Climate Dynamics

, Volume 13, Issue 11, pp 757–767

Simulation of the influence of solar radiation variations on the global climate with an ocean-atmosphere general circulation model


  • U. Cubasch
    • Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum GmbH, Bundesstr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • R. Voss
    • Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum GmbH, Bundesstr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • G. C. Hegerl
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Bundesstr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • J. Waszkewitz
    • Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum GmbH, Bundesstr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • T. J. Crowley
    • Dept. of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station TX 77843, USA

DOI: 10.1007/s003820050196

Cite this article as:
Cubasch, U., Voss, R., Hegerl, G. et al. Climate Dynamics (1997) 13: 757. doi:10.1007/s003820050196


 Two simulations with a global coupled ocean-atmosphere circulation model have been carried out to study the potential impact of solar variability on climate. The Hoyt and Schatten estimate of solar variability from 1700 to 1992 has been used to force the model. Results indicate that the near-surface temperature simulated by the model is dominated by the long periodic solar fluctuations (Gleissberg cycle), with global mean temperatures varying by about 0.5 K. Further results indicate that solar variability and an increase in greenhouse gases both induce to a first approximation a comparable pattern of surface temperature change, i.e., an increase of the land-sea contrast. However, the solar-induced warming pattern in annual means and summer is more centered over the subtropics, compared to a more uniform warming associated with the increase in greenhouse gases. The observed temperature rise over the most recent 30 and 100 years is larger than the trend in the solar forcing simulation during the same period, indicating a strong likelihood that, if the model forcing and response is realistic, other factors have contributed to the observed warming. Since the pattern of the recent observed warming agrees better with the greenhouse warming pattern than with the solar variability response, it is likely that one of these factors is the increase of the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997