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Impact of a potential 21st century “grand solar minimum” on surface temperatures and stratospheric ozone

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Abstract

[1] We investigate the effects of a recently proposed 21st century Dalton minimum like decline of solar activity on the evolution of Earth's climate and ozone layer. Three sets of two member ensemble simulations, radiatively forced by a midlevel emission scenario (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change RCP4.5), are performed with the atmosphere-ocean chemistry-climate model AOCCM SOCOL3-MPIOM, one with constant solar activity, the other two with reduced solar activity and different strength of the solar irradiance forcing. A future grand solar minimum will reduce the global mean surface warming of 2 K between 1986–2005 and 2081–2100 by 0.2 to 0.3 K. Furthermore, the decrease in solar UV radiation leads to a significant delay of stratospheric ozone recovery by 10 years and longer. Therefore, the effects of a solar activity minimum, should it occur, may interfere with international efforts for the protection of global climate and the ozone layer.

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