Solar Variation Gallery
From Global Warming Art
|Gallery of Solar Variability
The variations in a number of solar
activity proxies over the
last three solar cycles
. Except for the daily
variations in total solar irradiance
other quantities are shown as annual averages.
The history of sunspot
observations over the last 400 years.
Though sunspot activity has been high during the recent period, the
lack of a discernible trend is one line of argument against solar
activity playing a dominant role in recent global warming
. By contrast, low solar
activity during the Maunder Minimum
have been a major cause of the Little Ice Age
Comparison of sunspot number and beryllium-10
concentration measured in a polar
. Proxies such as these are used to extend
our understand of solar activity
to periods where no direct measurement of total
solar irradiance is available.
, occurring over
tens and hundreds of thousands of years, are variations in the flux
and distribution of solar radiation reaching the Earth
surface due to predictable variations in the Earth's orbit,
characterized by changes in precession
, and eccentricity
. Such changes are
believed to be principally responsible for the waxing and waning of
glacial periods during the present ice
(click on any image for a larger view and more
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