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Towards an algebraic method of solar cycle prediction.

Petrovay, Kristóf and Nagy, Melinda and Yeates, Anthony R. (2020) 'Towards an algebraic method of solar cycle prediction.', Journal of space weather and space climate., 10 . p. 50.


We discuss the potential use of an algebraic method to compute the value of the solar axial dipole moment at solar minimum, widely considered to be the most reliable precursor of the activity level in the next solar cycle. The method consists of summing up the ultimate contributions of individual active regions to the solar axial dipole moment at the end of the cycle. A potential limitation of the approach is its dependence on the underlying surface flux transport (SFT) model details. We demonstrate by both analytical and numerical methods that the factor relating the initial and ultimate dipole moment contributions of an active region displays a Gaussian dependence on latitude with parameters that only depend on details of the SFT model through the parameter η/Δu where η is supergranular diffusivity and Δu is the divergence of the meridional flow on the equator. In a comparison with cycles simulated in the 2 × 2D dynamo model we further demonstrate that the inaccuracies associated with the algebraic method are minor and the method may be able to reproduce the dipole moment values in a large majority of cycles.

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Publisher statement:This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:31 August 2020
Date deposited:16 October 2020
Date of first online publication:14 October 2020
Date first made open access:16 October 2020

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