Solar Activity

Watts Up With That?

Essay/paper by Dr. Leif Svalgaard

Abstract

As our civilization depends increasingly on space-borne assets and on a delicate and vulnerable earth-bound infrastructure, solar activity and its potential impact becomes of increasing importance and relevance. In his famous paper on the Maunder Minimum, Eddy (1976) introduced the notion that the Sun is a variable star on long time scales. After the recent decade of vigorous research based on cosmic ray and sunspot data as well as on geomagnetic activity, an emerging consensus reconstruction of solar wind magnetic field strength has been forged for the last century. The consensus reconstruction shows reasonable agreement among the various reconstructions of solar wind magnetic field the past ~170 years.

New magnetic indices open further possibilities for the exploitation of historic data. The solar wind is a direct result of solar magnetic activity providing an important link to the effects on the Earth’s environment. Reassessment of…

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