From 2030 to 2040 will minimum of solar activity, which will lead to cooling, comparable to what happened in Europe in the late Middle Ages, when the Moscow River at six months was hidden beneath the ice. Read more about the work that gives a dismal prognosis, “Gazeta.ru” said one of its authors, the candidate of physical and mathematical sciences Elena Popova.
Senior Researcher, Ph.D., Popova Elena Petrovna, INP, Department of Physics, Moscow State University
Senior Researcher, Ph.D., Popova Elena Petrovna, INP, Department of Physics, Moscow State University
– Please tell us more about solar activity and how and when it will be at least?
– Solar activity is cyclical. There are several cycles with different periods and properties. The most famous of them – a 11-year-old, 90-year-old and 300-400 year old. 11-year cycle appears as a cyclical reduction in stains on the surface of the sun every 11 years. 90-year variation is associated with periodic reduction in the number of spots in the 11-year cycle in the 50-25%. 300-400-year lows associated with the occurrence of every 300-400 years long (up to several tens of years) time period during which the spot is very small.
The most famous minimum – This Maunder Minimum, which lasted roughly from 1645 to 1715. During this period, there was about 50 sunspots instead of the usual 40-50 thousand.
The main result of our work, which caused such excitement among the public, a statement that in the period from 2030 to 2040 at least begin solar magnetic activity. This result was presented in a report at the conference of the Royal Astronomical Society in Llandudno (Wales) and prepared for publication in the journal Nature. After the report of a huge number of news articles about our work in many countries around the world, including in Russia. We get a lot of letters from various researchers, students, and even writers from different countries.
– How did you get this result?
– We have A number of publications, where we describe our model and methods of solar magnetic activity. For example, was predicted minimum of solar magnetic activity in a cycle 26. elsewhere was first used two dynamo model to explain variations in the magnetic field at latitudes. There were articles where the first used method of principal components analysis of the magnetic field of the Sun magnetogram and where minimum activity explained using double dynamo model.
My colleagues used a “principal component analysis”, which allows for observational data to identify the waves with the largest contribution. This method can be compared with the decomposition of white light on the prism rainbow colors or waves with different frequencies. As a result of analysis for cycles 21-23, it was found that the magnetic waves are generated on the Sun pairs and foremost a couple responsible for the dipole field change that is observed when changing solar activity. Thus it was possible to allocate waves that correspond to simple physical process: generating dynamo waves in a predetermined layer of the convective zone of the sun. To these waves was used symbolic regression analysis based on the invariance of the Hamiltonian, and managed to obtain analytical formulas describing the evolution of the two waves.
In fact, my colleagues have received the formula of the amplitude of waves and their phases over time. Then, these formulas have been used to predict activity in the past (from 1200) and future (up to 3200).
It was found that the theoretical evolution of the magnetic field given to past eras of the global minimum of solar activity coinciding with the observed. In addition, the prediction of magnetic activity in the 24th cycle based on these formulas gave 97 percent accuracy when compared with the observations, that is the principal component, which they took from the observations.
Regarding the long-term forecast until we can say that analogue Maunder minimum will cycle 26, this minimum will be shorter than the previous one, it runs in cycles 25-27, and then the activity will grow. In the XVII century Maunder Minimum lasted 55-60 years, this will be no more than 30. The forecast for a thousand years edition of Nature prohibits is to show, as the article has not yet emerged. My job was to explain the physics of the emergence of global minima and empirically found the law. And these model calculations are very close to the characteristics of the detected waves in cycles of 21-26, and the 1000-year scale.
– How did your prediction is the most accurate, because your group is not the only one who is engaged in forecasting solar activity?
– It happened because we have gathered an amazing team of collaborators, which includes both physics and mathematics, and astronomers.
Why did it do us? Because we first worked with data held spectral analysis of the total magnetic field of the Sun, not the number of spots that are now used to describe solar activity, and reduced their dimension.
This made it possible to find waves that correspond to simple physical process, and propose a new method of predicting solar activity. We showed that the index of spots can be obtained from two waves of what we found, if you add up the waves together and find their module.
And then we began to look for, what the process will be able to describe these waves, and so we come to the dynamo theory with two layers and the meridional circulation. In the other groups, the researchers used an index of solar activity on the spots in the last 200 years and features of the previous cycle can only predict the next cycle. Not surprisingly, they were not able to predict better than a single cycle, as they tried to predict another wave, when two of them and use only the positive part of this wave.
– Tell me more about the mechanisms that explain at least solar activity. As this theory has been built? How big is the array of the observed data is the basis of your theory?
– My model to explain the emergence of global minima, based on the process of generating a magnetic field in the stars and planets, which is associated with the work of the dynamo mechanism. An analogue of this mechanism is to work dynamo. In contrast to the theories which address one wave of the magnetic field, in my theory it was reviewed by the presence of two waves of the magnetic field that was found empirically. My theoretical model was based on the fundamental mechanisms of generating a magnetic field of the sun and compare the results of this model was carried out as an array of observed data to the magnetic fields of 21-23 cycles and with the observed data of solar activity in the 1000-year scale. On this scale my model calculations were very close to those of the solar magnetic activity. My model explains the observed and predicted these data processes, but it was built independently of the data. She explains them exactly reproduces the characteristics of solar magnetic activity.
