Questioning the Influence of Sunspots on Amazon Hydrology: Even a Broken Clock Tells the Right Time Twice a Day
journal contributionposted on 25.04.2018, 13:00 by J. C. A. Baker, M. Gloor, Arnoud Boom, D. A. Neill, B. B. L. Cintra, S. J. Clerici, R. J. W. Brienen
It was suggested in a recent article that sunspots drive decadal variation in Amazon River flow. This conclusion was based on a novel time series decomposition method used to extract a decadal signal from the Amazon River record. We have extended this analysis back in time, using a new hydrological proxy record of tree ring oxygen isotopes (δ18OTR). Consistent with the findings of Antico and Torres, we find a positive correlation between sunspots and the decadal δ18OTR cycle from 1903 to 2012 (r = 0.60, p < 0.001). However, the relationship does not persist into the preceding century and even becomes weakly negative (r = 0.30, p = 0.11, 1799–1902). This result casts considerable doubt over the mechanism by which sunspots are purported to influence Amazon hydrology.