Determination of time-dependent uncertainty of the total solar irradiance records from 1978 to present
Dählenwaldstrasse 30, 7265
Davos Wolfgang, Switzerland
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 5 February 2016
Aims. The existing records of total solar irradiance (TSI) since 1978 differ not only in absolute values, but also show different trends. For the study of TSI variability these records need to be combined and three composites have been devised; however, the results depend on the choice of the records and the way they are combined. A new composite should be based on all existing records with an individual qualification. It is proposed to use a time-dependent uncertainty for weighting of the individual records.
Methods. The determination of the time-dependent deviation of the TSI records is performed by comparison with the square root of the sunspot number (SSN). However, this correlation is only valid for timescales of the order of a year or more because TSI and SSN react quite differently to solar activity changes on shorter timescales. Hence the results concern only periods longer than the one-year-low-pass filter used in the analysis.
Results. Besides the main objective to determine an investigator-independent uncertainty, the comparison of TSI with √SSN turns out to be a powerful tool for the study of the TSI long-term changes. The correlation of √SSN with TSI replicates very well the TSI minima, especially the very low value of the recent minimum. The results of the uncertainty determination confirm not only the need for adequate corrections for degradation, but also show that a rather detailed analysis is needed. The daily average of all TSI values available on that day, weighted with the correspondingly determined uncertainty, is used to construct a “new” composite, which, overall, compares well with the Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos (PMOD) composite. Finally, the TSI − √SSN comparison proves to be an important diagnostic tool not only for estimating uncertainties of observations, but also for a better understanding of the long-term variability of TSI.
Key words: Total solar irradiance / Solar activity / Solar variability / Total solar irradiance composite
© C. Fröhlich, Published by EDP Sciences 2016
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