How solar output affects northern winters (Courtesy: Nature)
By Hamish Johnston
The last two winters in north-western Europe have been relatively cold. Here in normally mild Bristol, for example, our garden was frozen and snow-covered in November 2010 – something that is very rare indeed.
In a paper published yesterday in Nature Geoscience, UK-based researchers at the Hadley Centre, the University of Oxford and Imperial College have proposed a link between the recent dip in the output of the Sun and the recent cold winters.
You can hear an interview with one of the scientists on BBC Radio Four’s Today Programme here. The interview has the unfortunate title “Sun spots explained” – but solar physicists can rest easy because they haven’t been!