J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 4, 2014
Solar variability, solar forcing, and coupling mechanisms in the terrestrial atmosphere
|Number of page(s)
|24 April 2014
An assessment of the solar irradiance record for climate studies
University of Colorado, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, 3665 Discovery Drive, Boulder, 80302
* Corresponding author: Greg.Kopp@LASP.Colorado.edu
Accepted: 28 January 2014
Total solar irradiance, the spatially and spectrally integrated radiant output from the Sun at a mean Sun-Earth distance of 1 astronomical unit, provides nearly all the energy driving the Earth’s climate system. Variations in this energy, particularly over long time scales, contribute to changes in Earth’s climate and have been linked to historical glaciation and inter-glacial periods as well as having a small effect on more recent global warming. Accurate measurements of solar irradiances require measurements above the Earth’s atmosphere. The total solar irradiance spaceborne record began in 1978 and has been uninterrupted since, with over a dozen instruments contributing to the present solar climate data record. I assess the required and achieved accuracies of this record with a focus on its value for climate studies.
Key words: total irradiance / Sun / climate / global change / energy balance
© G. Kopp, Published by EDP Sciences 2014
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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