In other words, I found the physical laws that reproduce empirical facts. Accordingly, my model also explains the strange behavior of the Sun in the current cycle of activity that turned abnormally low.
– How cold will be a period of low solar activity? Can you say something more concrete on this issue now? Do you intend to discuss the results of your work with climatologists?
– A number of studies have shown that the Maunder Minimum coincided with the coldest phase of global cooling, which was called the Little Ice Age. In Europe and North America were very cold winters. In the days of the Maunder minimum freezing water in rivers Thames and the Danube River, Moscow River every six months covered by ice, snow lay on some plains year round, Greenland was covered by glaciers.
In Currently, a decrease in temperature can cause a serious negative impact on the technology and agriculture.
For example, in an article in 2010 shows that the low solar activity during the Maunder minimum coincided with more severe winters in the UK and continental Europe . A year earlier, based on observations in the framework of NASA’s Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment shows that solar ultraviolet radiation is more sensitive to the solar cycle than previously thought .
Using the observed data on the solar magnetic field, we made the forecast of solar magnetic activity, supported by the physical model we constructed field generation, and have found that in the years 2030-2040 may be minimum, which will last about 30 years. If the existing theories about the impact of solar activity on the climate are true, then this minimum will result in a significant cooling, similar to the one during the Maunder minimum. Because our future for at least last three solar cycles – about 30 years, possibly lowering the temperature will not be as deep as in the Maunder minimum. But it will have to examine in more detail. We are in correspondence with climatologists from different countries. We plan to work in this direction.
– Is it possible, in your opinion, is safe to say that climate change solely to blame the Sun and anthropogenic factor to greenhouse gas emissions is not significant?
– The number of papers shows the relationship between solar activity and climate. There is strong evidence that global warming is caused by human activity. Over the past 400 thousand years there were five of global warming and four ice ages, studies have shown deuterium in Antarctica. Mankind appeared about 60 thousand years ago. However, even if human activities and influences the climate, we can say that the sun with the new minimum gives humanity the extra time or a second chance for humanity to put in order their industrial emissions and prepare for cycle 28, when the Sun will return to normal activity .
– Tell it about your contribution to the work.
– In this team I’m a theorist, who built the physical-mathematical model to explain the observed facts. I have developed a unique new physical and mathematical model of the evolution of the magnetic activity of the sun. With it I was able to get the patterns of occurrence of global minima of solar activity and give them a physical interpretation. Thus, the projections built on the observational data, the results turned out to be confirmed by an independent mathematical modeling, which increases reliability.
My job was to explain the emergence of global minima of physics and empirically found the law behavior of the waves of the magnetic field. And these model calculations are very close to the characteristics of the detected waves in cycles of 21-26, and the 1000-year scale.
I was able to simulate the change in the amplitude and phase of the two waves, obtained in the observations, as well as to simulate the behavior of the total magnetic field of the sun.
– Tell us about your collaborators.
– I cooperate with Valentina Zharkova few years. We have it, Simon Shepherd and Sergei Zharkov left a number of works devoted to solar activity.
Valentina Zharkova – mathematics professor, is engaged in the solar plasma and solar activity. Zharkov studied at Kiev University and worked there before moving to Glasgow. Then she began to lecture at Bradford, and from 2005 is Professor. Since 2013th works in Northumbria University (England).
Simon Shepherd – Professor of Mathematics University of Bradford. He is a former Navy officer. Bradford went 25 years ago.
Dr Sergei Zharkov – Associate Professor at the University of Halle, winner of Mathematical Olympiad in 1991, graduated from Cambridge University mathematician and physicist in the field of solar activity, engaged in solar and asteroseismology, and automated pattern recognition. He began to study solar activity, I have created a catalog of characteristics of solar activity, and then made the first comparison of the magnetic fields of the Sun with sunspots. This work inspired Zharkov and Shepherd do “principle components analysis”, as they saw a lot of waves in the observational data, which prevented to realize that we actually observe. Next, these methods were applied to forecast solar activity.
– Please tell us about yourself. You have completed the Faculty of Physics? How did you become engaged in hydrodynamics Sun?
– I graduated from the Physics Department of Moscow State University. In the junior course takes an experimental neurophysiology. Diploma and PhD thesis on the theory and modeling of magnetic field generation in the stars and planets. Now my scientific activity is connected not only with the magnetic fields in the heavenly bodies, a year ago I started working in the physics of galactic cosmic rays in conjunction with scientists from the INP and the United States.
In addition, I have been doing research activities in the field of theory Higher spin describing the fundamental interactions. This theory of the field, which has the highest possible gauge symmetry. Now scientists expected that the theory of this class will allow for a fresh look at the theory of superstrings, which is considered the leading candidate for a theory of fundamental interactions.
I take this opportunity to invite the chair of space physics at the Physics Department of the students, Who wants to deal with the theme of solar activity and galactic cosmic rays.