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Scientist: Sun's Burning Hotter Than Usual
2004 07 21

A German researcher says the sun is burning at higher temperatures than usual, which shows global warming is not just based on greenhouse gases.

The sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures, said Sami Solanki, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany, who led the research.

Globally, 1997, 1998 and 2002 were the hottest years since worldwide weather records were first collated in 1860, the London Sunday Telegraph said.

The sun is in a changed state. It is brighter than it was a few hundred years ago and this brightening started relatively recently -- in the last 100 to 150 years, Solanski said.

Most scientists have agreed greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from fossil fuels have contributed to the warming of the planet in the past few decades, but have questioned whether other factors beyond human control are also to blame.

Solanki said he doesn't know what is causing the sun to burn brighter or how long this cycle will last.

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