Tuesday, June 25, 2013

1306.5438 (Bidya Binay Karak et al.)

Studies of grand minima in sunspot cycles from a flux transport solar dynamo model    [PDF]

Bidya Binay Karak, Arnab Rai Choudhuri
We propose that grand minima in solar activity are caused by simultaneous fluctuations in the meridional circulation and the Babcock-Leighton mechanism for the poloidal field generation in the flux transport dynamo model. We present the following results: (a) fluctuations in the meridional circulation are more effective in producing grand minima; (b) both sudden and gradual initiations of grand minima are possible; (c) distributions of durations and waiting times between grand minima seem to be exponential; (d) the coherence time of the meridional circulation has an effect on the number and the average duration of grand minima, a coherence time of about 30 years being consistent with observational data. We also study the occurrence of grand maxima and find that the distributions of durations and waiting times between grand maxima are also exponential, like the grand minima. Finally we address the question whether the Babcock-Leighton mechanism can be operative during grand minima when there are no sunspots. We show that an alpha-effect restricted to the upper portions of the convection zone can pull the dynamo out of the grand minima and can match various observational requirements if the amplitude of this alpha-effect is suitably fine-tuned.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.5438

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