A new model of the Sun’s solar cycle

Discussion in 'General Science' started by nsaspook, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. nsaspook

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,910
    2,173
  2. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    3,574
    2,543
  3. Glenn Holland

    Member

    Dec 26, 2014
    353
    113
    The "Solar Cycle" (periods of sunspots and flares and magnetic reversal of the solar magnetic field) is actually well understood, but the "beat rate" of the solar cycle is somewhat unpredictable.

    It's generally known that peaks in sunspots and flares occur at about 11 year intervals and the interval 22 for a complete magnetic cycle is about 22 years. Sunspots and flares occur because magnetic flux tubes are rising from the interior to the surface where they release energy in various process such as magnetic reconnection which causes flares and coronal mass ejections (CME). However, the mechanism for a complete reversal of solar magnetic field is a more complicated issue.

    Regarding the effect of solar activity on earth's climate, this issue is not understood. A minimally successful theory would have to provide a specific mechanism on how activity on the sun could affect the earths atmosphere and climate/weather phenomena. This would involve major changes in wavelength of the solar radiation due to flares and coronal heating versus the normal radiation from the "quiet" photosphere.

    It is quite well known that coronal mass ejections can expel plasma into the extremes of the solar system and this does affect the earth's magnetosphere. However, the affects of CMEs on the troposphere (the layer where weather and climate are produced) are not known nor is there a proven theory on how or why CMEs could cause have affect.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
    cmartinez likes this.
  4. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    While noted, the 11 year cycle wasn't that predictable. If this theory hold up that could change.
     
  5. Glenn Holland

    Member

    Dec 26, 2014
    353
    113
    Yes, the 11 year cycle is a generality rather than the rule and there have been extreme variations from the accepted norm.

    The Maunder Minimum was one of those exceptions and it was a period of minimal sunspots and a minimally visible corona. Sunspots and the corona are the most visible characteristics of solar magnetic activity and they have been easily observed over hundreds of years.

    However more sophisticated methods of observations are available and in the field of Solar Physics, there's a popular saying "There's more to the Sun than meets the eye".
     
  6. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
    3,574
    2,543
    This article mentions a verified 97% accuracy on the new model. But Glenn's right, just because we now have a better understanding of its cycle doesn't mean that we have a better grasp on how it affects the Earth's weather.
    Anyway, we do have very old registries of the sun's activity, spanning back several centuries, and a rough correlation can be made with the historical and geological weather registers. We'll just have to wait and see.
     
Loading...