Research Spotlight: Studying the Sun's effects on Earth's atmosphere


  • Leslie Ofori,

  • Ernie Tretkoff


The Sun contributes to climate and weather on Earth through its influence on the atmosphere, and even small variations in solar radiation can affect Earth. Sun-Earth couplings and interactions can be complex, and natural variability can make it difficult to detect long-term trends.

A variety of studies were undertaken as part of the Climate and Weather of the Sun-Earth System (CAWSES) project to better understand aspects of the Sun-Earth system. CAWSES research covered solar input to the atmosphere through radiation and particles and the influence of the Sun on mesospheric ice clouds, ozone concentrations, transport of photochemically active gases, and wave processes including atmospheric tides and sudden stratospheric warming, as well as the variability of these interactions on different time scales.