The linkage between multi-decadal climate variability and activity of the sun has been long debated based upon observational evidence from a large number of instrumental and proxy records. It is difficult to evaluate the exact role of each of solar parameters on climate change since instrumentally measured solar related parameters such as Total Solar irradiance (TSI), Ultra Violet (UV), solar wind and Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) fluxes are more or less synchronized and only extend back for several decades. Here we report tree-ring carbon-14 based record of 11-year/22-year solar cycles during the Maunder Minimum (17th century) and the early Medieval Maximum Period (9–10th century) to reconstruct the state of the sun and the flux of incoming GCRs. The result strongly indicates that the influence of solar cycles on climate is persistent beyond the period after instrumental observations were initiated. We find that the actual lengths of solar cycles vary depending on the status of long-term solar activity, and that periodicity of the surface air temperatures are also changing synchronously. Temperature variations over the 22-year cycles seem, in general, to be more significant than those associated with the 11-year cycles and in particular around the grand solar minima such as the Maunder Minimum (1645–1715 AD). The polarity dependence of cooling events found in this study suggests that the GCRs can not be excluded from the possible drivers of decadal to multi-decadal climate change.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters – Elsevier
Published: Jul 30, 2008
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