Centennial changes in the heliospheric magnetic field and open solar flux: the consensus view from geomagnetic data and cosmogenic isotopes and its implications
Lockwood, M. and Owens, M. J. (2011) Centennial changes in the heliospheric magnetic field and open solar flux: the consensus view from geomagnetic data and cosmogenic isotopes and its implications. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116 (A4). A04109. ISSN 2156-2202
To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2010JA016220
Svalgaard and Cliver (2010) recently reported a consensus between the various reconstructions of the heliospheric field over recent centuries. This is a significant development because, individually, each has uncertainties introduced by instrument calibration drifts, limited numbers of observatories, and the strength of the correlations employed. However, taken collectively, a consistent picture is emerging. We here show that this consensus extends to more data sets and methods than reported by Svalgaard and Cliver, including that used by Lockwood et al. (1999), when their algorithm is used to predict the heliospheric field rather than the open solar flux. One area where there is still some debate relates to the existence and meaning of a floor value to the heliospheric field. From cosmogenic isotope abundances, Steinhilber et al. (2010) have recently deduced that the near-Earth IMF at the end of the Maunder minimum was 1.80 ± 0.59 nT which is considerably lower than the revised floor of 4nT proposed by Svalgaard and Cliver. We here combine cosmogenic and geomagnetic reconstructions and modern observations (with allowance for the effect of solar wind speed and structure on the near-Earth data) to derive an estimate for the open solar flux of (0.48 ± 0.29) × 1014 Wb at the end of the Maunder minimum. By way of comparison, the largest and smallest annual means recorded by instruments in space between 1965 and 2010 are 5.75 × 1014 Wb and 1.37 × 1014 Wb, respectively, set in 1982 and 2009, and the maximum of the 11 year running means was 4.38 × 1014 Wb in 1986. Hence the average open solar flux during the Maunder minimum is found to have been 11% of its peak value during the recent grand solar maximum.