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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY Int. J. Climatol. 21: 709729 (2001)
 

Summary: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY
Int. J. Climatol. 21: 709­729 (2001)
SUNSHINE RECORDS FROM IRELAND: CLOUD FACTORS AND
POSSIBLE LINKS TO SOLAR ACTIVITY AND COSMIC RAYS
E. PALLE´ * and C.J. BUTLER
Armagh Obser6atory, Armagh, Northern Ireland
Recei6ed 30 May 2000
Re6ised 3 January 2001
Accepted 26 January 2001
ABSTRACT
The records of sunshine hours obtained since the late 19th century from four stations distributed throughout Ireland
were analysed. A gradual decrease in sunshine hours has occurred at all four sites since records began. Increasing
cloud factors, resulting from enhanced evaporation rates over the Atlantic as sea surface temperatures have risen, is
one possible explanation for the decline in sunshine.
A strong negative correlation was confirmed between sunshine factors from ground-based observations and
satellite-based cloud factors over Ireland. In addition, it was found that cloud factors over Ireland correlated well
with cloud factors over large oceanic areas such as the North Atlantic and mid-high latitudes generally. Thus cloud
factors (and similarly sunshine factors) from regions on the boundaries of large oceans which lie in the direction of
the prevailing wind could be useful in determining the long-term changes in cloud factors over more extended areas.
Knowledge of such long term variability in the Earth's cloud cover is important input information for modelling past

  

Source: Armagh Observatory

 

Collections: Physics