Centennial variations in sunspot number, open solar flux and streamer belt width: 3. Modelling
Lockwood, M. and Owens, M. J. (2014) Centennial variations in sunspot number, open solar flux and streamer belt width: 3. Modelling. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 119 (7). pp. 5193-5209. ISSN 2169-9402
To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/2014JA019973
From the variation of near-Earth interplanetary conditions, reconstructed for the mid-19th century to the present day using historic geomagnetic activity observations, Lockwood and Owens  have suggested that Earth remains within a broadened streamer belt during solar cycles when the Open Solar Flux (OSF) is low. From this they propose that the Earth was immersed in almost constant slow solar wind during the Maunder minimum (c. 1650-1710). In this paper, we extend continuity modelling of the OSF to predict the streamer belt width using both group sunspot numbers and corrected international sunspot numbers to quantify the emergence rate of new OSF. The results support the idea that the solar wind at Earth was persistently slow during the Maunder minimum because the streamer belt was broad.