New research debunks link between solar cycle and North Atlantic winter weather

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Research published in Nature Geoscience presents new evidence that debunks the existence of a correlation between solar activity and winter weather in the North.

The North Atlantic Oscillation is a key driver of winter weather patterns in the Northern hemisphere. A positive NAO is linked to mild and wet winters in Europe, while a negative NAO indicates a snowy and cold winters.

According to Columbia University, published research in recent years claims the NAO is linked to the solar cycle, a periodic, 11-year change during which the sun's activity increases then ebbs.

The theory indicates that the connection between the two is strong enough to inform predictions of the NAO by up to a decade in advance.

But using computer modeling and extended observations, scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia's School of Engineering found no evidence of any correlation prior to 1960. The apparent correlation had been due to atmospheric variability, and not the sun.

The correlation theory would have proven advantageous to Northern hemisphere societies, as it would have allowed them to plan for intense flooding and storms.

But the research debunking the link is also important for future climate research, now that it appears the causes for decadal weather changes lie elsewhere.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. North Atlantic Oscillation
2. 11-year solar cycle
3. Correlation theory between solar cycle and North Atlantic Oscillation
4. Correlation theory debunked

VOICEOVER (in English):

"The North Atlantic Oscillation is a key driver of winter weather patterns in the Northern hemisphere. A positive NAO is linked to mild and wet winters in Europe, while a negative NAO indicates a snowy and cold winters."

"According to Columbia University, published research in recent years claims the NAO is linked to the solar cycle, a periodic, 11-year change during which the sun's activity increases then ebbs."

"The theory indicates that the connection between the two is strong enough to inform predictions of the NAO by up to a decade in advance."

"But using computer modeling and extended observations, scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia's School of Engineering found no evidence of any correlation prior to 1960."

"The apparent correlation had been due to atmospheric variability, and not the sun."

SOURCES:
Columbia University
https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2019/01/22/debunking-solar-cycle-north-atlantic-winter-weather-connection/