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On the Prediction of Solar Cycles

Abstract : This article deals with the prediction of the upcoming solar activity cycle, Solar Cycle 25. We propose that astronomical ephemeris, specifically taken from the catalogs of aphelia of the four Jovian planets, could be drivers of variations in solar activity, represented by the series of sunspot numbers (SSN) from 1749 to 2020. We use singular spectrum analysis (SSA) to associate components with similar periods in the ephemeris and SSN. We determine the transfer function between the two data sets. We improve the match in successive steps: first with Jupiter only, then with the four Jovian planets and finally including commensurable periods of pairs and pairs of pairs of the Jovian planets (following Mörth and Schlamminger in Planetary Motion, Sunspots and Climate, Solar-Terrestrial Influences on Weather and Climate, 193, 1979). The transfer function can be applied to the ephemeris to predict future cycles. We test this with success using the "hindcast prediction" of Solar Cycles 21 to 24, using only data preceding these cycles, and by analyzing separately two 130 and 140 year-long halves of the original series. We conclude with a prediction of Solar Cycle 25 that can be compared to a dozen predictions by other authors: the maximum would occur in 2026.2 (± 1 yr) and reach an amplitude of 97.6 (± 7.8), similar to that of Solar Cycle 24, therefore sketching a new "Modern minimum", following the Dalton and Gleissberg minima.
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Submitted on : Saturday, February 26, 2022 - 6:02:19 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 12:01:22 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, May 27, 2022 - 6:24:10 PM

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V. Courtillot, F. Lopes, J. L. Le Mouël. On the Prediction of Solar Cycles. Solar Physics, Springer Verlag, 2021, 296, 19 pp. ⟨10.1007/s11207-020-01760-7⟩. ⟨insu-03590102⟩

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