, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 173-190

Climate and the changing sun

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Abstract

Long-term changes in the level of solar activity are found in historical records and in fossil radiocarbon in tree-rings. Typical of these changes are the Maunder Minimum (A.D. 1645–1715), the Spörer Minimum (A.D. 1400–1510), and a Medieval Maximum (c. A.D. 1120–1280). Eighteen such features are identified in the tree-ring radiocarbon record of the past 7500 years and compared with a record of world climate. In every case when long-term solar activity falls, mid-latitude glaciers advance and climate cools; at times of high solar activity glaciers recede and climate warms. We propose that changes in the level of solar activity and in climate may have a common cause: slow changes in the solar constant, of about 1% amplitude.