Investigating a solar influence on cloud cover using the North American Regional Reanalysis data
School of Geographic Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5302, USA
* Corresponding authors: email@example.com
Accepted: 20 April 2015
The controversial connection between cosmic rays, solar activity, and cloud cover is investigated using a climatological reconstructed reanalysis product: the North American Regional Reanalysis which provides high-resolution, low, mid-level, high, and total cloud cover data over a Lambert conformal conic projection permitting land/ocean discrimination. Pearson’s product-moment regional correlations were obtained between monthly cloud cover data and solar variability indicators, cosmic ray neutron monitors, several climatological indices, including the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and between cloud layers. Regions of the mid-latitude oceans exhibited a positive correlation with cosmic ray flux. Additionally, this maritime low cloud cover exhibits the only failed correlation significance with other altitudes. The cross correlation reveals that cloud cover is positively correlated everywhere but for ocean low cloud cover, supporting the unique response of the marine layer. The results of this investigation suggest that with the assumption that solar forcing does impact cloud cover, measurements of solar activity exhibits a slightly higher correlation than GCRs. The only instance where GCRs exhibit a positive regional correlation with cloud cover is for maritime low clouds. The AMO exerts the greatest control of cloud cover in the NARR domain.
Key words: Solar activity / Clouds / Atmosphere / Cosmic ray / Climate
© D.S. Krahenbuhl, Published by EDP Sciences 2015
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.