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A new approach to long-term reconstruction of the solar irradiance leads to large historical solar forcing

By A. I. Shapiro, W. Schmutz, E. Rozanov, M. Schoell, M. Haberreiter, A. V. Shapiro and S. Nyeki

Abstract

The variable Sun is the most likely candidate for natural forcing of past climate change on time scales of 50 to 1000 years. Evidence for this understanding is that the terrestrial climate correlates positively with solar activity. During the past 10,000 years, the Sun has experienced substantial variations in activity and there have been numerous attempts to reconstruct solar irradiance. While there is general agreement on how solar forcing varied during the last several hundred years --- all reconstructions are proportional to the solar activity --- there is scientific controversy on the magnitude of solar forcing. We present a reconstruction of the Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance covering 130 nm--10 $\mu$m from 1610 to the present with annual resolution and for the Holocene with 22-year resolution. We assume that the minimum state of the quiet Sun in time corresponds to the observed quietest area on the present Sun. Then we use available long-term proxies of the solar activity, which are $^{10}$Be isotope concentrations in ice cores and 22-year smoothed neutron monitor data, to interpolate between the present quiet Sun and the minimum state of the quiet Sun. This determines the long-term trend in the solar variability which is then superposed with the 11-year activity cycle calculated from the sunspot number. The time-dependent solar spectral irradiance from about 7000 BC to the present is then derived using a state-of-the-art radiation code. We derive a total and spectral solar irradiance that was substantially lower during the Maunder minimum than observed today. The difference is remarkably larger than other estimations published in the recent literature. The magnitude of the solar UV variability, which indirectly affects climate is also found to exceed previous estimates. We discuss in details the assumptions which leaded us to this conclusion.Comment: 9 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy&Astrophysic

Topics: Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1051/0004-6361/201016173
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:1102.4763
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