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Solar changes help create cold northern winters

Fluctuations in ultraviolet light can set up frigid, snowy conditions

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9:32am, October 10, 2011

Harsh winters in the United States and northern Europe may partly be the result of changes in ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun.

A new climate simulation study shows how fluctuations in ultraviolet light linked to the sun’s 11-year activity cycle could change winter weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere. The work appears online October 9 in Nature Geoscience.

“We hope this will open the door to improving ultralong-range predictions,” says co-author Adam Scaife, a climate modeler at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre in Exeter, England.

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