Much of the observed increase in global surface temperature over the past 150 years occurred prior to the 1940's and after the 1980's. The main agents which are invoked are solar variability, changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas content or sulfur, due to natural or anthropogenic action, or internal variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. Magnetism has seldom been invoked, and evidence for connections between climate and magnetic field variations have received little attention. We review evidence for such connections, starting with suggested correlations, on three time scales: recent secular variation (10-100 years), historical and archeomagnetic change (100-5000 years) and excursions and reversals (1000-1 million years). We attempt to suggest which mechanisms could account for observed correlations. Evidence for correlations in field intensity changes, excursions and reversals, which invoke Milankovic forcing in the core, either directly or through changes in ice distribution and moments of inertia of the Earth, is still tenuous. Correlation between decadal changes in amplitude of geomagnetic variations of external origin, solar irradiance and global temperature is stronger. The correlation applies until the 1980's, suggesting that solar irradiance is the prime forcing function of climate until then, when the correlation breaks and anomalous warming may emerge from the signal. Indeed, only solar flux of energy and particles can jointly explain parallel variations in temperature and external magnetic field. The most intriguing feature may be recently proposed archeomagnetic jerks (see abstract by Gallet et al). These seem to correlate with significant climatic events. A proposed mechanism involves tilt of the dipole to low latitudes, resulting in enhanced cosmic-ray induced nucleation of clouds. Intense data acquisition over a broad range of durations is required to further probe these indications that the Earth's and Sun's magnetic fields may have significant bearing on climate change at various time scales.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2006
- 0321 Cloud/radiation interaction;
- 0325 Evolution of the atmosphere (1610;
- 1503 Archeomagnetism;
- 1560 Time variations: secular and longer