University of Colorado at Boulder University of Colorado CU Home Search A to Z Index Map
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

2018 Sun-Climate Symposium

“The State of the TSI and SSI Climate Records
at the Junction of the SORCE and TSIS Missions”

UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center

Lake Arrowhead, California

March 19-23, 2018

We are pleased to announce the 2018 Sun-Climate Symposium, which is sponsored by the Sun-Climate Research Center, a joint venture between NASA GSFC and LASP at the University of Colorado. The format for this symposium consists of invited and contributed oral and poster presentations in several theme sessions.  We encourage your participation and hope that you will share this announcement with colleagues.

Observations of the Sun and Earth from space have revolutionized our view and understanding of how solar variability and other natural and anthropogenic forcings impact Earth’s atmosphere and climate. Since 1978 – more than three solar cycles – the total and spectral solar irradiance (TSI and SSI) and global terrestrial atmosphere and surface have been observed continuously, providing unprecedented quality data for Sun-climate studies. The 2018 Symposium will convene experts from across the solar-terrestrial community and from various disciplines that include Sun-climate connections, atmospheric physics and chemistry, heliophysics, and metrology to discuss solar and climate observations and models during this crucial period near the end of the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) and the start of the Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS) Mission.

Sessions will be organized around six themes:

1. Making Accurate Climate Records

This session will discuss the requirements for making climate data records (CDRs), what qualifies as a CDR, the scientific understanding gained from the CDRs, and the challenges that exist for future climate measurement systems and models. The session is open to climate data records of all kinds and the broad range of science questions that is or can be addressed with CDRs.

2. The state of the TSI and SSI Climate Records near the end of the SORCE Mission

This session will address the total solar irradiance (TSI) and solar spectral irradiance (SSI) measurement records since the start of the space era. Emphasis is given to how measurements of the last decade have been reconciled with and contributed to composite records with associated time-dependent uncertainties.

3. What was learned about solar variability and impacts on the terrestrial environment during SC24?

This session will address the following questions:

  • With SC24 being one of the weakest solar cycles during the past 90 years, can we reliably discern the terrestrial signatures of the current solar inactivity—at the surface, in the stratosphere and in space weather?
  • It has been established that the upper atmosphere density has had a long-term decrease from cooling above 300 km by greenhouse gases and due to the reduced solar activity in SC24. Are there similar indications in the lower atmosphere for warming due to greenhouse gases and other changes due to reduced solar activity?
  • What does understanding of the present (in the context of the past) infer for the future variability of Earth’s environment? 


4. What are the expectations for the next solar minimum and SC25?

This session will address the following questions:

  • Are spectral and total solar irradiance levels lower now than during past minima, and how much might they change during solar cycle 25?
  • Are we entering a new prolonged period of anomalously low activity such as the Dalton Minimum in the early 1800s?
  • Can we identity anomalous behavior in the solar dynamo and surface magnetic flux transport as we enter this next cycle minimum and can these behaviors forecast SC25 activity? 


5. Stellar variability and connections to the Sun

This session will address the following questions:

  • How typical is the cyclic activity of our Sun relative to Sun-like stars?
  • What have we learned from the Kepler Mission and ground-based synoptic programs about the ranges of total and spectral irradiance variability?
  • What progress have we made in understanding what controls the amplitude and length of cyclic activity in a Sun-like star?


6. Next generation of solar and atmospheric observations

This session will discuss new missions, sensors, and implementation strategies required for a next-generation observing system to meet the current and future challenges facing climate change studies.