The Sun varies on time scales of minutes to decades, and most likely longer. The relative energy content, i.e. the change in the radiation that is transmitted to the Earth, varies depending on the particular solar feature responsible. Thus, the study of both solar weather and solar climate is important in many aspects of the terrestrial environment.
The progress of solar variability studies will rely upon further ground-based and space-based observational programs, as well as a concerted theoretical effort to understand the detailed character of features on the solar surface and the mechanisms which cause internal changes in the solar structure. Only then can the possibility of predicting solar radiation variations be considered.
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Approved by Peter Fox
Last revised: Mon Apr 10 15:08:11 MDT 2000