Space Science Reviews

, Volume 94, Issue 1–2, pp 127–138 | Cite as

Reconstruction of Past Solar Irradiance

  • S.K. Solanki
  • M. Fligge

Abstract

Accurate measurements of solar irradiance started in 1978, but a much longer time series is needed in order to uncover a possible influence on the Earth's climate. In order to reconstruct the irradiance prior to 1978 we require both an understanding of the underlying causes of solar irradiance variability as well as data describing the state of the Sun (in particular its magnetic field) at the relevant epochs.

Evidence is accumulating that on the time-scale of the solar cycle or less, variations in solar irradiance are produced mainly by changes in the amount and distribution of magnetic flux on the solar surface. The main solar features contributing to a darkening of the Sun are sunspots, while active-region faculae and the network lead to a brightening. There is also increasing evidence for secular changes of the solar magnetic field and the associated of solar brightness variability. In part the behavior of sun-like stars is used as a guide of such secular changes.

Under the assumption that solar irradiance variations are due to solar surface magnetism on all relevant time scales it is possible to reconstruct the irradiance with some reliability from today to around 1874, and with lower accuracy back to the Maunder minimum. One major problem is the decreasing amount and accuracy of the relevant data with age. In this review the various reconstructions of past solar irradiance are presented and the assumptions underlying them are scrutinized.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baliunas, S. and R. Jastrow: 1990, ‘Evidence for long-term brightness changes of solar-type stars’. Nature 348, 520–523.Google Scholar
  2. Baliunas, S. and W. Soon: 1995, ‘Are Variations in the Length of the Activity Cycle Related to Changes in Brightness in Solar-Type Stars?’. Astrophys. J. 450, 896.Google Scholar
  3. Beer, J.: 2000, ‘Long Term, Indirect Indices of Solar Variability’, Space Sci. Rev., this volume.Google Scholar
  4. Chapman, G. A.: 1987, ‘Variations of solar irradiance due to magnetic activity’. Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 25, 633–667.Google Scholar
  5. Chapman, G. A., A. M. Cookson, and J. J. Dobias: 1994, ‘Observations of changes in the bolometric contrast of sunspots’. Astrophys. J. 432, 403–408.Google Scholar
  6. Chapman, G. A., A. M. Cookson, and J. J. Dobias: 1996, ‘Variations in total solar irradiance during solar cycle 22’. J. Geophys. Res. 101, 13541–13548.Google Scholar
  7. Fligge, M. and S. K. Solanki: 1997, ‘Inter-cycle variations of solar irradiance: sunspot areas as a pointer’. Sol. Phys. 173, 427–439.Google Scholar
  8. Fligge, M. and S. K. Solanki: 1998, ‘Long-term behavior of emission from solar faculae: steps towards a robust index’. Astron. Astrophys. 332, 1082–1086.Google Scholar
  9. Fligge, M., S. K. Solanki, and Y. C. Unruh: 2000, ‘Modelling irradiance variations from the surface distribution of the solar magnetic field’. Astron. Astrophys. 353, 380–388.Google Scholar
  10. Fligge, M., S. K. Solanki, Y. C. Unruh, C. Fröhlich, and C. Wehrli: 1998, ‘A model of solar total and spectral irradiance variations’. Astron. Astrophys. 335, 709–718.Google Scholar
  11. Fontenla, J., O. R. White, P. A. Fox, E. H. Avrett, and R. L. Kurucz: 1999, ‘Calculation of Solar Irradiances. I. Synthesis of the Solar Spectrum’. Astrophys. J. 518, 480–499.Google Scholar
  12. Foukal, P.: 1993, ‘The curious case of the Greenwich faculae’. Sol. Phys. 148, 219.Google Scholar
