The Solar Cycle and Terrestrial Aridity
Michael Ram Principal Investigator
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ABSTRACT OPP-9711609 RAM, MICHAEL SUNY at Buffalo This research project will utilize the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2) ice core to look for evidence of an eleven-year sunspot cycle. Preliminary results indicate that some of the GISP2 ice core contains dust that has been transported by global atmospheric circulation to the summit of Greenland and incorporated into the ice sheet. Those results show that a sunspot cycle exists in an older section of the core and the investigator will determine if the same cycle can be identified in the past few hundred years when there is a historical, observational record of fluctuating sunspot activity. The investigator will examine the relationship of increased aridity in China (the likely source of the dust) with the sunspot cycle to determine if fluctuations in solar activity may be responsible for changes either in desert size or wind speed/direction. Therefore, this project has important implications for the impact of solar activity on continental environments.