The NRC will form an ad hoc committee to organize and conduct a public workshop to examine our state of knowledge regarding the Earth's climate response to solar variability. This workshop will assist NSF and NASA in assessing potential avenues for future research. The committee will hold meetings to develop the agenda for the workshop and define topics for invited presentations and discussions. Ultimately, the NRC committee will prepare a workshop report that will summarize the event, without specific findings or recommendations.

The specific topics for inclusion at the workshop will be developed through discussions among NASA, NSF, and NRC. However, the topics might include the following:

- What is the evidence of the impact of solar variability on climate, particularly in the lower atmosphere, over decadal time scales? - What can we learn of climate responses to solar variability using paleo climate records? - Are there any significant climate impacts of solar variability on regional scales? - What are the research directions, additional observations and/or model improvements necessary to improve our understanding and forecast ability regarding solar variability and climate, particularly over the solar cycle time scale?

This workshop will contribute to deteriming future research in global climate change, one of today's most critical science policy issues. A more in-depth understanding of the complexity of the Earth's response to solar radiative forcing and the recurring variability of the solar cycle will provide insights into the Sun-Earth system as a whole.

Project Report

The National Research Council's Committee on the Effects of Solar Variability on Earth's Climate was tasked with the goals of planning and conducting a public workshop to examine the state of knowledge regarding the climate response to solar variability and to explore outstanding scientific issues that might guide future research thrusts. An ad hoc committee of 11 members of the solar and climate communities, chaired by Dr. Gerald R. North, Texas A&M University, was convened and met in person on April 25, 2011, in Washington, DC, to hear from the project sponsors and to determine a strategy for the workshop. The workshop was held September 8-9, 2011 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. A variety of presentations were given under two main themes: The Sun­ Past and Present and The Sun-­Climate Connection. The committee also met on September 10, 2011 to discuss how to proceed with the workshop report. A prepublication draft of the report, The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth's Climate: A Workshop, was released on September 18, 2012 and the final printed report was available on November 13, 2012. This workshop report contained a brief subject matter background, summaries of each of the talks presented at the workshop, abstracts prepared by the speakers in advance of the workshop, and a summary of a discussion among all workshop attendees. No findings, conclusions, or statements of consensus from the committee or participants were presented. The report is available for free download at:

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS)
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Ilia I. Roussev
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National Academy of Sciences
United States
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