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Physical Models for Solar Cycle Predictions

Bhowmik, Prantika; Jiang, Jie; Upton, Lisa; Lemerle, Alexandre; Nandy, Dibyendu


Jie Jiang

Lisa Upton

Alexandre Lemerle

Dibyendu Nandy


The dynamic activity of stars such as the Sun influences (exo)planetary space environments through modulation of stellar radiation, plasma wind, particle and magnetic fluxes. Energetic solar-stellar phenomena such as flares and coronal mass ejections act as transient perturbations giving rise to hazardous space weather. Magnetic fields – the primary driver of solar-stellar activity – are created via a magnetohydrodynamic dynamo mechanism within stellar convection zones. The dynamo mechanism in our host star – the Sun – is manifest in the cyclic appearance of magnetized sunspots on the solar surface. While sunspots have been directly observed for over four centuries, and theories of the origin of solar-stellar magnetism have been explored for over half a century, the inability to converge on the exact mechanism(s) governing cycle to cycle fluctuations and inconsistent predictions for the strength of future sunspot cycles have been challenging for models of the solar cycles. This review discusses observational constraints on the solar magnetic cycle with a focus on those relevant for cycle forecasting, elucidates recent physical insights which aid in understanding solar cycle variability, and presents advances in solar cycle predictions achieved via data-driven, physics-based models. The most successful prediction approaches support the Babcock-Leighton solar dynamo mechanism as the primary driver of solar cycle variability and reinforce the flux transport paradigm as a useful tool for modelling solar-stellar magnetism.


Bhowmik, P., Jiang, J., Upton, L., Lemerle, A., & Nandy, D. (2023). Physical Models for Solar Cycle Predictions. Space Science Reviews, 219(5), Article 40.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 22, 2023
Online Publication Date Jul 14, 2023
Publication Date 2023-08
Deposit Date Aug 3, 2023
Publicly Available Date Aug 3, 2023
Journal Space Science Reviews
Print ISSN 0038-6308
Electronic ISSN 1572-9672
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 219
Issue 5
Article Number 40
Keywords Space and Planetary Science; Astronomy and Astrophysics
Public URL
Additional Information Received: 22 March 2023; Accepted: 22 June 2023; First Online: 14 July 2023; : ; : The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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