EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Solar forcing on the Northern Hemisphere weather and climate extremes during summer

Norel Rimbu, Monica Ionita, and Gerrit Lohmann
Norel Rimbu et al.
  • Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Paleoclimate Dynamics , Bremerhaven, Germany (

The effects of solar irradiance forcing on weather and climate extremes have received relatively less attention compared to the solar-induced changes in the mean climate. In this respect, here we investigate the possible impact of solar irradiance forcing on the Northern Hemisphere extreme weather and climate variability during summer, from a potential vorticity (PV) perspective. The generation of severe weather events in the extra-tropical regions is often related to intrusions of high PV originating from the polar lower stratosphere. Various two-dimensional PV indices, similar to those characterizing surface temperature and precipitation extremes, are defined to measure the frequency of upper level PV intrusion events. Based on long-term reanalysis data, we show that upper level high PV intrusions over Asia (Europe) are more (less) frequent during high relatively to low solar irradiance summers. Consistent with this PV pattern more (less) frequent surface extreme precipitation events are recorded during high relative to low solar irradiance summers in Asia (Europe). Patterns in the frequency of extreme temperatures are largely opposite to the corresponding extreme precipitation. Furthermore, extreme climate anomaly patterns associated with high solar irradiance forcing are similar to the corresponding patterns associated with strong monsoon circulation over Asia during summer. A preliminary analysis reveals the dominant role of upper level solar related PV anomalies in generation of extreme precipitation in the Asian monsoon region during high solar irradiance summers. A persistent blocking like circulation in the Caspian Sea region during low solar irradiance summers is associated more frequent high PV intrusions and extreme precipitation over Europe. The stability of the solar related extreme precipitation and temperature patterns in the last millennium perspective is also discussed based on proxy data as well as model simulations.


How to cite: Rimbu, N., Ionita, M., and Lohmann, G.: Solar forcing on the Northern Hemisphere weather and climate extremes during summer, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9411,, 2021.

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