8 Mar 2006

Scientists Say Sun’s Next Cycle Stronger


LOS ANGELES — A new computer model suggests that the next solar cycle will be more activethan the previous one, potentially spawning magnetic storms that will be more severe and disruptive to communication systems.

The next sunspot cycle will be between 30 percent to 50 percent more intense than the last one, scientists said Monday.

The cycle will also begin a year later than expected, in late 2007 or early 2008, and peak around 2012, said Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

The new prediction is at odds with previous forecasts, which suggested that the intensity of the next solar cycle would be measurably smaller.



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