Solar Storms and Earth Weather
Name: Jason D.
Sunday, December 01, 2002
Does solar weather have any effect on earth whether, and
if so what?
The activity of the Sun does have an effect on the Earth's
weather, although it is normally imperceptible. The Sun's energy
is what drives our climate. Greater than normal solar activity
can increase the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth.
Therefore, a prolonged period of change of the energy reaching
the Earth would result in a change in climate. Because of the
immensity of the atmosphere and the huge mass of the Earth itself,
short term changes in the energy from the Sun are rarely
perceptible in the climate.
However, scientists believe that they see the effects of long
term solar energy changes in the climatic record over thousands
of years. This is complicated by the variation in the Earth's
orbit around the Sun and the tilt of the Earth's axis over time
(see my answers to Earth tilt questions), which also result in
climate change through alteration of the amount of solar energy
that reaches Earth.
David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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Update: June 2012