We demonstrate that open solar flux (Fs, derivable from geomagnetic data) exhibits stronger correlations with atmospheric circulation variations than conventionally-used measures of solar activity. The circulation anomalies are particularly enhanced over the North Atlantic/Eurasian sector, where there are large changes in the occurrence of blocking and the winter mean surface temperature differs by several degrees between high- and low-solar terciles. The relationship is stronger and simpler for Fs, being more linear between high- and low-solar winters. While the circulation anomalies strongly resemble the North Atlantic Oscillation they also extend deeper into Eurasia, especially in high-solar conditions. This distinct signature may be useful for the detection and attribution of observed changes and also the identification of dynamical mechanisms.
Enhanced signature of solar variability in Eurasian winter climate
Geophysical Research Letters 37, Issue 20, pages L20805, 2010, 10.1029/2010GL044601.