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Towards an algebraic method of solar cycle prediction

Petrovay, Kristóf; Nagy, Melinda; Yeates, Anthony R.

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Kristóf Petrovay

Melinda Nagy


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.


Petrovay, K., Nagy, M., & Yeates, A. R. (2020). Towards an algebraic method of solar cycle prediction. Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, 10, Article 50.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 31, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 14, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Oct 16, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 16, 2020
Journal Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate
Publisher EDP Open
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Article Number 50


Published Journal Article (984 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (,<br /> which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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