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A regime shift in the Sun-Climate connection with the end of the Medieval Climate Anomaly

Smirnov, D.A.; Breitenbach, S.F.M.; Feulner, G.; Lechleitner, F.A.; Prufer, K.M.; Baldini, J.U.L.; Marwan, N.; Kurths, J.

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D.A. Smirnov

S.F.M. Breitenbach

G. Feulner

F.A. Lechleitner

K.M. Prufer

N. Marwan

J. Kurths


Understanding the influence of changes in solar activity on Earth’s climate and distinguishing it from other forcings, such as volcanic activity, remains a major challenge for palaeoclimatology. This problem is best approached by investigating how these variables influenced past climate conditions as recorded in high precision paleoclimate archives. In particular, determining if the climate system response to these forcings changes through time is critical. Here we use the Wiener-Granger causality approach along with well-established cross-correlation analysis to investigate the causal relationship between solar activity, volcanic forcing, and climate as reflected in well-established Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) rainfall proxy records from Yok Balum Cave, southern Belize. Our analysis reveals a consistent influence of volcanic activity on regional Central American climate over the last two millennia. However, the coupling between solar variability and local climate varied with time, with a regime shift around 1000–1300 CE after which the solar-climate coupling weakened considerably.


Smirnov, D., Breitenbach, S., Feulner, G., Lechleitner, F., Prufer, K., Baldini, J., …Kurths, J. (2017). A regime shift in the Sun-Climate connection with the end of the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Scientific Reports, 7,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 18, 2017
Online Publication Date Sep 11, 2017
Publication Date Sep 11, 2017
Deposit Date Sep 12, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 13, 2017
Journal Scientific Reports
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7


Published Journal Article (1.6 Mb)

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