Scientists 'reconstruct' Earth's climate over the past millenium

December 12, 2003

Using the perspective of the last few centuries and millennia, speakers in a press onference at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco discussed the latest research involving climate reconstructions and different climate models.

The press conference, held Thursday, December 11, featured Caspar Ammann of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colo.; Drew Shindell of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York; and Tom Crowley of Duke University, Durham, N.C.

Changes in the sun's activity have been considered responsible for some part of past climatic variations. Although useful measurements of solar energy are limited to the last 25 years of satellite data, this record is not long enough to confirm potential trends in solar energy changes over time. Tentative connections between the measured solar activity, with sunspots or the production of specific particles in the Earth's atmosphere (such as carbon-14 and beryllium-10), have been used to estimate past solar energy.

Ammann discussed how he used a set of irradiance estimates with the NCAR coupled Ocean-Atmosphere General Circulation computer model to show the climate system contains a clearly detectable signal from the sun.

Ammann's work with the model also demonstrates that smaller, rather than larger, background trends in the sun's emitted energy are in better agreement with the long-term climate record, as obtained from proxy climate records, such as tree-ring data.

Shindell discussed how he used a climate model that included solar radiation changes, volcanic eruptions, and natural internal variability to arrive at a more accurate look at Earth's changing climate today. Shindell said that while solar radiation changes and volcanoes exert a similar influence on global or hemispheric average-temperature changes, the solar component has the biggest regional effect over time scales of decades to centuries, while volcanoes cause the largest year-to-year changes.

Crowley discussed one of the goals of climate modeling, to test whether moderately reliable predictions of regional climate change can be made under globalwarming scenarios.

Using paleoclimate data, scientists can in some cases test computer climate-model performance. This testing would occur for a time period in which models accurately predict the larger (hemispheric-scale) response to changes in the Earth's radiation balance.
-end-
NASA's Earth Science Enterprise is dedicated to understanding the Earth as an integrated system and applying Earth System Science to improve prediction of climate, weather and natural hazards using the unique vantage point of space.

NCAR is a research laboratory operated by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of 67 universities offering doctoral programs in the atmospheric and related sciences. NCAR's primary sponsor is the National Science Foundation.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Related Solar Energy Articles from Brightsurf:

'Transparent solar cells' can take us towards a new era of personalized energy
Solar power has shown immense potential as a futuristic, 'clean' source of energy.

CU Denver researcher analyzes the use of solar energy at US airports
By studying 488 public airports in the United States, University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs researcher Serena Kim, PhD, found that 20% of them have adopted solar photovoltaic (PV), commonly known as solar panels, over the last decade.

Researchers develop molecule to store solar energy
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a molecule that absorbs energy from sunlight and stores it in chemical bonds.

Converting solar energy to hydrogen fuel, with help from photosynthesis
Global economic growth comes with increasing demand for energy, but stepping up energy production can be challenging.

New nanodevice could use solar energy to produce hydrogen
Amsterdam, June 9, 2020 - Solar energy is considered by some to be the ultimate solution to address the current energy crisis and global warming and the environmental crises brought about by excessive consumption of fossil fuels.

Physicists develop approach to increase performance of solar energy
Experimental condensed matter physicists in the Department of Physics at the University of Oklahoma have developed an approach to circumvent a major loss process that currently limits the efficiency of commercial solar cells.

Lasers etch a 'perfect' solar energy absorber
In Light: Science and Applications, University of Rochester researchers demonstrate how laser etching of metallic surfaces creates the ''perfect solar energy absorber.'' This not only enhances energy absorption from sunlight, but also reduces heat dissipation at other wavelengths.

Mapping the energy transport mechanism of chalcogenide perovskite for solar energy use
Researchers from Lehigh University have, for the first time, revealed first-hand knowledge about the fundamental energy carrier properties of chalcogenide perovskite CaZrSe3, important for potential solar energy use.

New hybrid device can both capture and store solar energy
Researchers have reported a new device that can both efficiently capture solar energy and store it until it is needed, offering promise for applications ranging from power generation to distillation and desalination.

Materials that can revolutionize how light is harnessed for solar energy
Columbia scientists designed organic molecules capable of generating two excitons per photon of light, a process called singlet fission.

Read More: Solar Energy News and Solar Energy Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.