Solar Activity and Climate.

In 2011, Dutch astrophysicist Prof. Kees de Jager celebrated his 90th birthday. Prof. de Jager is still active as a researcher, speaker, writer and sportsman! He has been studying the Sun for most of his life as a professional astrophysicist. In the past few years he has focused on the relation between solar activity and the Earth’s climate.

I was commissioned by the SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research to record his presentation on the influence of the Sun on climate evolution and to make a short portrait film about him as well as.  In this talk, presented on May 20th, 2011, at the yearly Dutch Astronomers Conference (NAC)  held in Texel, the Netherlands, he talked about the latest results of his work.

One of the main conclusions is that the Sun does have a significant influence on the Earth’s climate, in addition to the human induced effects. The activity of the sun knows an 10-11 years cycle. During the period 2008 – 2010 the sun has been very quiet and the expected raise in activity started as late as 2011. Prof. de Jager expects a low maximum of the cycle that just started. It will be followed by a lengthy period of quietness, similar to the Maunder minimum of the 17th century.

Please find further publications on the topic at

[Lightcurve Films for SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research; 38 min., 03:44 min.; May 2011]

Portrait of Prof. Kees de Jager

  • Huygens Legacy and Future Titan Exploration

  • The Search for Life

  • The Tale of Two Circulations