Understanding Measures of Magnetic Activity Using Physics-based Models of the Solar Interior and Atmosphere

Monday, 15 December 2014
William P Abbett and Janet G Luhmann, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States
Substantial progress has been made over the past decade in the effort to better understand how magnetic flux and energy is generated in the convective interior of the Sun, how it emerges into the solar atmosphere, and how manifestations of solar magnetic activity (such as sunspots, coronal mass ejections, and flares) are connected within a dynamic magnetic environment spanning the solar convection zone-to-corona system. Here, we present a brief overview of recent efforts to model the evolution of active region magnetic fields and sunspots over a range of physical conditions and spatial and temporal scales. We will focus on how dynamic, physics-based numerical models can be used to better understand observed relationships between different measures of solar activity as a function of time (e.g., sunspot activity and morphologies, unsigned magnetic flux measured at the photosphere, coronal X-ray emissivity). We will determine whether local physics-based models of active region evolution can be used to better constrain proxies of solar activity such as the sunspot number, which remains the only direct record available to trace the very long-term influence of the solar dynamo on the earth's environment.