Solar lows caused extreme European winters

by Chelsea Whyte, October 10, 2011

The link between extreme winter weather in North America and Europe - including the cold spells of the last three years - and the 11-year solar cycle is growing stronger.

Last year, New Scientist reported that physicists suspected events in the stratosphere linked solar activity to extreme winters in the UK.

Climate scientists at the UK Met Office have done a new analysis of fluctuations in the Sun's UV radiation, which reinforces that link and suggests a mechanism for how solar activity may affect seasonal weather. The team emphasise that their findings do not suggest a link to long-term global warming.

The researchers used satellite measurements to show that fluctuations in solar UV radiation are five times as large as previously thought.

When they plugged the data into the Hadley Centre computer model - one of the leading models of the world climate - they were able to show how these fluctuations affect regional weather.

Continue reading at source: NewScientist.com

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