Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Changes in solar activity affect local climate

09.12.2010
Most of the current climate models suggest that the sun has only a small effect on the global climate, but there is insufficient knowledge of the processes behind this link. Variations in solar activity could have major significance for regional climate development, according to Lund researcher Raimund Muscheler and his colleagues in the USA and Mexico.

Raimund Muscheler is a researcher at the Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at Lund University in Sweden. In the latest issue of the journal Science, he and his colleagues have described how the surface water temperature in the tropical parts of the eastern Pacific varied with the sun’s activity between 7 000 and 11 000 years ago (early Holocene). Contrary to what one might intuitively believe, high solar activity had a cooling effect in this region.

“It is perhaps a similar phenomenon that we are seeing here today”, says Raimund Muscheler. “Last year’s cold winter in Sweden could intuitively be seen to refute global warming. But the winter in Greenland was exceptionally mild. Both phenomena coincide with low solar activity and the sun’s activity probably influences the local climate variations.”

Today there is a lot of debate about whether the sun’s activity could have influenced the earth’s climate over thousands or millions of years.

“The key processes in this influence are still mostly unclear. This is why the present climate models probably do not include the full effect of solar activity”, says Raimund Muscheler.

By reconstructing surface water temperatures from plankton stored in a sediment core taken from the seabed off the west coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, researchers have now made new findings. The results suggest that solar activity has influenced the sea’s surface water temperature by changing local circulation processes in the sea. Previous studies have shown that the surface water temperature in the tropical Pacific Ocean is linked to atmospheric and seawater circulation through the regional weather phenomena El Niño and El Niña.

“We know that El Niño brings a warmer climate, while El Niña brings a cooler climate in the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean”, says Raimund Muscheler. “If we presume that this connection existed during the early Holocene, this means that there could be a link between solar activity and El Niño/El Niña on long time scales.”

In his research, Raimund Muscheler works to reconstruct previous changes in solar activity by studying how cosmogenic isotopes, for example of beryllium-10 and carbon-14, have been stored in both ice cores and annual rings in trees. Cosmogenic isotopes are formed in the atmosphere as a result of cosmic radiation from space. When solar activity is high, a small amount of the cosmic radiation reaches the atmosphere and thus a small number of cosmogenic isotopes are formed and stored.

“This is the best and most reliable method we have to reconstruct solar activity”, says Raimund Muscheler.

Raimund Muscheler, researcher in quaternary geology, Lund University. Raimund.Muscheler@geol.lu.se, tel. +46 46 222 04 54

Pressofficer Lena Björk Blixt; Lena.Bjork_Blixt@kanslin.lu.se; +46-46 222 7186

Lena Björk Blixt | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.sciencemag.org/search?site_area=sci&y=9&fulltext=Raimund%20Muscheler&x=37&submit=yes

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles
23.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Less radiation in inner Van Allen belt than previously believed
21.03.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>