LONDON (CBS DC) – Though major contributors, human beings are not the only cause of climate change. A new study shows the sun has a major influence on the global climate.
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden reconstructed solar activity at the end of the last ice age by analyzing trace elements in ice cores from Greenland and caves in China.
“The study shows an unexpected link between solar activity and climate change,” said Dr. Raimund Muscheler, Lecturer in Quaternary Geology at Lund University and co-author of the study. “It shows both that changes in solar activity are nothing new and that solar activity influences the climate, especially on a regional level. Understanding these processes helps us to better forecast the climate in certain regions.”
The researchers found the sun’s influence remains steady whether the Earth is going through extreme climate change or not. That’s because the sun is not directly affecting the Earth’s climate, its energy is what drives air masses around the planet, creating high and low pressure zones.
“Reduced solar activity could lead to colder winters in Northern Europe. This is because the sun’s UV radiation affects the atmospheric circulation. Interestingly, the same processes lead to warmer winters in Greenland, with greater snowfall and more storms,” said Dr. Muscheler. “The study also shows that the various solar processes need to be included in climate models in order to better predict future global and regional climate change.”
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