New paper suggests that a big shift will take place.

Was reading up this arvo, as you do, and came across a new paper which has suggested that solar plays a massive part in the Southern Hemisphere movement of the westerly wind belt.

Here is the paper.

Paper in Press


Impact of solar-induced stratospheric ozone decline on Southern Hemisphere Westerlies during the Late Maunder Minimum

Impact of solar-induced stratospheric ozone decline on Southern Hemisphere Westerlies during the Late Maunder Minimum
Key Points

  • Southern Westerlies and stratospheric ozone during Late Maunder Minimum
  • Application of coupled climate modeling
  • Support for model evidence from reconstructed data


Vidya Varma


Matthias Prange


Thomas Spangehl


Frank Lamy


Ulrich Cubasch


Michael Schulz


The Southern Hemisphere Westerly Winds (SWW) constitute an important zonal circulation system that dominates the dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes. Here, we analyze results from two transient simulations (1630-2000 AD) conducted with the coupled atmosphere-ocean model EGMAM (ECHO-G with Middle Atmosphere Model): one simulation with fixed stratospheric ozone concentration, and one with solar-induced variations in stratospheric ozone content. The results suggest that during periods of lower solar activity, the annual-mean SWW tend to get weaker on their poleward side and shift towards the equator.  The SWW shift is more intense and robust for the simulation with varying stratospheric ozone, suggesting an important influence of solar-induced stratospheric ozone variations on mid-latitude troposphere dynamics. Finally, we compare our result to proxy  evidence from a high-resolution marine sediment core from the Chilean continental slope (41{degree sign}S), which strongly supports the model result of an equatorward displacement of the SWW during the Maunder Minimum.

This a very important paper because Solar activity is expected to drop substantially over the coming decades, and this paper indicates that zonal circulation will move equatorward bringing colder weather further North from where we currently experience them.



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