University of Oulu (Finland) Ozone impact from solar energetic particles cools the polar stratosphere

A new study shows that the ozone depletion caused by solar energetic particles leads to stratospheric cooling in the polar regions. Resolving the inconsistency seen in previous studies, the current work clearly establishes a link between ozone and temperature changes. It also highlights the urgent need for an improved representation of decadal solar particle forcing in climate simulations. The study was published in the esteemed Nature Communications on 12th November.

According to the results, fluctuations in solar-driven energetic particle forcing are causing temperature changes in the polar stratosphere, which suggests that variations of solar activity can be a significant factor in modulating ground-level regional climate over annual to decadal time scales.

The stratospheric temperature variations between the high and low levels of the Sun’s activity are significant and can thus be expected to have an impact on the stratospheric energy balance and winds. It has been theorized by previous studies that such changes may propagate down to the surface of the Earth during winter months.