Monday, July 15, 2013

New paper finds another amplification mechanism by which the Sun controls climate

A new paper published in Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics finds a "robust response" of Northern Hemisphere climate to the 11 year sunspot cycle, via changes in atmospheric circulation known as the Eurasian pattern [EU]. According to the authors, tiny variations in solar activity over a solar cycle are amplified by the Eurasian pattern to produce European temperature changes exceeding 1C, which by way of comparison, exceeds the observed Northern Hemisphere warming of 0.8C over the past 163 years. The IPCC claims tiny variations in solar activity over solar cycles cannot affect climate, but this paper and hundreds of others demonstrate solar activity has greatly amplified effects upon climate via ocean oscillations, stratospheric ozone, sunshine hours/clouds, and atmospheric oscillations such as the Madden-Julian oscillation, Quasi-biennial oscillation, Aleutian Low, and Eurasian pattern.

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 6275-6288, 2013

Influence of the sunspot cycle on the Northern Hemisphere wintertime circulation from long upper-air data sets

Y. Brugnara1,2, S. Brönnimann1,2, J. Luterbacher3, and E. Rozanov4,5
1Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, Bern, Switzerland
3Department of Geography, Climatology, Climate Dynamics and Climate Change, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany
4Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland
5Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science ETH, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. Here we present a study of the 11 yr sunspot cycle's imprint on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation, using three recently developed gridded upper-air data sets that extend back to the early twentieth century. We find a robust response of the tropospheric late-wintertime circulation to the sunspot cycle, independent from the data set. This response is particularly significant over Europe, although results show that it is not directly related to a North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) modulation; instead, it reveals a significant connection to the more meridional Eurasian pattern (EU). The magnitude of mean seasonal temperature changes over the European land areas locally exceeds 1 K in the lower troposphere over a sunspot cycle. 

We also analyse surface data to address the question whether the solar signal over Europe is temporally stable for a longer 250 yr period. The results increase our confidence in the existence of an influence of the 11 yr cycle on the European climate, but the signal is much weaker in the first half of the period compared to the second half [the past ~125 years]. The last solar minimum (2005 to 2010), which was not included in our analysis, shows anomalies that are consistent with our statistical results for earlier solar minima.

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