Solar Impact: The Sun-Earth Connection

Judith Lean
Solar physicist Judith Lean (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory) studies how solar radiation affects Earth's weather and climate.
Judith Lean
Astronomers have long known that sunspot numbers vary over a cycle that averages about 11 years. But do these cycles influence Earth's climate? And what about the longer term? Could the measured global warming of recent decades be a result of increased solar energy output?
Freelance writer Kristina Grifantini explores these issues in the cover story of the March 2009 issue of Sky & Telescope.

In conjunction with the article, S&T Editor in Chief Robert Naeye interviewed Judith Lean of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. She's a leading authority on the Sun-Earth connection and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

You can listen to the interview by downloading this 8 MB MP3 file.