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Solar Forcing of Regional Climate Change During the Maunder Minimum

Science  07 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5549, pp. 2149-2152
DOI: 10.1126/science.1064363

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Abstract

We examine the climate response to solar irradiance changes between the late 17th-century Maunder Minimum and the late 18th century. Global average temperature changes are small (about 0.3° to 0.4°C) in both a climate model and empirical reconstructions. However, regional temperature changes are quite large. In the model, these occur primarily through a forced shift toward the low index state of the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation as solar irradiance decreases. This leads to colder temperatures over the Northern Hemisphere continents, especially in winter (1° to 2°C), in agreement with historical records and proxy data for surface temperatures.

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