School of Geography Professor and expert in Climate Science and Meteorology, Edward Hanna, recently gave a lecture on “The climatic role of the Sun as a variable star” to Doncaster Astronomical Society on 23rd February.

This is an area of particular interest to Edward, who during the course of his research, has worked with solar physicists and astronomers, e.g. on analysing the meteorological effects of solar eclipses. During his talk Edward spoke about the Sun as an important factor of global climate change that may have been at least partly responsible for cooler temperatures experienced during the late Seventeenth and early Nineteenth Centuries, and may have helped induce cold, snowy winter conditions in the UK in 2010.

However, solar changes have been largely masked by greenhouse gas forcing of global climate change arising from human activity over the last 50 years, and the Sun cannot be responsible for the recent global warming because since about 1960 it has tended to emit less energy as part of its 80-year activity cycle.

Below is a photograph taken by Professor Hanna of a partial solar eclipse with a plane streaking across the eclipsed Sun.

Professor Hanna recently joined the School of Geography, University of Lincoln and Mark Macklin – Head of School said of this new appointment “…this is another very significant step for the School of Geography towards our aim of becoming one of the UK’s leading centres for research into climate change impact and teaching focusing on the inhabited earth.”