Are there connections between the Earth's magnetic field and climate? | INSTITUT DE PHYSIQUE DU GLOBE DE PARIS

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  Are there connections between the Earth's magnetic field and climate?

Type de publication:

Journal Article

Source:

Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 253, Ticket 3-4, p.328-339 (2007)

ISBN:

0012-821X

URL:

http://www.sciencedirect.com

Mots-clés:

MARGIN; CARBON-CYCLE; INTENSITY

Résumé:

Understanding climate change is an active topic of research. Much of the observed increase in global surface temperature over the past 150 years occurred prior to the 1940s and after the 1980s. The main causes invoked are solar variability, changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas content or sulfur due to natural or anthropogenic action, or internal variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. Magnetism has seldom been invoked, and evidence for connections between climate and magnetic field variations have received little attention. We review evidence for correlations which could suggest such (causal or non-causal) connections at various time scales (recent secular variation similar to 10-100 yr, historical and archcomagnetic change similar to 100-5000 yr, and excursions and reversals similar to 101-10, yr), and attempt to suggest mechanisms. Evidence for correlations, which invoke Milankovic forcing in the core, either directly or through changes in ice distribution and moments of inertia of the Earth, is still tenuous. Correlation between decadal changes in amplitude of geomagnetic variations of external origin, solar irradiance and global temperature is stronger. It suggests that solar irradiance could have been a major forcing function of climate until the mid-1980s, when "anomalous" warming becomes apparent. The most intriguing feature may be the recently proposed archeomagnetic jerks, i.e. fairly abrupt (similar to 100 yr long) geomagnetic field variations found at irregular intervals over the past few millennia, using the archeological record from Europe to the Middle East. These seem to correlate with significant climatic events in the eastern North Atlantic region. A proposed mechanism involves variations in the geometry of the geomagnetic field (f.i. tilt of the dipole to lower latitudes), resulting in enhanced cosmic-ray induced nucleation of clouds. No forcing factor, be it changes in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere or changes in cosmic ray flux modulated by solar activity and geomagnetism, or possibly other factors, can at present be neglected or shown to be the overwhelming single driver of climate change in past centuries. Intensive data acquisition is required to further probe indications that the Earth's and Sun's magnetic fields may have significant bearing on climate change at certain time scales. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Notes:

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