Stellar Luminosity Variations and Global Warming

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Science  08 Apr 1994:
Vol. 264, Issue 5156, pp. 238-239
DOI: 10.1126/science.264.5156.238


Recent studies indicate that variation in the sun's luminosity is less than that observed in many other stars of similar magnetic activity. Current findings also indicate that in more active stars, the attenuation by faculae of sunspot luminosity modulation is less effective than in the sun at present. The sun could thus become photometrically more variable (and dimmer) if its magnetic activity exceeded present levels. But the levels of solar activity required for this to occur are not observed in carbon-14 and beryllium-10 records over the past several millennia, which indicates that such an increase in amplitude of surface magnetism-driven variations in solar luminosity is unlikely in the present epoch.