Solar activity during the last 1000 yr inferred from radionuclide records

Raimund Muscheler, Fortunat Joos, Jurg Beer, Simon Muller, Maura Vonmoos, Ian Snowball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Identification of the causes of past climate change requires detailed knowledge of one of the most important natural factors—solar forcing. Prior to the period of direct solar observations, radionuclide abundances in natural archives provide the best-known proxies for changes in solar activity. Here we present two independent reconstructions of changes in solar activity during the last 1000 yr, which are inferred from 10Be and 14C records. We analyse the tree-ring 14C data (SHCal, IntCal04 from 1000 to 1510 AD and annual data from
1511 to 1950 AD) and four 10Be records from Greenland ice cores (Camp Century, GRIP, Milcent and Dye3) together with two 10Be records from Antarctic ice cores (Dome Concordia and South Pole). In general, the 10Be and 14C records exhibit good agreement that allows us to obtain reliable estimates of past solar magnetic modulation of the radionuclide production rates. Differences between 10Be records from Antarctica and Greenland indicate that climatic changes have influenced the deposition of 10Be during some periods of the last 1000 yr. The radionuclide-based reconstructions of past changes in solar activity do not always agree with the sunspot record, which
indicates that the coupling between those proxies is not as close as has been sometimes assumed. The tree-ring 14C record and 10Be from Antarctica indicate that recent solar activity is high but not exceptional with respect to the last 1000 yr.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-97
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geology

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