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/journal/121542494/abstract

Provided by Wiley

Explore further: Study uncovers lakes, signs of life under Antarctica's dry valleys

Related Stories

Two-dimensional semiconductor comes clean

3 minutes ago

In 2013 James Hone, Wang Fong-Jen Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia Engineering, and colleagues at Columbia demonstrated that they could dramatically improve the performance of graphene—highly ...

Climate change: How Brits feel about 'smart' energy

3 minutes ago

Reluctance to share data about personal energy use is likely to be a major obstacle when implementing 'smart' technologies designed to monitor use and support energy efficient behaviours, according to new ...

Recommended for you

Growing interest in geotourism

4 hours ago

According to the Geological Survey of Sweden, (SGU), there is growing interest among the country's municipalities, organisations and other local initiatives in running geotourism and geoparks. Among those ...

Australia on path to join supercontinent 'Amasia'

4 hours ago

The possibility that Earth could have a supercontinent that would occupy two-thirds of the planet's surface in a couple of hundred million years' time is just one of the geological projects being investigated ...

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.