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A Solar-Climate Link in Arid Central Asia

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CO2Science reviewed a paper that provides strong evidence of a climatic link between solar forcing and century-scale temperature variability in arid central Asia (ACA). The paper presents a high-resolution peat cellulose 13carbon isotope record spanning the last 11,000 years. The millennial-scale variability corresponds well to North Atlantic ice rafting events. The centennial-scale temperature variations are synchronous with solar activity. High (low) summer temperatures correspond to strong (weak) solar activity. Statistical analysis “demonstrates that summer temperature and solar activity have a common cyclicity, and we therefore suggest that solar activity was the fundamental driver of the centennial-scale variability of summer temperature in ACA during the Holocene.”

Modeling Quiet Solar Luminosity Variability

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A new paper, Scafetta et al 2019, reviews the controversy regarding how the total solar irradiance (TSI) has evolved since 1978. One group of scientists believes the TSI slightly decreased from 1980 to 2000 while another group believes the TSI increased. A set of seven satellites monitored TSI over various periods from 1978 to date with different precision. Three ACRIM satellites recorded high quality data in the period 1980-2013, but there was a gap between the ACRIM 1 and ACRIM 2 satellite caused by the delay of launching ACRIM 2 due to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. The study reviews three recent proxy models of TSI and concludes that the quiet solar luminosity increased from the 1986 to the 1996 TSI minimum by about 0.45 W/m2 and that 2000–2002 was likely a grand solar maximum.

The Next Solar Cycle And Why it Matters for Climate

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The current solar minimum after solar cycle 24 is one of the deepest solar minima ever observed. Solar scientists' estimates of the new solar cycle 25 vary substantially. Dr. David Whitehouse wrote this report to explain why solar cycle 25 matters to climate. The cold climate during the Little Ice Age coincided with low solar activity. Changes in solar activity can affect climate on Earth by several mechanisms, not just its total heat output. Whitehouse says "Changes of up to 10% occur in the amount of ultraviolet light leaving the Sun over a solar cycle." Climate variability can only be explained if the solar influence is 5 times greater than changes in heat output. "The relative weakness of Cycle 24 took some astronomers by surprise." NOAA predicts that cycle 25 will be weak, similar to cycle 24.

FORCE MAJEURE: The Sun’s Role in Climate Change

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This report by Dr. Henrik Svensmark shows that the solar influence on climate is much larger than is recognized in government and IPCC reports. The report reviews three theories of how the sun can influence climate other than just the total heat output of the sun, called total solar irradiance. Dr. Svensmark says that the effect of sun modulating the galactic cosmic rays that effect cloud formation has received substantial empirical support in recent years. Other solar effects includes the solar ultraviolet changes and the atmospheric electric field effect on clouds. The report discusses the strong correlation between solar activity and global temperatures over the last 12,000 years. Experiments in 2006 showed that cosmic ray can create small aerosols (1 – 2 nm diameter) and later experiments show that when air is exposed to ionizing radiation the aerosol clusters grow much more quickly to become cloud condensation nuclei. This increases cloudiness and affects global temperatures.

Is the Sun driving ozone and changing the climate?

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The Sun affects the ozone layer through changes in UV or charged particles. When the Sun is more active there is more ozone above the equator and less over the poles, and vice versa. An increase in ozone warms the stratosphere or mesosphere, which pushes the tropopause lower. There is thus a solar induced see-saw effect on the height of the tropopause, which causes the climate zones to shift towards then away from the equator, moving the jet streams and changing them from “zonal” jet streams to “meridional” ones. When meridional, the jet streams wander in loops further north and south, resulting in longer lines of air mass mixing at climate zone boundaries, which creates more clouds. Clouds reflect sunlight back out to space, determining how much the climate system is heated by the near-constant incoming solar radiation. Thus the Sun’s UV and charged particles modulate the solar heating of the Earth.

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