  13. Foukal, P. and J. Lean: 1986, ‘The influence of faculae on total solar irradiance and luminosity’. Astrophys. J. 302, 826–835.Google Scholar
  14. Foukal, P. and J. Lean: 1988, ‘Magnetic modulation of solar luminosity by photospheric activity’. Astrophys. J. 328, 347–357.Google Scholar
  15. Foukal, P. and J. Lean: 1990, ‘An empirical model of total solar irradiance variation between 1874 and 1988’. Science 247, 556–558.Google Scholar
  16. Fröhlich, C., B. Andersen, T. Appourchaux, G. Berthomieu, D. A. Crommelynck, V. Domingo, A. Fichot, W. Finsterle, M. F. Gomez, D. Gough, A. Jimenez, T. Leifsen, M. Lombaerts, J. M. Pap, J. Provost, T. R. Cortes, J. Romero, H. Roth, T. Sekii, U. Telljohann, T. Toutain, and C. Wehrli: 1997, ‘First results from VIRGO, the experiment for helioseismology and solar irradiance monitoring on SOHO’. Sol. Phys. 170, 1–25.Google Scholar
  17. Fröhlich, C. and J. Lean: 1998, ‘The Sun's total irradiance: Cycles, trends and related climate change uncertainties since 1976’. Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 4377–4380.Google Scholar
  18. Gray, D. F. and W. C. Livingston: 1997, ‘Monitoring the solar temperature: Spectroscopic temperature variations of the Sun’. Astrophys. J. 474, 802.Google Scholar
  19. Heath, D. F. and B. M. Schlesinger: 1986, ‘The Mg 280-nm doublet as a monitor of changes in solar ultraviolet irradiance’. J. Geophys. Res. 91, 8672–8682.Google Scholar
  20. Hoyng, P.: 1996, ‘Is the Solar Cycle Timed by a Clock?’. Sol. Phys. 169, 253–264.Google Scholar
  21. Hoyt, D. V., H. L. Kyle, J. R. Hickey, and R. H. Maschhoff: 1992, ‘The NIMBUS-7 Solar Total Irradiance: A New Algorithm for its Derivation’. J. Geophys. Res. 97, 51–63.Google Scholar
  22. Hoyt, D. V. and K. H. Schatten: 1993, ‘A discussion of plausible solar irradiance variations, 1700-1992’. J. Geophys. Res. 98, 18895–18906.Google Scholar
  23. Hoyt, D. V. and K. H. Schatten: 1998, ‘Group sunspot numbers: A new solar activity reconstruction’. Sol. Phys. 179, 189–219.Google Scholar
  24. Hoyt, D. V., K. H. Schatten, and E. Nesmes-Ribes: 1994, ‘The one hundredth year of Rudolf Wolf's death: Do we have the correct reconstruction of solar activity?’. Geophys. Res. Lett. 21, 2067–2070.Google Scholar
  25. Hudson, H. S., S. Silva, M. Woodard, and R. C. Willson: 1982, ‘The effects of sunspots on solar irradiance’. Sol. Phys. 76, 211–219.Google Scholar
  26. Kuhn, J. R. and K. G. Libbrecht: 1991, ‘Nonfacular solar luminosity variations’. Astrophys. J., Lett. 381, L35–L37.Google Scholar
  27. Kuhn, J. R., K. G. Libbrecht, and R. H. Dicke: 1988, ‘The surface temperature of the sun and changes in the solar constant’. Science 242, 908–911.Google Scholar
  28. Labs, D., H. Neckel, P. C. Simon, and G. Thuillier: 1987, ‘Ultraviolet solar irradiance measurement from 200 to 358 nm during Spacelab 1 mission’. Sol. Phys. 107, 203–219.Google Scholar
  29. Lean, J.: 2000, ‘Short Term, Direct Indices of Solar Variability’, Space Sci. Rev., this volume.Google Scholar
  30. Lean, J., J. Beer, and R. Bradley: 1995, ‘Reconstruction of solar irradiance since 1610: Implications for climate change’. Geophys. Res. Lett. 22, 3195–3198.Google Scholar
  31. Lean, J. and P. Foukal: 1988, ‘A model of solar luminosity modulation by magnetic activity between 1954 and 1984’. Science 240, 906.Google Scholar
  32. Lean, J., G. J. Rottman, H. L. Kyle, T. N. Woods, J. R. Hickey, and L. C. Puga: 1997, ‘Detection and parameterization of variations in solar mid-and near-ultraviolet radiation (200–400 nm)’, J. Geophys. Res. 102, 29,939–29,956.Google Scholar
  33. Lean, J., A. Skumanich, and O. White: 1992, ‘Estimating the sun's radiative output during the Maunder Minimum’. Geophys. Res. Lett. 19, 1595–1598.Google Scholar
