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Solar variability and climate
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Solar Variability and Climate

Does the Sun affect the Earth's climate?

Radiation from the Sun makes Earth a habitable planet. Fluctuations in the solar radiative output are therefore likely to affect the climate on Earth, but establishing both how the output of the Sun varies and how such variations influence Earth's climate have proved tricky. Increased amounts of data from the Sun and about the climate on Earth over recent years means that rapid progress is being made. This work is aimed at understanding solar variability and the Sun's influence on the Earths' climate.

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Science objectives

We study solar variability on timescales of days to centuries. This includes:
  • Quantitative modelling of total and spectral irradiance variations and of the surface magnetic flux
  • Reconstructing magnetic flux and irradiance since the Maunder minimum
  • Reconstructing solar activity and cosmic ray flux over centuries
The aim of this research is to understand the physical mechanisms responsible for solar brightness variations and, finally, to predict future variability of the Sun.

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