H/T to Dr Michele Casati for alerting us to a new paper in Nature Geoscience which finds that low solar activity is the likely cause of blocking highs bringing polar air into northern Europe during the little ice age. According to the Sciencedaily post about the paper, it also notes that solar activity is predicted to be low for the coming decades. Looking at the references isn’t obvious where this prediction comes from. I’ll look at the full paper later today and update the post.
There were several centennial-scale fluctuations in the climate and oceanography of the North Atlantic region over the past 1,000 years, including a period of relative cooling from about AD 1450 to 1850 known as the Little Ice Age1. These variations may be linked to changes in solar irradiance, amplified through feedbacks including the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation2. Changes in the return limb of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation are reflected in water properties at the base of the mixed layer south of Iceland.