Welcome to the new Climate Patterns, where we look at the science behind climate and climate change to get a better understanding what is happening on Earth. This issue we will start with the Sun.
The sun is by far the most important part of our Climate System, without the sun we would not get the heat and of course we would be in complete darkness. However, there is more to the sun than just the giant glow ball in the sky, in this episode we are going to Di-sect the important parts of the sun and what they mean toyou and I and our Climate system here on earth.
First, we will look at a Solar Cycle; a solar cycle is made up of a max and min along with transitional time in between the max and min. An average solar cycle takes about 11 years to complete on entire cycle, meaning that you will see one max and one min during an 11 year period. The importance of this is a solar max, is when the sun is at its most powerful time sending intense amounts of solar radiation to the earth, allowing the earth to warm up greatly, while the solar min is just the opposite, during this phase the sun is less active meaning that incoming solar energy is lower, this also has an impact on our weather/climate of the earth in that less heat is being brought into the earth.
It is also important to know that not all 100% of incoming radiation hits the earth, there are buffers out there such as reflective sources, one prime example of this is the clouds, the more cloud cover the less heat that is sent into the earth, however yousay well on a cloudy day I still get sunburnt, that is very true, here is why say that early in the morning there are no clouds in the area so the solar radiation is entering the earth at higher amounts, all the sudden during the afternoon the clouds move in and now the heat is trapped near the earth, this is why people get sunburns on cloudy days. There is also certain types of soils that attract more sunlight, for instance if you live in a larger city you know that the concrete traps the heat from the sun as well creating urban heating, while an open grassland might not get as hot, also a dark soiled field that has just been tilled will be hotter as well. Where if you live by the ocean it might not get as hot even on a sunny day and that is because of the difference in temps between water and land.
So you can see that the sun does a lot of driving in our daily heat sources that we see here on earth, so if you take the sun during its solar max period, you will see even warmer weather in that dirt field or concrete building zone of the city, while during a solar min that same heat will get into those areas however due to the sun being weaker it will be a tad bit lower, these solar cycles have that type of impact on situations as such.
We will talk more about the sun in future episodes but for this one, this gets us thinking about the importance of the sun in our climate patterns.