The solar influence on the probability of relatively cold UK winters in the future
Lockwood, M., Harrison, R. G., Owens, M. J., Barnard, L., Woollings, T. and Steinhilber, F. (2011) The solar influence on the probability of relatively cold UK winters in the future. Environmental Research Letters, 6 (3). 034004. ISSN 1748-9326
To link to this article DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/6/3/034004
Recent research has suggested that relatively cold UK winters are more common when solar activity is low (Lockwood et al 2010 Environ. Res. Lett. 5 024001). Solar activity during the current sunspot minimum has fallen to levels unknown since the start of the 20th century (Lockwood 2010 Proc. R. Soc. A 466 303–29) and records of past solar variations inferred from cosmogenic isotopes (Abreu et al 2008 Geophys. Res. Lett. 35 L20109) and geomagnetic activity data (Lockwood et al 2009 Astrophys. J. 700 937–44) suggest that the current grand solar maximum is coming to an end and hence that solar activity can be expected to continue to decline. Combining cosmogenic isotope data with the long record of temperatures measured in central England, we estimate how solar change could influence the probability in the future of further UK winters that are cold, relative to the hemispheric mean temperature, if all other factors remain constant. Global warming is taken into account only through the detrending using mean hemispheric temperatures. We show that some predictive skill may be obtained by including the solar effect.