Institution(s): 1. CNRS
One of the real motivations to observe the solar radius is the suspicion that it might be variable. Possible temporal variations of the solar radius are important as an indicator of internal energy storage and as a mechanism for changes in the total solar irradiance. Measurements of the solar radius are of great interest within the scope of the debate on the role of the Sun in climate change. Solar energy input dominates the surface processes (climate, ocean circulation, wind, etc.) of the Earth. Thus, it appears important to know on what time scales the solar radius and other fundamental solar parameters, like the total solar irradiance, vary in order to better understand and assess the origin and mechanisms of the terrestrial climate changes. The current solar cycle is probably going to be the weakest in 100 years, which is an unprecedented opportunity for studying the variability of the solar radius during this period. This paper presents more than four years of solar radius measurements obtained with a satellite and a ground-based observatory during the solar cycle 24 rise time. Our measurements show the benefit of simultaneous measurements obtained from ground and space observatories. Space observations are a priori most favourable, however, space entails also technical challenges, a harsh environment, and a finite mission lifetime. The evolution of the solar radius during the rising phase of the solar cycle 24 show small variations that are out of phase with solar activity.