Solar wind driven particle precipitation affects winter climate in polar regions

by University of Oulu, March 18, 2020

Changes in space climate driven by long-term changes in solar activity have a significant impact on Earth’s atmosphere and climate. Understanding the complex system requires cooperation between space physics and climate science.


On the right, a picture of the Sun taken at the wavelength of visible light, i.e. like a regular camera at very short shutter speed, visible sunspot groups. The time series in the image illustrate a few long series of data used in space air research.
On green: approximately 40 years of direct satellite measurements, a combination of energetic electrons coming into the Earth’s atmosphere.
In red: from geomagnetic measurements reconstructed estimate of the speed of the solar wind in the last hundred years.
With purple: the longest unified time series for geomagnetic activity (the so-called AA index), starting from 1868 and continuing to the present day.
In blue: 400 year series of sunspots. This set of data is the longest indicator of solar activity based on direct measurements.