Prospects for Predicting Cycle 24
Although we have reliable data of solar polar fields only from the mid-1970s, it seems that the polar field at a minimum is well correlated with the next cycle, but the strength of the cycle is not correlated with the polar field produced at its end. We explain this by suggesting that the Babcock–Leighton mechanism of poloidal field generation from tilted active regions involves randomness, whereas the other aspects of the dynamo process are more ordered. To model actual cycles, we have to ‘correct’ our theoretical dynamo model by ‘feeding’ information about the polar field at the minima. Following this process, we find that our model fits the observed sunspot numbers of cycles 21–23 reasonably well and predicts that cycle 24 will be the weakest in a century.
Volume 40 | Issue 4
Since January 2016, the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy has moved to Continuous Article Publishing (CAP) mode. This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1. Articles are also visible in Web of Science immediately. All these have helped shorten the publication time and have improved the visibility of the articles.
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