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Predicting space climate change

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • L. Barnard
  • M. Lockwood
  • M. A. Hapgood
  • M. J. Owens
  • C. J. Davis
  • F. Steinhilber
Article numberL16103
Journal publication date19/08/2011
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Number of pages6
Original languageEnglish


The recent decline in the open magnetic flux of the Sun heralds the end of the Grand Solar Maximum (GSM) that has persisted throughout the space age, during which the largest-fluence Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events have been rare and Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) fluxes have been relatively low. In the absence of a predictive model of the solar dynamo, we here make analogue forecasts by studying past variations of solar activity in order to evaluate how long-term change in space climate may influence the hazardous energetic particle environment of the Earth in the future. We predict the probable future variations in GCR flux, near-Earth interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), sunspot number, and the probability of large SEP events, all deduced from cosmogenic isotope abundance changes following 24 GSMs in a 9300-year record. Citation: Barnard, L., M. Lockwood, M. A. Hapgood, M. J. Owens, C. J. Davis, and F. Steinhilber (2011), Predicting space climate change, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L16103, doi: 10.1029/2011GL048489.

Bibliographic note

Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.