Prediction of Space Climate and its Effects on Climate


Developing new methods for long-term prediction of various forms of solar activity, solar wind and their influences on near-Earth space and on the Earth's climate system.


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Funded by

Research Council of Finland - Academy Project

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

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Project description

PROSPECT aims to develop novel methodology for predicting Space Climate, i.e., variations of different forms of solar activity and their effects in near-Earth space and atmosphere in timescales from a few months up to ten years. In particular, we concentrate on predicting long-term variations of solar wind and its source regions in the solar magnetic field, geomagnetic activity and the flux of energetic particles in near-Earth space.

Recent research has verified that these variations have a significant impact not only in near-Earth space but also on terrestrial climate variations, especially around the Arctic regions, in inter-annual and decadal timescales. Motivated by these exciting results, we also study, for the first time, the prospect of using these space climate predictions to improve seasonal and decadal predictions of climate variations. We use advanced statistical and probabilistic modeling applied to long-term datasets and reconstructions of solar magnetism, solar wind, geomagnetic activity, energetic particles, atmosphere and ground climate. We also use numerical modeling of solar magnetic field to predict development of source regions of high-speed solar wind streams, which are the most important long-term drivers of geomagnetic activity and particle populations in near-Earth space. Predictions of solar wind and energetic particle precipitation into the atmosphere will be coupled to probabilistic predictive models of seasonal and decadal climate variations.

The multidisciplinary approach of the project aims to bridge the gap between space climate and climate science. The results will be highly relevant also from societal and technological viewpoint as improved long-term predictions of changes in near-Earth space and in climate variations enhance the capability to mitigate risks posed to human and technological systems in these changing environments.

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