Predicting space climate change

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011GL048489

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