I am to be the moderator at the Sixth European Space Weather Week Debate in Brugge, Belgium, on Tuesday 17th November. It is sure to be a lively discussion because it is about how much of Earth’s climate change might be coming from the Sun.
The modulation of Earth's climate by solar activity has long been a subject of great interest in the specialist scientific community. That interest has become much stronger in recent years because it is an important contribution to the wider scientific and political debate on climate change. The fundamental challenge is to identify and understand the physical processes through which solar activity might influence the climate – and to compare and contrast these with the influence of greenhouse gases.
The panellists will be Professor Mike Lockwood, an expert on solar physics, Professor Henrik Svensmark, an expert in the effects of solar activity on cloud formation and Professor Kalevi Mursula, an expert in long-term changes in the Sun.
You can read more about the debate on the conference website here, including details of how to attend.
I will be contributing an article to The Times to be published on Tuesday on their Opinion page, about the importance of understanding the solar contribution to climate change.
You can also read an article I wrote for New Scientist back in 2006 about this subject here. And, of course, my book The Sun Kings delves deeply into the history of solar studies and how our nearest star affects us here on Earth.