An abrupt cooling in Europe together with an increase in humidity and particularly in windiness coincided with a sustained reduction in solar activity 2800 years ago.
Das Meerfelder Maar in der Eifel.
© Tourist Information Manderscheid
Scientists from the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ in collaboration with Swedish and Dutch colleagues provide evidence for a direct solar-climate linkage on centennial timescales. Using the most modern methodological approach, they analysed sediments from Lake Meerfelder Maar, a maar lake in the Eifel/Germany, to determine annual variations in climate proxies and solar activity.
The study published online this week in Nature Geosience (06/05/2012) reports the climatic change that occurred at the beginning of the pre-Roman Iron Age and demonstrates that especially the so-called Grand Minima of solar activity can affect climate conditions in western Europe through changes in regional atmospheric circulation pattern. Around 2800 years ago, one of these Grand Solar Minima, the Homeric Minimum, caused a distinct climatic change in less than a decade in Western Europe.
Therefore, scientists from the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and other institutions search for such archives around the world in order to to obtain a more accurate approach to the solar-climate relationship and the different regional responses.
Celia Martin-Puertas, Katja Matthes, Achim Brauer, Raimund Muscheler, Felicitas Hansen, Christof Petrick, Ala Aldahan, Göran Possnert and Bas van Geel: "Regional atmospheric circulation shifts induced by a grand solar minimum", Nature Geoscience, DOI 10.1038/NGEO1460
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