  34. Lean, J. L., J. Cook, W. Marquette, and A. Johannesson: 1998, ‘Magnetic Sources of the Solar Irradiance Cycle’. Astrophys. J. 492, 390–401.Google Scholar
  35. Lockwood, M., R. Stamper, and M. N. Wild: 1999, ‘A doubling of the Sun's coronal magnetic field during the past 100 years’. Nature 399, 437–439.Google Scholar
  36. Rottman, G. J.: 1988, ‘Observations of solar UV and EUV variability’. Advances in Space Research 8, 53–66.Google Scholar
  37. Schrijver, C. J.: 1987, ‘Heating of stellar chromospheres and coronae: Evidence for non-magnetic basal heating’. In: Colorado Univ., 5th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems and the Sun 1 p (SEE N88-13092 04-89).Google Scholar
  38. Solanki, S. K. and V. Brigljević: 1992, ‘Continuum brightness of solar magnetic elements’. Astron. Astrophys. 262, L29–L32.Google Scholar
  39. Solanki, S. K. and M. Fligge: 1998, ‘Solar irradiance since 1874 revisited’. Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 341–344.Google Scholar
  40. Solanki, S. K. and M. Fligge: 1999, ‘A reconstruction of total solar irradiance since 1700’. Geophys. Res. Lett. 26, 2465–2468.Google Scholar
  41. Solanki, S. K. and J. O. Stenflo: 1984, ‘Properties of solar magnetic fluxtubes as revealed by Fe I lines’. Astron. Astrophys. 140, 185–198.Google Scholar
  42. Solanki, S. K. and Y. C. Unruh: 1998, ‘A model of the wavelength dependence of solar irradiance variations’. Astron. Astrophys. 329, 747–753.Google Scholar
  43. Spruit, H. C.: 1982, ‘Effect of spots on a star's radius and luminosity’. Astron. Astrophys. 108, 348–355.Google Scholar
  44. Spruit, K.: 2000, ‘Physical Causes of Irradiance Variability’, Space Sci. Rev., this volume.Google Scholar
  45. Ulmschneider, P., J. Theurer, Z. E. Musielak, and R. Kurucz: 1999, ‘Acoustic wave energy fluxes for late-type stars. II. Nonsolar metallicities’. Astron. Astrophys. 347, 243–248.Google Scholar
  46. Unruh, Y. C., S. K. Solanki, and M. Fligge: 1999, ‘The spectral dependence of facular contrast and solar irradiance variations’. Astron. Astrophys. 345, 635–642.Google Scholar
  47. Unruh, Y. C., S. K. Solanki, and M. Fligge: 2000, ‘Modelling solar spectral irradiance variations’. In: E. Friis-Christensen, C. Fröhlich, J. Haigh, M. Schüssler, and R. von Steiger (eds.): Solar Variability and Climate. Dordrecht, p. in press.Google Scholar
  48. White, O. R., A. Skumanich, J. Lean, W. C. Livingston, and S. L. Keil: 1992, ‘The sun in a noncycling state’. Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 104, 1139–1143.Google Scholar
  49. Willson, R. C.: 1997, ‘Total solar irradiance trend during solar cycles 21 and 22’. Science 277, 1963–1965.Google Scholar
  50. Willson, R. C., S. Gulkis, M. Janssen, H. S. Hudson, and G. A. Chapman: 1981, ‘Observations of solar irradiance variability’. Science 211, 700–702.Google Scholar
  51. Willson, R. C. and H. S. Hudson: 1988, ‘Solar luminosity variations in solar cycle 21’. Nature 332, 810–812.Google Scholar
  52. Wolff, C. L. and J. R. Hickey: 1987, ‘Multiperiodic irradiance changes caused by r-modes and gmodes’. Sol. Phys. 109, 1–18.Google Scholar
  53. Zhang, Q., W. H. Soon, S. L. Baliunas, G. W. Lockwood, B. A. Skiff, and R. R. Radick: 1994, ‘A method of determining possible brightness variations of the Sun in past centuries from observations of solar-type stars’. Astrophys. J. 427, L111–L114.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • S.K. Solanki
    • 1
  • M. Fligge
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Astronomy, ETHZürichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations