 100 years," he said.

That does not mean industrial pollution has not been a significant factor, Willson cautioned.

True. That is what we need to know with definative proof, rather then hyperbole and hysterical rantings. No matter what, I still think we need to decrease our CO2 output, as well as providing a cleaner environment.

Meanwhile:

Scientists, industry leaders and environmentalists have argued for years whether humans have contributed to global warming, and to what extent. The average surface temperature around the globe has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1880. Some scientists say the increase could be part of natural climate cycles. Others argue that greenhouse gases produced by automobiles and industry are largely to blame.

Did the story say 1850?

The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of cooling lasting approximately from the 14th to the mid-19th centuries, although there is no generally agreed start or end date: some confine the period to 1550-1850. This cooler period occurs after a warmer era known as the Medieval climate optimum. There were three minima, beginning about 1650, about 1770, and 1850, each separated by slight warming intervals.

It seems amazing to me that temps would go up after a much colder period. That couldn’t happen, could it? Weird. Perhaps we could call this era the Modern climate optimum.

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