What’s going on with our weather? (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). It’s just logical that a decrease in solar activity –which is going on now–cools the Earth, while increase sunspot activity warms it up, but in fact, it seems to work the OPPOSITE way.

When a group of atmospheric physicists analyzed the sunlight data recorded by NASA satellites between 2004 and 2007, she fond that the amount of visible light reaching Earth increased as the Sun’s activity declined. Despite this, the Earth got warmer. In other words, the net amount of solar energy reaching Earth’s troposphere (the lowest part of the atmosphere) seems to have been larger in 2007 than in 2004, despite the DECLINE in solar activity during that period. At first they resisted making their findings public, but in Nature News, Quirin Schiermeier quotes researcher Joanna Haigh as saying, “Our findings could be too important to not publish them now.”

The current solar cycle may be different from previous ones, but scientists don’t know why that would be. Schiermeier quotes space physicist Michael Lockwood as saying, “At face value, the data seem incredibly important. If solar activity is out of phase with solar radiative forcing, it could change our understanding of how processes in the troposphere and stratosphere act to modulate Earth’s climate.”

She quotes atmospheric scientist Martin Dameris as saying, “The findings could prove very significant when it comes to understanding, and quantifying, natural climate fluctuations. But no matter how you look at it, the Sun’s influence on current climate change is at best a small natural add-on to man-made greenhouse warming.”

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