worse than we thought – solar energy!

We are all seeing rather less of the Sun. Scientists looking at five decades of sunlight measurements have reached the disturbing conclusion that the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface has been gradually falling.

Paradoxically, the decline in sunlight may mean that global warming is a far greater threat to society than previously thought. The effect was first spotted by Gerry Stanhill, an English scientist working in Israel. Comparing Israeli sunlight records from the 1950s with current ones, Stanhill was astonished to find a large fall in solar radiation.

“There was a staggering 22% drop in the sunlight, and that really amazed me,” he says.

BBC Radio, 14 Jan 2005

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”