Space Science Reviews

, Volume 94, Issue 1–2, pp 153–160 | Cite as

Resonance in a coupled solar-climate model

  • S.M. Tobias
  • N.O. Weiss


The 11–year solar activity cycle is magnetic in origin and is responsible for small changes in solar luminosity and the modulation of the solar wind. The terrestrial climate exhibits much internal variability supporting oscillations with many frequencies. The direct effect of changing solar irradiance in driving climatic change is believed to be small, and amplification mechanisms are needed to enhance the role of solar variability. In this paper we demonstrate that resonance may play a crucial role in the dynamics of the climate system, by using the output from a nonlinear solar dynamo model as a weak input to a simplified climate model. The climate is modelled as oscillating about two fixed points (corresponding to a warm and cold state) with the weak chaotically modulated solar forcing on average pushing the solution towards the warm state. When a typical frequency of the input is similar to that of the chaotic climate system then a dramatic increase in the role of the solar forcing is apparent and complicated intermittent behaviour is observed. The nonlinear effects are subtle however, and forcing that on average pushes the solution towards the warm state may lead to increased intervals of oscillation about either state. Owing to the intermittent nature of the timeseries, analysis of the relevant timeseries is shown to be non-trivial.


Solar Wind Solar Activity Climate System Solar Irradiance Activity Cycle 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • S.M. Tobias
    • 1
  • N.O. Weiss
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical PhysicsUniversity of CambridgeU.K.

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