Nevin Manimala Statistics

Toroidal Flux Loss due to Flux Emergence Explains why Solar Cycles Rise Differently but Decay in a Similar Way

Phys Rev Lett. 2022 Dec 9;129(24):241102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.241102.


A striking feature of the solar cycle is that at the beginning, sunspots appear around midlatitudes, and over time the latitudes of emergences migrate toward the equator. The maximum level of activity (e.g., sunspot number) varies from cycle to cycle. For strong cycles, the activity begins early and at higher latitudes with wider sunspot distributions than for weak cycles. The activity and the width of sunspot belts increase rapidly and begin to decline when the belts are still at high latitudes. Surprisingly, it has been reported that in the late stages of the cycle the level of activity (sunspot number) as well as the widths and centers of the butterfly wings all have the same statistical properties independent of how strong the cycle was during its rise and maximum phases. We have modeled these features using a Babcock-Leighton type dynamo model and show that the flux loss through magnetic buoyancy is an essential nonlinearity in the solar dynamo. Our Letter shows that the nonlinearity is effective if the flux emergence becomes efficient at the mean-field strength of the order of 10^{4} G in the lower part of the convection zone.

PMID:36563250 | DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.241102

By Nevin Manimala

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