CLIMATOLOGY: Is the Crux Solar Flux?

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Science  04 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5552, pp. 15c
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5552.15c

Changes in solar activity may have significantly affected Earth's recent climate, but recent solar changes are thought to be small, and accurate irradiance measurements extend back only a few decades. Even sunspot records extend back only a few hundred years. Recent studies have begun making a more explicit connection between solar activity and Earth's climate by linking accurately dated changes in the production of cosmogenic nuclides, such as 14C or 10Be, which are produced by cosmic rays in Earth's upper atmosphere, to distinct climate events. Björck et al. present an intriguing example from the early Holocene. A number of climate records throughout the Northern Hemisphere show a dramatic cooling episode about 10,300 years ago. This event can be calibrated precisely using tree ring and other high-resolution records and corresponds with the beginning of a marked change in the 10Be flux. — BH

Geology 29, 1107 (2001).

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