Modelling and understanding of solar irradiance variations

Earth climate models rely on a detailed knowledge and understanding of solar variability on different time scales.

The climate on the Earth has undergone a dramatic change over the last century.  The dominant supplier of energy into the complex climate system is the Sun.  It affects Earth's climate through the variation of both its total brightness and its spectrum.  The changes are driven by variations of the solar surface magnetic field.  The main aim of the PhD projects in this field is to gain better understanding of sources of the variability of the solar brightness and the photospheric magnetic field and to reconstruct them over as long periods in the past as possible, in order to provide reliable input to climate and atmospheric models.

There are a number of PhD topics in this field, which can be more theory or data oriented.

The figure shows solar irradiance (the total solar energy flux incident on a plane perpendicular to the rays at the top of the Earth's atmosphere) and global temperature over the last 150 years.  Note that the temperature and the solar irradiance run in parallel up to approximately 1970.  Afterwards the surface temperature continued to grow, whereas the brightness of the Sun did not shown such a significant trend.

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