Volume 615, July 2018
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Published online||06 July 2018|
Modelling variability of solar activity cycles
Institute for Solar-Terrestrial Physics,
Lermontov Str. 126A,
2 Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, St. Petersburg 196140, Russia
Accepted: 23 March 2018
Context. Solar activity cycles vary in amplitude and duration. The variations can be at least partly explained by fluctuations in dynamo parameters.
Aims. We want to restrict uncertainty in fluctuating dynamo parameters and find out which properties of the fluctuations control the amplitudes of the magnetic field and energy in variable dynamo cycles.
Methods. A flux-transport model for the solar dynamo with fluctuations of the Babcock–Leighton type α-effect was applied to generate statistics of magnetic cycles for our purposes. The statistics were compared with data on solar cycle periods to restrict the correlation time of dynamo fluctuations.
Results. A characteristic time of fluctuations in the α-effect is estimated to be close to the solar rotation period. The fluctuations produce asymmetry between the times of rise and descent of dynamo cycles, the rise time being on average shorter. The affect of the fluctuations on cycle amplitudes depends on the phase of the cycle in which the fluctuations occur. Negative fluctuations (decrease in α) in the rise phase delay decay of poloidal field and increase the cycle amplitude in toroidal field and magnetic energy. Negative fluctuation in the decline phase reduces the polar field at the end of a cycle and the amplitude of the next cycle. The low amplitude of the 24th solar cycle compared to the preceding 23rd cycle can be explained by this effect. Positive fluctuations in the descent phase enhance the magnetic energy of the next cycle by increasing the seed poloidal field for the next cycle. The statistics of the computed energies of the cycles suggest that superflares of ≥1034 erg are not possible on the Sun.
Key words: dynamo / Sun: activity / Sun: magnetic fields
© ESO 2018
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