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Public Talk

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Public Talk followed by a Reception Open to the Bozeman Community

Global Climate Change: Is the Sun to blame?


Dr. Sami K. Solanki

Director, Max Planck Institute for Sonnensystemforschung
Contributing Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008, 6:30 PM
Montana State University, SUB Ballroom A

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Montana State University

About the Talk:

The Earth is heating up. For the last century it has relentlessly grown warmer, in spite of short periods of respite. This global change is leaving its mark and the predictions for the future are not very comforting. As the Earth has heated up, so has the debate on the causes of global change. Opposing camps fight over whether the drivers are man-made or natural. The prime natural cause for explaining global warming is the Sun. It is a restless star that shows a wide variety of transient and active phenomena, such as the continuously changing hot corona, energetic flares and immense coronal mass ejections. Along with these more violent events, the Sun displays a permanent variation of its brightness, which is thought to influence the Earth's climate. Paths by which the Sun could affect climate are outlined in this talk and the question is considered to what extent is the Sun responsible for the global warming seen in the last decades.

About the Speaker:

Professor Dr. Sami K. Solanki is Managing Director of the Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany. He did his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich (the University at which Einstein studied). His scientific interests are focused on the physics of the Sun, including the Sun's influence on the Earth. He has published over 500 scientific papers and is Editor in Chief of the electronic journal "Living Reviews in Solar Physics". He is leading the SUNRISE Mission, which is a collaborative effort between NASA, the German Space Agency, DLR, and the Spanish Space Agency. He is also a contributing author to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report.

Associated Educational Activities for the Community of Bozeman:

This public talk is being held in conjunction with the International Workshop on "Solar Variability, Earth's Climate and the Space Environment (SVECSE)", hosted by MSU from June 1-6, 2008. On Tuesday, June 3, the SVECSE workshop reaches out to the Public by hosting some fun learning events. Beginning at 2:00 PM, workshop staff--in collaboration with members of the Southwest Montana Astronomical Society --will set up telescopes at MSU for public viewing of the Sun in front of the Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) Building. At 3:00 PM, the Space Public Outreach Team (SPOT) will present "The Sun-Earth Connection", a slide show of NASA images and science appropriate for students in grades 4-12 at the Burns Technology and Telecommunications Center within the EPS Building. In the evening at 6:30 PM, "The Sun-Earth Connection" program for students will be repeated along with some fun science-related craft activities at Strand Union Building Room 276. This evening presentation is an opportunity for kids to participate in some science-related activities while their parents attend the public lecture a few rooms away.

Figure Descriptions:

The figure on the left shows global temperature (anomaly) reconstructions showing periods of significant cooling and warming. See, On the center is the painting "A Scene In the Ice", painted by the Dutch painter Hendrick Avercamp during the early part of the "Little Ice Age" -- a period characterized by very low solar activity and long, exceptionally cool winters on Earth (Courtesy: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA). On the right is a plot depicting solar variability, as quantified by the sunspot number variation with time.

For further details contact:

Dibyendu Nandi (994-4470) or Dana Longcope (994-7851).

View Text-only Version Text-only Updated: 05/22/2008
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