Influence of solar cycles on climate change during the Maunder Minimum

  • Date: 24/09/14
  • Hiroko Miyahara et al., Solar and Stellar Variability: Impact on Earth and Planets

Abstract. We have examined the variation of carbon-14 content in annual tree rings, and
investigated the transitions of the characteristics of the Schwabe/Hale (11-year/22-year) solar
and cosmic-ray cycles during the last 1200 years, focusing mainly on the Maunder and Spoerer
minima and the early Medieval Maximum Period. It has been revealed that the mean length of
the Schwabe/Hale cycles changes associated with the centennial-scale variation of solar activity
level. The mean length of Schwabe cycle had been ∼14 years during the Maunder Minimum,
while it was ∼9 years during the early Medieval Maximum Period. We have also found that
climate proxy record shows cyclic variations similar to stretching/shortening Schwabe/Hale solar
cycles in time, suggesting that both Schwabe and Hale solar cycles are playing important role
in climate change. In this paper, we review the nature of Schwabe and Hale cycles of solar
activity and cosmic-ray flux during the Maunder Minimum and their possible influence on
climate change. We suggest that the Hale cycle of cosmic rays are amplified during the grand
solar minima and thus the influence of cosmic rays on climate change is prominently recognizable
during such periods.

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