How do the Sun’s particles affect the Earth’s climate?

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Why does England cover up with quinoes or does the cold fix the harvest of Italian fruit trees? Why is it raining in Lapland in January when the frost should blow in the corners? Atmospheric pressures in the North Atlantic affect the climate and weather in the northern regions, especially in winter. The variation in barometric pressure differences, the so-called NAO, or North Atlantic oscillation, is practically reflected in mild and humid or cold and dry winters. NAO variation has been shown to be associated with solar wind and atmospheric effects. This relationship has been little studied and its links to the Earth’s climate or the mechanisms of climate change are not yet precisely known. Professor Kalevi Mursula from the University of Oulu will be interviewed.

The ReSoLVE Center of Excellence of the Academy of Finland studies the Sun’s magnetic activity during the last 100-200 years and its variations. (Particles) The magnetic activity of the sun is detrimental to many technical systems, among other things. Particles sent by the sun hit the Earth as a solar wind that causes magnetic disturbances on Earth. It seems that in addition to the sunlight, the solar wind and the energy particles it accelerates also affect the Earth’s climate.

Particles – The difference in air pressure bounces the air masses

Researchers are now particularly interested in the NAO, or North Atlantic oscillation. The difference in air pressure in the Atlantic varies with the phase of the solar cycle and determines the weather in the northern regions in winter.

Particles – “The North Atlantic oscillation is both a climatic and meteorological phenomenon and is used to predict winter weather. Large differences in air pressure flow towards the warm air mass to the north and weaker towards the Mediterranean. We want to find out what kind of effects the Sun has on the climate in the northern regions, whether it also affects the climate outside the north, and what connection all this has to climate change. ”

The solar wind affects the winter weather

The NAO affects the area between Iceland and the Azores.

“When the warm air masses get north, we have a humid and warm. If air masses travel to the Mediterranean, we will be infiltrated by Arctic air. ”

NAO is a permanent climate structure that regulates winter weather. Its intensity varies from year to year and it appears to be linked to fast solar wind currents.

The research is based on data from more than a hundred years. Many issues related to the solar wind can be elucidated from the disturbances of the Earth’s magnetic field. Satellite measurements provide the latest information. A series of nearly 20 satellites have measured the amount of energetic particles above the atmosphere every other second for 40 years.

Particles – The climate debate is disrupting research

The North Atlantic oscillation is in many ways related to the ongoing climate debate and research, which Mursula sees as sadly polarized. He himself has had to fight to make his voice heard in fact.

“Confrontation affects, for example, what is being researched or where the results are published. Researchers are reluctant to participate in a discussion if it is very charged. ”

Editors of scientific journals may also be explaining why research into the climate effects of the Sun is still important.

“It is clear that the Sun affects the Earth’s climate. However, the variation in solar electromagnetic radiation does not seem to explain climate change in recent decades, although the effect of particles has not yet been taken into account. ”

Lots of open questions

In addition to the NAO, or North Atlantic oscillation, solar winds can also affect other climate structures. Its full significance is not yet known.

“Light produces the climate, but other factors can also cause climate change, and their combined effects are not yet known.”

According to Mursula, it can now be said with certainty that the Sun has new climate effects whose overall impact has not yet been assessed.

“For example, in the IPCC reports, only solar radiation has been taken into account so far. Thus, new channels of influence are known and even more can be found when research brings new information. ”

There are still many open questions about both the Sun and the Earth’s climate.

“What factors cause long-term fluctuations in the Sun’s magnetic field? Can they be predicted? How powerful can solar storms be? What are the effects of solar wind on global weather and climate? The investigation continues. The interaction between the sun’s magnetic fields, the solar wind, the Earth’s magnetic field, and the Earth’s climate is very dynamic and complex. Influence research is just beginning. ”


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