A proposed paradigm for solar cycle dynamics mediated via turbulent pumping of magnetic flux in Babcock-Leighton type solar dynamos
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At present, Babcock-Leighton flux transport solar dynamo models appear as the most promising model for explaining diverse observational aspects of the sunspot cycle. The success of these flux transport dynamo models is largely dependent upon a single-cell meridional circulation with a deep equatorward component at the base of the Sun's convection zone. However, recent observations suggest that the meridional flow may in fact be very shallow (confined to the top 10 % of the Sun) and more complex than previously thought. Taken together these observations raise serious concerns on the validity of the flux transport paradigm. By accounting for the turbulent pumping of magnetic flux as evidenced in magnetohydrodynamic simulations of solar convection, we demonstrate that flux transport dynamo models can generate solar-like magnetic cycles even if the meridional flow is shallow. Solar-like periodic reversals is recovered even when meridional circulation is altogether absent, however, in this case the solar surface magnetic field dynamics does not extend all the way to the polar regions. Very importantly, our results demonstrate that the Parker-Yoshimura sign rule for dynamo wave propagation can be circumvented in Babcock-Leighton dynamo models by the latitudinal component of turbulent pumping -- which can generate equatorward propagating sunspot belts in the absence of a deep, equatorward meridional flow. We also show that variations in turbulent pumping coefficients can modulate the solar cycle amplitude and periodicity. Our results suggest the viability of an alternate magnetic flux transport paradigm -- mediated via turbulent pumping -- for sustaining solar-stellar dynamo action.