Solar Physics

, Volume 255, Issue 2, pp 229–238 | Cite as

A Century of Solar Ca ii Measurements and Their Implication for Solar UV Driving of Climate

  • Peter FoukalEmail author
  • Luca Bertello
  • William C. Livingston
  • Alexei A. Pevtsov
  • Jagdev Singh
  • Andrey G. Tlatov
  • Roger K. Ulrich
Open Access


Spectroheliograms and disk-integrated flux monitoring in the strong resonance line of Ca ii (K line) provide the longest record of chromospheric magnetic plages. We compare recent reductions of the Ca ii K spectroheliograms obtained since 1907 at the Kodaikanal, Mt. Wilson, and US National Solar Observatories. Certain differences between the individual plage indices appear to be caused mainly by differences in the spectral passbands used. Our main finding is that the indices show remarkably consistent behavior on the multidecadal time scales of greatest interest to global warming studies. The reconstruction of solar ultraviolet flux variation from these indices differs significantly from the 20th-century global temperature record. This difference is consistent with other findings that, although solar UV irradiance variation may affect climate through influence on precipitation and storm tracks, its significance in global temperature remains elusive.


Solar activity Magnetic plages Solar ultraviolet irradiance Sun – climate effects 


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© The Author(s) 2009

Open AccessThis is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License (, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Foukal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luca Bertello
    • 2
  • William C. Livingston
    • 3
  • Alexei A. Pevtsov
    • 4
  • Jagdev Singh
    • 5
  • Andrey G. Tlatov
    • 6
  • Roger K. Ulrich
    • 2
  1. 1.Heliophysics, Inc.NahantUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.National Solar ObservatoryTucsonUSA
  4. 4.National Solar ObservatorySunspotUSA
  5. 5.Indian Institute of AstrophysicsBangaloreIndia
  6. 6.Kislovodsk Solar Station of Pulkovo ObservatoryKislovodskRussia

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