A Model for Investigating Sun-Climate Questions

E.J. Zita [zita@evergreen.edu] and Gerardo Chin-Leo, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington.

    We develop a model for investigating Sun-climate questions in an interdisciplinary college classroom. A solar physicist and an ocean biologist will work together in 2006-07 to identify key open questions suitable for analysis by undergraduates, in an integrated academic program on climate change. We will motivate investigations by reading current peer-reviewed articles. Teams of students will analyze data on each question and produce a tutorial which synthesizes best current understanding. For example, what is the evidence for climate changes on the Gleissberg cycle (and other cycles)?  Are apparent historical correlations between sunspot maxima and Earth temperature changes consistent with the period shifts in the relative brightness of faculae?  What is the role of ocean circulation in controlling Earth temperatures?  How do historical indicators of shifts in ocean circulation compare to effects of solar variability on Earth?

            We welcome your ideas or requests for data analysis. Evergreen science students have a strong record of contribution to basic and applied research, from energy transport by solar magnetohydrodynamic waves to study of plankton's effects on ocean albedo.