SCOSTEP Launches VarSITI Program to Explore the Origin and Consequences of a Weak Sun

FOR RELEASE January 13, 2014
Media Contact: Marianna Shepherd, mshepher[at]yorku.ca

The Scientific Committee on Solar Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP) is launching its new scientific program VarSITI (Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact) on January 13, 2014. Solar-terrestrial scientists from all over the world participate in the VarSITI program to understand why the Sun is so weak these days and how it will affect Earth and its space environment. VarSITI is an international interdisciplinary research program that will run for next five years.

SCOSTEP is an Interdisciplinary body of the International Council for Science (ICSU). The ICSU motto is "strengthening international science for the benefit of society" . SCOSTEP focuses on the science of Sun-Earth connection relevant to life and society on Earth.

Following a highly successful program known as CAWSES (Climate and Weather of the Sun-Earth System) that just ended, the VarSITI program will focus on the declining phase of solar activity, which is already at its lowest level since the sawn of the space age.

The VarSITI program is established after a collective effort by the international scientific community over the past year. It will focus on four major themes: solar magnetism and extreme events, Earth impacting solar transients, magnetospheric changes, and consequences and processes in Earth's atmosphere. In order to make progress on these themes, four scientific projects have been defined, which are headed by international experts.

We look forward to continuing our global cooperation in solar terrestrial research using data, models, and theory developed from all over the world. In particular SCOSTEP will promote involvement of students and scientists from developing countries in the VarSITI projects.

Various working groups are being formed for a thorough scientific investigation under each VarSITI project. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Katya Georgieva (kgeorg[at]bas.bg) or Kazuo Shiokawa (shiokawa[at]stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp), the two co-chairs of VarSITI.

For more information, please visit www.varsiti.org