Solar and Heliospheric Physics
Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing
Article first published online: 4 NOV 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics (1978–2012)
Volume 113, Issue A11, November 2008
How to Cite
2008), Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 113, A11101, doi:10.1029/2007JA012989.(
- Issue published online: 4 NOV 2008
- Article first published online: 4 NOV 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 AUG 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 20 JUL 2008
- Manuscript Received: 17 DEC 2007
- Solar radiative forcing
 Over the 11-year solar cycle, small changes in the total solar irradiance (TSI) give rise to small variations in the global energy budget. It was suggested, however, that different mechanisms could amplify solar activity variations to give large climatic effects, a possibility which is still a subject of debate. With this in mind, we use the oceans as a calorimeter to measure the radiative forcing variations associated with the solar cycle. This is achieved through the study of three independent records, the net heat flux into the oceans over 5 decades, the sea-level change rate based on tide gauge records over the 20th century, and the sea-surface temperature variations. Each of the records can be used to consistently derive the same oceanic heat flux. We find that the total radiative forcing associated with solar cycles variations is about 5 to 7 times larger than just those associated with the TSI variations, thus implying the necessary existence of an amplification mechanism, although without pointing to which one.