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The role of the Sun in atmosphere–ocean coupling


  • Indrani Roy

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, UK
    • Correspondence to: I. Roy, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Harrison Building, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter, North Park Road, Exeter EX4 4QF, UK. E-mail:

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    • Current address: University of Exeter, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Exeter EX4 4QF, UK.


An overview of the processes involved in determining the Sun's influence on climate is presented in the form of a flow chart. Evidence and hypotheses concerning the combined influences of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and the Solar Cycle on the Hadley and Walker circulations are discussed in the context of atmosphere–ocean coupling, focussing on the Pacific region. It is shown that the Sun plays a crucial role in ocean–atmosphere coupling but that this coupling appears to be disturbed during the latter half of the 20th century, probably related to climate change. The identification of a solar influence can lead to improved skill in prediction so as to better inform communities to address/mitigate some of the crucial issues that are associated with climate change.