Monday, December 24, 2012

Peak Sun

It's looking like solar irradiance (at Earth) has peaked for this solar cycle and is on the way down. Here are the 30-day and 365-day moving averages of total solar irradiance (TSI), as measured by LASP in Colorado:

So now comes the big "bicentennial decrease," at least according to Russian scientist Habibullo I. Abdussamatov.

It's difficult to exaggerate the immensity of a 5-6 W/m2 drop in solar intensity, were it to happen. (It won't.) For example, through the Maunder Minimum solar intensity was only about 1 W/m2 lower than today, according to a reconstruction by Wang, Lean, and Sheeley:

There are some other wacky ideas out there, too, about the coming solar cooldown.

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