AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 53 Solar Interior
SPD Poster, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[53.05] The Role of Time-varying Meridional Flow Pattern During Past 20 Years In Influencing Upcoming Solar Cycle Features

M. Dikpati, G. de Toma, P. A. Gilman (HAO/NCAR), T. Corbard (Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, Laboratoire Cassini, France), E. J. Rhodes (Univ. of Southern California), D. A. Haber (JILA, Univ. of Colorado), R. S. Bogart (Stanford Univ.), P. J. Rose (Univ. of Southern California)

Given the success of a recently built flux-transport dynamo-based scheme (ApJ, 2004, 601, 1136) in reproducing observed polar field features in cycle 23 including a) why polar reversal as well as polar field build-up after reversal were unusually slow, and b) why S-pole reversed a year after N-pole did, we apply this scheme to predict some features of solar cycle 24. It has been demonstrated (ApJ, 2000, 543, 1027) that the duration of the Sun's memory of its own magnetic field is governed primarily by the meridional flow speed in flux-transport dynamos, and is no less than two solar cycles. Therefore, observations of the Sun's magnetic field patterns over at least the past two cycles, and dynamical changes in the Sun's large-scale mass-flow in which the solar magnetic fields are partially frozen, should play important roles in determining certain features in the upcoming solar cycle. We first demonstrate theoretically how a N-S asymmetry in meridional flow pattern can produce asymmetry in sunspot maxima in N & S hemispheres, hence causing double peaks, as observed in cycles 22 and 23. We also show how deceleration in meridional flow, during the rising phase of cycle 23 produced a slower rise in this cycle compared to cycles 21 and 22. We then discuss the team-effort for extracting observed changes in meridional flow over the past 20 years, using helioseismic archive of MWO. By incorporating this long-term dynamical variation in flow-pattern in our prediction model, if we can tune the model to successfully reproduce various "anomalies" in solar cycle 23, we can comment further that cycle 23 is going to be a longer cycle if meridional flow does not accelerate during its declining phase, hence causing onset of cycle 24 around 2007. This work is supported by NASA grants W-10107 and W-10175. National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by National Science Foundation.

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