A new study has found that even if the sun's intensity was to tone down considerably for the remaining part of this century global warming would continue unabated.
The sun has an 11-year solar cycle during which its luminosity differs according to the number of sunspots on its face. The normal cycle has little effect on Earth's weather. However, sometimes lulls in sunspot activity can continue for decades, bringing down the sun's luminosity to a "grand minimum". The Maunder minimum began in 1645 and ended in 1715 and may have been a leading factor in causing the little ice age.
Stefan Rahmstorf and Georg Feulner of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany tried to find out what would happen to Earth's temperatures if a grand minimum started now and lasted until 2100.
They found although temperatures would fall by as much as 0.3 degree Celsius, global warming would push up temperatures by 3.7 to 4.5 degree Celsius - almost opposing any effect of a global minimum.
Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeller at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, corroborates the finding.
"Even if the sun does something really weird, it would still be dwarfed by what we're doing," New Scientist quoted him, as saying.