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Prediction of Solar Cycle 25 - Next Decade of Space Weather

Prantika Bhowmik - Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University, United Kingdom; Dibyendu Nandy - Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India

Session: The solar sources of space weather


Solar variability governs the electromagnetic, radiative, and particulate environment in the heliosphere. Modulation in the Sun's magnetic output is closely associated with and mostly dominated by the sunspot cycle. Thus, in the context of space weather studies, predicting the sunspot cycle has gained a significant impetus in recent times. However, the intrinsic stochastic nature of the solar convection zone limits the range of predictability to half a solar cycle, and, the dipolar field during the cycle minimum is one of the best precursors for sunspot cycle prediction.  

In comparison, we have devised a methodology by combining an observational data-driven surface flux transport model and an interior dynamo model to extend the prediction time window to decadal scale. This new methodology has been validated by performing a century-scale data-driven simulation which reproduced the past observation quite successfully -- the first of its kind. Subsequently, we employ this technique for predicting sunspot cycle 25 while considering various possible uncertainties. Our ensemble forecast indicates cycle 25 would be similar or slightly stronger than the current cycle. Cycle 25 may thus reverse the persistent weakening trend in solar activity which has led to speculation of an imminent Maunder-like grand minimum and cooling of global climate. 

Approaching deadlines:

Registration opens:

16 July 2020

Abstract submission opens:

16 July 2020

European Space Weather Medals:

6 September 2020

Registration deadline:

25 September 2020

Registration deadline: [extended]

10 October 2020

Abstract submission deadline:

4 September 2020