Dynamical evidence for causality between galactic cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature

TitleDynamical evidence for causality between galactic cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsTsonis A.A, Deyle ER, May R.M, Sugihara G, Swanson K., Verbeten J.D, Wang G.L
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Date Published2015/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0027-8424
Accession NumberWOS:000351060000047
Keywordscausality; Climate variability; convergent cross mapping; cosmic rays; earths climate; global temperature; nucleation; time-series

As early as 1959, it was hypothesized that an indirect link between solar activity and climate could be mediated by mechanisms controlling the flux of galactic cosmic rays (CR) [Ney ER (1959) Nature 183:451-452]. Although the connection between CR and climate remains controversial, a significant body of laboratory evidence has emerged at the European Organization for Nuclear Research [Duplissy J, et al. (2010) Atmos Chem Phys 10:1635-1647; Kirkby J, et al. (2011) Nature 476(7361):429-433] and elsewhere [Svensmark H, Pedersen JOP, Marsh ND, Enghoff MB, Uggerhoj Ul (2007) Proc R Soc A 463:385-396; Enghoff MB, Pedersen JOP, Uggerhoj Ul, Paling SM, Svensmark H (2011) Geophys Res Lett 38:L09805], demonstrating the theoretical mechanism of this link. In this article, we present an analysis based on convergent cross mapping, which uses observational time series data to directly examine the causal link between CR and year-to-year changes in global temperature. Despite a gross correlation, we find no measurable evidence of a causal effect linking CR to the overall 20th-century warming trend. However, on short interannual timescales, we find a significant, although modest, causal effect between CR and short-term, year-to-year variability in global temperature that is consistent with the presence of nonlinearities internal to the system. Thus, although CR do not contribute measurably to the 20th-century global warming trend, they do appear as a nontraditional forcing in the climate system on short interannual timescales.

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