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Keywords:

  • solar irradiance;
  • multidecadal climate variability;
  • pattern analysis;
  • Gleissberg cycle;
  • modes distinction;
  • instrumental data;
  • proxy data;
  • thermohaline circulation

Abstract

The signature of solar irradiance variations on decadal-to-centennial climate variability is analysed by means of statistical analysis of long-term instrumental, historical, and proxy data sets. Solar variations associated with the Schwabe, Hale, and Gleissberg cycles are detected by their spatial patterns in sea-surface temperature and sea-level pressure. Different statistical methods for instrumental and proxy data show that the mode related to solar irradiance fluctuations on multi-decadal time scales (Gleissberg cycle) is distinct from the Atlantic multi-decadal mode associated with ocean circulation changes. From this, one can infer the degree to which solar variability has contributed to long-term temperature variations during the instrumental and pre-instrumental era. Copyright © 2004 Royal Meteorological Society