Researchers Use Sun Cycle to Predict Rainfall Fluctuations

Dec 02, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- The sun’s magnetic field may have a significant impact on weather and climatic parameters in Australia and other countries in the northern and southern hemispheres.

According to a study in Geographical Research published by Wiley-Blackwell, the droughts in eastern Australia are related to the solar magnetic phases and not the greenhouse effect.

The study titled “Exploratory Analysis of Similarities in Solar Cycle Magnetic Phases with Southern Oscillation Index Fluctuation in Eastern Australia” uses data from 1876 to the present to examine the correlation between solar cycles and the extreme rainfall in Australia.

It finds that the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) – the basic tool for forecasting variations in global and oceanic patterns – and rainfall fluctuations recorded over the last decade are similar to those in 1914 -1924.

Author Professor Robert G. V. Baker from the School of Environmental Studies, University of New England, Australia, says, “The interaction between the directionality in the Sun’s and Earth’s magnetic fields, the incidence of ultraviolet radiation over the tropical Pacific, and changes in sea surface temperatures with cloud cover, could contribute to an explanation of substantial changes in the SOI from solar cycle fluctuations. If solar cycles continue to show relational values to climate patterns, there is the potential for more accurate forecasting through to 2010 and possibly beyond.”

The SOI-solar association has been investigated recently due to increasing interest in the relationship between the sun’s cycles and the climate. The solar application offers the potential for the long-range prediction of SOI behavior and associated rainfall variations, since quasi-periodicity in solar activity results in an expected cycle of situations and phases that are not random events.

Professor Baker adds, “This discovery could substantially advance forecasting from months to decades. It should result in much better long-term management of agricultural production and water resources, in areas where rainfall is correlated to SOI and El Niño (ENSO) events.”

This paper is published in the December 2008 issue of Geographical Research Vol. 46 Issue 4.
www3.interscience.wiley.com/jo… l/121542494/abstract

Provided by Wiley

Explore further: Fighting the global water scarcity issue

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New analysis links tree height to climate

Aug 14, 2014

What limits the height of trees? Is it the fraction of their photosynthetic energy they devote to productive new leaves? Or is it their ability to hoist water hundreds of feet into the air, supplying the ...

The rise and fall of oxygen

Dec 11, 2013

How long has Earth's atmosphere included oxygen? A recent paper suggests low levels of oxygen appeared in the atmosphere approximately 2.95 billion years ago. That's about 550 million years earlier than p ...

Recommended for you

2014 Antarctic ozone hole holds steady

13 hours ago

The Antarctic ozone hole reached its annual peak size on Sept. 11, according to scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The size of this year's hole was 24.1 million ...

New study finds oceans arrived early to Earth

16 hours ago

Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface and are home to the world's greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life ...

Magma pancakes beneath Lake Toba

16 hours ago

Where do the tremendous amounts of material that are ejected to from huge volcanic calderas during super-eruptions actually originate?

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.