Contribution of Ultraviolet Irradiance Variations to Changes in the Sun's Total Irradiance

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Science  14 Apr 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4901, pp. 197-200
DOI: 10.1126/science.244.4901.197


The sun's total irradiance decreased from 1980 to mid-1985, remained approximately constant until mid-1987, and has recently begun to increase. This time interval covered the decrease in solar activity from the maximum of solar cycle 21 to solar minimum and the onset of cycle 22. The sun's ultraviolet irradiance also decreased during the descending phase of cycle 21 and, like the total irradiance, is now increasing concurrently with the increase in cycle 22 activity. Although only 1 percent of the sun's energy is emitted at ultraviolet wavelengths between 200 and 300 nanometers, the decrease in this radiation from 1 July 1981 to 30 June 1985 accounted for 19 percent of the decrease in the total irradiance over the same period.

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