Sun's Impact on Climate Change Overestimated?
"Not good news for skeptics" of human-caused warming, one expert says.
The sun is currently at a low point in its 11-year solar cycle, when the sun's total output of light, called solar irradiance, is relatively reduced.
(See "Sun Oddly Quiet — Hints at Next 'Little Ice Age'"?)
Because solar irradiance contributes to atmospheric warming on Earth, scientists had previously thought that less total solar irradiance results in cooler global temperatures.
But a new study, in this week's issue of Nature, shows this isn't necessarily the case.
The study uses data collected by the NASA-sponsored SORCE satellite, which allows scientists to fully break down the sun's light output into its different wavelength components for the first time.
"Previously we only had measurements of the total energy coming out of the sun and measurements