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Climate Variability & Change

The overall goal of the proposed work is advanced understanding of how and why solar irradiance varies and how and why climate responds, specifically during the epoch of the Glory mission, and in the past and future as well. The objectives that compose the proposal’s overall goal map directly to those identified in the NRA: 1) Validation of the Glory TIM observations and the total solar irradiance (TSI) database, 2) Extension of the TSI record with Glory Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) observations and 3) Utilization of the TSI record for climate change specification and near-term forecasting. For validation, Glory TIM observations will be directly compared with existing, independent TSI observations and with a model of TSI variability produced by sunspot blocking and facular brightening. The TSI record will be extended to the present from detailed cross calibration of Glory TIM with existing TSI observations and a new composite record. Historical reconstructions of TSI will be revisited based on new understanding of the sources of TSI variability accruing from the validated and cross-calibrated Glory observations. Spectral irradiance variations will be calculated during the Glory time frame, cognizant of new understanding of spectral changes achieved from the SORCE solar Spectral Irradiance Monitor. Climate responses to the modeled spectral irradiance changes, already simulated and analyzed from 1950 to 2005 by the GISS Global Climate Middle Atmosphere Model, will be continued for the period from 2005 to the present, and simulations will also be made using a newer version of GCMAM with a self-generating quasi-biennial oscillation and dynamic ocean. Empirical representations of the primary natural (including solar) and anthropogenic components of Earth's surface and atmospheric temperature will be extended into the Glory time period. Together, the physical and empirical models afford unique specification of climate change in the Glory period, and responses to solar irradiance variations. An assessment of climate change forecasts will be undertaken by comparing evolving climate change in the Glory epoch with forecasts based on observed variations prior to 2008. An immediate significance of the proposed work is the advantage to the Glory Science Team of relatively rapid incorporation of Glory results into the broader context of climate change specification and forecasting. This is afforded by the utilization of relatively mature analysis techniques and model capabilities developed with previous NASA funding that enable rapid extension of prior work. The proposed work also has broader significance. As a result of advances made over the past three decades, the understanding of solar irradiance changes and climate responses has matured significantly. The Glory epoch will provide an opportunity to solidify, test and utilize these advances. The proposed work attempts to integrate and initiate this transition from the discovery and exploration mode of solar forcing to the reliable specification and utility mode.

Project PI : Judith Lean/Naval Research Laboratory

Phone: (202)767-2541

Email: nrlpao@nrl.navy.mil

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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 04, 2011

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