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Two Thousand Years of Solar Forcing of Chinese Temperatures

Paper Reviewed
Tiwari, R.K., Rajesh, R. and Padmavathi, B. 2016. Evidence of Higher-Order Solar Periodicities in China Temperature Record. Pure and Applied Geophysics 173: 2511-2520.

According to the three researchers from India who conducted the study herein described, they examined the 2000-year-long record of Chinese surface air temperature (CT) that had been developed by Ge et al. (2013). This they did using powerful spectral and statistical analysis techniques to assess any trends and harmonics that might appear in the data. And what did they thereby discover?

Tiwari et al. report that their analysis revealed "statistically significant periodicities of order ~900 ± 50, ~480 ± 20, ~340 ± 10, ~190 ± 10 and ~130 ± 5 years, which closely match with the known higher-order solar cycles." And they add that "these periodicities are also similar to quasi-periodicities reported in the climate records of sedimentary cores of subarctic and subpolar regions of North America and the North Pacific, thus attesting to the global signature of solar signals in temperature variability."

In addition, they note that "a visual comparison of the temperature series shows that the nodes and anti-nodes of the underlying temperature variation also match with sunspot variations." And as a result of these several observations, Tiwari et al. conclude that "solar irradiance induces global periodic oscillations in temperature records by transporting heat and thermal energy, possibly through the coupling of ocean-atmospheric processes and thereby reinforcing the Sun-ocean-climate link." And they thus also conclude that "the long period of solar forcing was one of the dominant drivers of temperature on the CT record over the past 2000 years." And with that track record, it is quite possible that the Sun will remain the main driver of future climate in this region, notwithstanding the modern rise in atmospheric CO2.

Ge, Q., Hao, Z., Zheng, J. and Shao, X. 2013. Temperature changes over the past 2000 years in China and comparison with the Northern Hemisphere. Climate of the Past 9: 507-523.

Posted 22 December 2016