The sun’s output of energy is not at a constant level; the output varies … and no one knows WHY … it just does.
[In addition, the amount of energy that the Earth actually receives from the sun (and also from cosmic rays from non-solar sources) depends on the Earth’s orbit and rotation.]
There are a number of ways to measure the sun’s output.
One of the ways is to count and measure the sun’s surface eruptions, which we call sunspots.
Simply stated, the number of sunspots generally occur, on average, in about an 11- year cycle. However, it’s not EXACTLY 11-years. The cycle varies. Could be 10 years or 12 or more years.
So far, scientists have collected data on about 23 solar cycles. There is a Web site: www.sidc.oma.be and click around … check archives and graphics.
Now, here’s the tricky part. I wrote a paper that summarizes this stuff in more detail. HOWEVER, I have been forbidden by the moderator to refer to it because it is posted on my own Web site.
If you PM me with your mailing address, I will mail you a copy (it’s hard copy as well as on line).
Or, you can look for me by Googling my full name which is Albert Masetti and the first hit should be my Web site.
Then click on newsletters and read the July 2003 newsletter.
If you do find my Web site, you can also click on Links and then click on the Gerson report. Dr. Gerson, who died relatively recently (a few years ago), didn’t publish much of his work because … he worked his whole life for the National Security Agency … the super spy folks. HOWEVER, one of his reports got processed to remove the secret stuff and was declassified. In that report he discussed in summary form some of the bad things that happen at the “solar max”.
So read those things and see if they help answer your questions.