August 20, 2014
Research Shows Unexpected Link Between Solar Activity And Regional Climate Change
A new study from Lund University in Sweden has, for the first time, reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age. The study shows that the regional climate is influenced by the sun and offers opportunities to better predict future climate conditions in certain regions.
“The study shows an unexpected link between solar activity and climate change. It shows both that changes in solar activity are nothing new and that solar activity influences the climate, especially on a regional level. Understanding these processes helps us to better forecast the climate in certain regions”, said Raimund Muscheler, Lecturer in Quaternary Geology at Lund University and co-author of the study.
The sun’s impact on the climate is a matter of current debate, especially as regards the less-than-expected global warming of the past 15 years. There is still a lot of uncertainty as to how the sun affects the climate, but the study suggests that direct solar energy is not the most important factor, but rather indirect effects on atmospheric circulation.
“Reduced solar activity could lead to colder winters in Northern Europe. This is because the sun’s UV radiation affects the atmospheric circulation. Interestingly, the same processes lead to warmer winters in Greenland, with greater snowfall and more storms. The study also shows that the various solar processes need to be included in climate models in order to better predict future global and regional climate change”, said Dr Muscheler.