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Title: Effects of meridional flow variations on solar cycles 23 and 24

The faster meridional flow that preceded the solar cycle 23/24 minimum is thought to have led to weaker polar field strengths, producing the extended solar minimum and the unusually weak cycle 24. To determine the impact of meridional flow variations on the sunspot cycle, we have simulated the Sun's surface magnetic field evolution with our newly developed surface flux transport model. We investigate three different cases: a constant average meridional flow, the observed time-varying meridional flow, and a time-varying meridional flow in which the observed variations from the average have been doubled. Comparison of these simulations shows that the variations in the meridional flow over cycle 23 have a significant impact (∼20%) on the polar fields. However, the variations produced polar fields that were stronger than they would have been otherwise. We propose that the primary cause of the extended cycle 23/24 minimum and weak cycle 24 was the weakness of cycle 23 itself—with fewer sunspots, there was insufficient flux to build a big cycle. We also find that any polar counter-cells in the meridional flow (equatorward flow at high latitudes) produce flux concentrations at mid-to-high latitudes that are not consistent with observations.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235 (United States)
  2. NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365081
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 792; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CONCENTRATION RATIO; EVOLUTION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; SIMULATION; SOLAR CYCLE; SUN; SUNSPOTS; SURFACES; TRANSPORT THEORY; VARIATIONS