Solar grand minima linked to cooling period in Europe

Regional atmospheric circulation shifts induced by a grand solar minimum

by Celia Martin-Puertas, Katja Matthes, Achim Brauer, Raimund Muscheler, Felicitas Hansen, Christof Petrick, Ala Aldahan, Göran Possnert & Bas van GeelNature Geoscience 2012 doi:10.1038/ngeo1460

Editors Note: Emphasis Added

Large changes in solar ultraviolet radiation can indirectly affect climate1 by inducing atmospheric changes. Specifically, it has been suggested that centennial-scale climate variability during the Holocene epoch was controlled by the Sun2, 3. However, the amplitude of solar forcing is small when compared with the climatic effects and, without reliable data sets, it is unclear which feedback mechanisms could have amplified the forcing. Here we analyse annually laminated sediments of Lake Meerfelder Maar, Germany, to derive variations in wind strength and the rate of 10Be accumulation, a proxy for solar activity, from 3,300 to 2,000 years before present. We find a sharp increase in windiness and cosmogenic 10Be deposition 2,759  ±  39 varve years before present and a reduction in both entities 199  ±  9 annual layers later. We infer that the atmospheric circulation reacted abruptly and in phase with the solar minimum. A shift in atmospheric circulation in response to changes in solar activity is broadly consistent with atmospheric circulation patterns in long-term climate model simulations, and in reanalysis data that assimilate observations from recent solar minima into a climate model. We conclude that changes in atmospheric circulation amplified the solar signal and caused abrupt climate change about 2,800 years ago, coincident with a grand solar minimum.

via Solar grand minima linked to cooling period in Europe | Watts Up With That?.


6 thoughts on “Solar grand minima linked to cooling period in Europe

  1. sean2829 May 7, 2012 / 11:27 am

    What is truely ironic is we are just at the beginning of changing atmoshperic circulation patterns. Consider in the last 3 or 4 years, we have had several winters and summers dominated by high latitude blocking patterns. These blocking patterns originate at the poles and are likely driven by rapid changes in solar activity. (Earl Happ from Australia who has had a couple of guest posts at WUWT has a reasonable explanation for this.) Remember that in Dec 08 we had solar minimum between cycle 23 and 24 and not long after that NASA reported that the height of the thermosphere was shorter than it had ever been. Since then it seems tha whenever the sun acts up (and its been doing this in an inconsistent spikey pattern) we get some crazy weather shortly thereafter. I think the effect of solar activity on the polar pressure patterns is distinct from from what’s Svensmark predicted but I do think the solar affect on the polar oscillation is what is leading the “global wierding” that has been ascribed to CO2 induced climate change. We may indeed be seeing have seen the beginning of a change in the climate the last 4 years but CO2 is not the cause and I doubt its warming.

    • Russ May 7, 2012 / 12:37 pm

      When looking at the historical weather record there was some really weird weather during past grand minimums. However, I am concerned that writers of journals and letters took more interest in the bad weather (cold, strong winds and long drought) and ignored the good weather (warm, no drought, good growing weather) What is to write about during good weather, except surplus crops.

      • sean2829 May 9, 2012 / 8:34 am

        Actually Russ, the media does write about the good weather. With a warm PDO and more zonal flow in the global circulation pattern you get more moderate weather and for a brief period of time (30 years) a slight warming. Journalists call this climate change.

  2. sean2829 May 7, 2012 / 12:51 pm

    I think its telling that they tied solar cycles to wheat prices rather than temperatures initially. Consider the last few months in the US alone. We had a warm winter and downright balmy March, leading to early buds on nearly every flowing tree. Then in late April, the upper Ohio River Valley and Great Lakes got up to a foot of snow and some very cold temperatures. It killed all the buds and many fruit orchards won’t bear fruit this season. I bet the average temperature will be above normal for these regions this year but the crop damage is due to cold. Perhaps crop yeilds (and therefore prices) are a better indicator of weather variability in a given year.

  3. Russ May 9, 2012 / 6:44 am

    I agree, the price of commodities will be a good indicator.

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