Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climatic effects of a solar minimum: Grand solar minimum and climate response recorded for first time in same climate archive

Date:
May 6, 2012
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Maar lake sediments reveal a grand solar minimum and the climate response recorded for the first time in the same climate archive highlights the need for a more differentiated approach to solar radiation.

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. 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 Geoscience 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.

The exceptional seasonally laminated sediments from the studied maar lake allow a precise dating even of short-term climate changes. The results show for a 200 year long period strongly increased springtime winds during a period of cool and wet climate in Europe. In combination with model studies they suggest a mechanism that can explain the relation between a weak sun and climate change. "The change and strengthening of the tropospheric wind systems likely is related to stratospheric processes which in turn are affected by the ultraviolet radiation" explains Achim Brauer (GFZ), the initiator of the study. "This complex chain of processes thus acts as a positive feedback mechanism that could explain why assumingly too small variations in solar activity have caused regional climate changes."

Albeit those findings cannot be directly transferred to future projections because the current climate is additionally affected by anthropogenic forcing, they provide clear evidence for still poorly understood aspects of the climate system, emphasizes Achim Brauer. In particular, further investigations are required with a focus on the climatic consequences of changes in different wavelengths of the solar spectrum. Only when the mechanisms of solar-climate links are better understood a reliable estimate of the potential effects of the next Grand solar minimum in a world of anthropogenic climate change will be possible. In this respect, well-dated annually laminated lake sediments are also in future of crucial importance for these studies.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Celia Martin-Puertas, Katja Matthes, Achim Brauer, Raimund Muscheler, Felicitas Hansen, Christof Petrick, Ala Aldahan, Gφran Possnert, Bas van Geel. Regional atmospheric circulation shifts induced by a grand solar minimum. Nature Geoscience, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1460

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Climatic effects of a solar minimum: Grand solar minimum and climate response recorded for first time in same climate archive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120506160119.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2012, May 6). Climatic effects of a solar minimum: Grand solar minimum and climate response recorded for first time in same climate archive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120506160119.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Climatic effects of a solar minimum: Grand solar minimum and climate response recorded for first time in same climate archive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120506160119.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins