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Solar Wind, Earth’s Rotation and Changes in Terrestrial Climate | Chapter 07 | Theory and Applications of Physical Science Vol. 2

Solar variability affects Earth climate. It is proposed that this forcing primarily goes via the interaction of the Solar Wind with the Earth’s magnetosphere, rather than via changes in irradiance, which is generally assumed. The cyclic variations in Solar Wind emission generate corresponding changes in the Earth’s rate of rotation (LOD), as recorded by correlations between sunspot numbers and LOD-variations. Variations in Earth’s rotation affect not only the atmospheric circulation but also the ocean circulation. Because the ocean water has a very high heat storing capacity, changes in the ocean circulation will affect regional climate. The redistribution of oceanic water masses also gives rise of irregular changes in sea level over the globe. During the last 6000 years this redistribution of ocean water masses seems to have been the dominate sea level variable. The El Niño/ENSO events contain a part, which represent an interchange of angular momentum between the solid earth (LOD) and the equatorial ocean circulation in the Pacific. The 60-year solar-terrestrial cycle controlled the climatic conditions and main fish stocks in the Barents Sea via an oceanic beat in the inflow of warm Atlantic water. The major Solar Maxima and Minima of the last 600 years correspond to decreases and increases in the Earth’s rotation, which altered the ocean circulation in the North Atlantic by that generating major climatic changes and sea level changes. Speeding-ups of the Earth’s rotation during the Spörer, Maunder and Dalton Solar Minima forced the Gulf Stream to be concentrated on its southern branch and cold Arctic water to penetrate far down along the European coasts, which lead to Little Ice Age conditions in the Arctic and in northern to middle Europe but extra warm periods in the Gibraltar to northwest African region. During the Solar Maxima, the situation was the reverse. By around 2040, we will be in a new major Solar Minimum and may, therefore, expect a period of cold climatic conditions.

Author(s) Details

Nils-Axel Mörner
Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics, Rösundavägen 17, 13336 Saltsjöbaden, Sweden.

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