The Sun’s Impact on the US Breadbasket Temperatures?

Russ Steele

Joe D’Aleo finds strong evidence for the Sun’s role in the US winter weather at the  WeatherBell

We have noted that the sun plays a role in climate and weather in many ways. When the sun is more active near solar maxima, the sun is slightly brighter and irradiance increases – 0.1% on most recent cycles, more in cycle 23.

There is also up to 10% more UV radiation which produces ozone chemistry related warming in low and middle latitudes high up in the atmosphere that works it’s way down to the mid-troposhpere as shown in data by Karin Labitzke in numerous papers in recent decades and in models by Hansen’s star climate modeller, Drew Shindell. Geomagnetic storms can affect high latitude patterns and blocking.

Diffusion of galactic cosmic rays which play a role in low water cloudiness through ion mediated nucleation can produce less low cloudiness (the Svensmark effect).

You can read the whole article here, but this is the graphic that caught my attention. Note the winter cooling over the last decade and the biggest drop in temperatures were in America’s breadbasket.

Decadal winter temperatures in US

As the winters cool, the probability of late spring killing frost and early fall frosts increase, shortening the growing season.  I am working on a growing season base line, with a way to measure the progression of killing spring frosts into the growing season. Or, backing off giving farmers a longer growing season. Stay tuned, there is more to come on spring killing frosts.

4 thoughts on “The Sun’s Impact on the US Breadbasket Temperatures?

  1. Douglas Keachie August 23, 2011 / 5:04 pm

    Obviously the sun is not shining as brightly on my old Kentucky Home…but shouldn’t these effects be much more even over the whole planet? After all, the sun is 93 million miles away, a 160 year plus drive at 65mph, 24/7/365. if not, then maybe we have a case of local topology and distance from the oceans via prevailing winds having an effect too?

  2. Russ August 23, 2011 / 8:17 pm


    Some areas are affected more than others, do to the changing weather patterns caused by the changing arctic and antarctic temperatures, which pushes the jet streams farther toward the equator. Just as the current LaNiña is causing droughts in Texas and South East US, and in fact Africa, it is bring CA and the West Coast a moderate summer. A quiet sun results in a cool PDE and more LaNiña events. A warm PDO brings more El Niño events, which brings higher temperatures, in fact a super El Niño create some of the warmest temperatures in 1989. Since then the over all trend has been cooling. We can expect more LaNiña events over the next 20-30 years. We will return to the weather in CA that we had in the 1940 thru 1975. In the early 1950s the Sierra was smothered in winter snow.

  3. Dixon Cruickshank August 24, 2011 / 9:49 pm

    Just to bring in a simple model – Disney World would not exist in Fla – it was only possible because they were able to buy all the dead frozen orange grove land, very very cheap. Today you can not find a commercial grove much above the big lake and certainly not around Orlando.

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